December 14, 2014

Statement by Larry Selzer, President & CEO, The Conservation Fund 

“The Conservation Fund congratulates the lawmakers and key partners who have worked to create and expand historic national parks and establish new wilderness areas for the enjoyment and education of their constituents and the public through the passage of the NDAA bill.”

“I want to commend the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for taking action on important public lands matters before the close of the 113th Congress. In particular, I want to applaud the leadership of the Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and Texas delegations—along with the Administration—in ensuring the:

  • Creation of the First State National Historical Park in Delaware and Pennsylvania, which will incorporate all sites included in the March 2013 Presidentially-proclaimed First State National Monument and authorizes additional sites for inclusion in the park.
  • Creation of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Maryland and the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in New York to complement Maryland’s Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument created in March 2013 and will remain in place. 
  • Expansion of the boundaries of the San Antonio Missions Historical Park in Texas to include approximately 137 acres.”

“The Conservation Fund has played a significant role in these efforts, specifically the establishment of National Monuments in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland that preceded Congressional action to elevate them to National Historical Park status. President Obama and the Administration have provided tremendous leadership with the early actions and the continued support of and commitment to protecting these historic lands.”

The Conservation Fund Regional Quotes

DELAWARE— Blaine Phillips, Senior Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Regional Director

“This is an historic day for Delaware where history is being made where it all began, with our nation’s first state completing the National Park system and ensuring the public can visit a National Park in every state. The Conservation Fund was thrilled, through the generosity of the Mt. Cuba Foundation, to donate the Woodlawn property that helped create the National Monument in 2013. To have the Monument elevated to National Historical Park status and expanded to include several other historic properties brings this whole effort full circle. I commend the numerous partners, state and local leaders, President Obama and Vice President Biden, but in particular extend gratitude to the decade-long leadership of U.S. Senator Tom Carper (DE-D), the lead sponsor of the First State National Historical Park Act, along with U.S Senators Chris Coons (DE-D), Bob Casey (PA-D), Pat Toomey (PA-R), and U.S. Representatives John Carney (DE-AL-D) and Patrick Meehan (PA-7-R).”

MARYLAND—Bill Crouch, Maryland State Director

“Harriet Tubman is a true American hero, whose journeys along the Eastern Shore will mark Maryland forever, and the creation of these two sister Parks along with the existing National Monument will ensure that people and families can go and experience the lands that have shaped our country and define the ever present American pursuit of freedom and equality. The Conservation Fund was honored to donate the historic Jacob Jackson property for the creation of the National Monument in 2013, and is thrilled the commemoration of Tubman’s life is complete with this Congressional action to establish an adjoining National Historic Park in Maryland and a sister Park in New York. This would not have been possible without the incredible federal, state and local partnership, and the leadership of U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (MD-D), the lead sponsor of the Harriet Tubman National Historical Parks Act (S. 247), along with U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski (MD-D), Chuck Schumer (NY-D), and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY-D), and U.S. Representatives Andy Harris (MD-1-R)—the lead House sponsor of H.R. 513—and cosponsors Donna Edwards (MD-4-D), Richard Hanna (NY-22-R), and Charles Rangel (NY-13-D); and Daniel Maffei (NY-24-D), the lead sponsor of H.R. 664, and the Maryland cosponsors [Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2-D), John Sarbanes (MD-3-D), Donna Edwards (MD-4-D), Steny Hoyer (MD-5-D), John Delaney (MD-6-D), Elijah Cummings (MD-7-D), and Chris Van Hollen (MD-8-D)] and the 94 other cosponsors.

TEXAS—Andy Jones, Texas State Director

“I commend the leadership of our U.S. Congressional delegation and the National Parks Conservation Association and other partners in realizing this critical step for the preservation of the Mission and the ecotourism benefits to San Antonio. We look forward to helping implement this effort and complete a decade long vision for this national treasure. I applaud U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (TX-35) for leading the congressional effort and sponsorship of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Boundary Expansion Act of 2013, as well as U.S. Representatives Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Pete Gallego (TX-23), and Lamar Smith (TX-21); and U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states to protect more than 7.5 million acres of land since 1985.

Press Release Contacts
Ann Simonelli | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5809 |
Theresa Spinner | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5824 |