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  For Immediate Release    
  December 5, 2005    
Rep. Baird, Conservation Fund Announce Sale of Dismal Nitch for
Lewis & Clark National Historic Park

Vancouver, WA - Congressman Brian Baird, the Conservation Fund, and the National Park Service today announced the acquisition of Dismal Nitch for inclusion in the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park.  Congressman Baird secured federal funding for the National Park Service to acquire the privately-owned Dismal Nitch property. The Conservation Fund will hold the land until the FY 2006 federal funding that Congressman Baird secured is made available for expenditure by the National Park Service.  When the sale is finalized tomorrow, Lewis and Clark National Historic Park will be on its way to near completion.  

“The Lewis and Clark land acquisition will enhance the Park’s allure and educate Americans and visitors from around the world about the important history of Lewis and Clark,” said Congressman Baird.  “This project will bring jobs and tourism dollars to our region and protect Southwest Washington’s natural resources for future generations to enjoy.” 

Congressman Baird introduced legislation to authorize and create the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.  The bill received broad support from local communities, state and federal government representatives, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.  On July 19, 2004 the bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives with unanimous support.  Senator Maria Cantwell’s leadership helped guide similar legislation through the Senate and the bill was signed into law on October 30, 2004.

“Clark's Dismal Nitch and the lands and waters traveled by Lewis and Clark are an integral part of our nation's natural and cultural heritage and our economic future,” said The Conservation Fund's Northwest Regional Vice President, Mark Elsbree.  “Thanks to the leadership of Congressman Baird and the entire Washington congressional delegation, and the vision and support of our partners, we are ensuring the protection of historic resources, safeguarding important wildlife habitat, and enhancing public recreation areas for future generations.”