Bill would reauthorize C&O Canal citizen group for 10 more years
Last week, Maryland Congressmen Chris Van Hollen and John Delaney, and Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal National Historical Park Commission and give the surrounding communities a voice in park planning and decisionmaking.
The C&O Canal National Historical Park spans approximately 185 miles along the old C&O Canal and towpath from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Md.
It encompasses Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
“The C&O Canal National Historical Park is a treasure in our community, with a long towpath popular with cyclists, hikers, and runners, hundreds of historic sites, and striking views of the Potomac River,” said Congressman Van Hollen.
“The Commission allows the park to work cooperatively with its diverse neighbors in urban, suburban, and rural areas, ensuring that the community is heard and the park is supported.”
“This legislation will help ensure that citizens and landowners using the C&O Canal in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and D.C. continue to have a voice when decisions are made,” Congressman Wolf said.
“The canal, which George Washington worked so tirelessly to promote, must remain a beautiful part of our region.”
“Local communities from Potomac to Cumberland share the C&O Canal National Historic Park and deserve a voice with the National Parks Service. The park is an important recreational and economic development asset for our region. The history of Western Maryland was shaped on the towpath of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. Today, Western Maryland should have a say in how we can navigate the C&O Canal National Historic Park towards a brighter future,” said Congressman Delaney.
The C&O Canal National Historical Park Commission was established along with the park in 1971.
With 19 members nominated by the park’s neighboring jurisdictions and formally appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, it served as an official channel through which park management could seek input and receive advice on matters related to park policy. The legislation introduced last week would reauthorize the Commission for an additional 10 years.