Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today introduced legislation that would authorize the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a study on whether the Hudson River Valley should become a unit of the National Park system. This designation would provide significant resources to the Hudson River Valley, including increased federal funding for environmental conservation and economic development programs, and would increase tourism to the area. Rep. Maurice Hinchey sponsored the House of Representatives version and cosponsors include Reps. Eliot Engel, John Hall, Nita Lowey, Scott Murphy, and Paul Tonko.
“We’re still unlocking the Hudson River Valley’s potential,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Hudson River Valley is truly one of America’s richest treasures. From the Adirondacks to the busy ports of New York City, the Hudson River fuels our economy, inspires our artists, and provides New Yorkers with miles of adventure and endless recreation. As New York’s first Senator from Upstate in nearly 40 years, I will always work to preserve the beauty and tradition of the Hudson River Valley.”
The Hudson River Valley possesses important and unique cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic resources. There are many critically sensitive natural resources encompassed by the Hudson River Valley, ranging from the River itself to its vast estuarine district, wetlands, refuges, parks, forests, farmlands, mountains, and valleys. The River and its tributaries are also home to a number of rare and threatened animal species, habitats, and plants.
Senator Gillibrand’s legislation would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to evaluate resources in the Hudson River Valley to determine the suitability and feasibility of establishing the site as a unit of the National Park System. Specifically, this legislation would:
- Conduct a special resource study of the area of the Hudson River from Rodgers Island at Fort Edward to the southern-most boundary of Westchester County
- Evaluate the national significance of the area, as well as the suitability and feasibility of designating the area as a unit of the National Park System.
- Examine existing park unit models that encompass large areas of non-Federal lands within their boundaries, while protecting the rights of private land owners.