PASCRELL'S PATERSON GREAT FALLS NATIONAL PARK ACT APPROVED FOR HOUSE FLOOR CONSIDERATION
Plans by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) to create a national park in the City of Paterson took a significant leap forward today in the House of Representatives when the House Committee on Natural Resources approved the Paterson Great Falls National Park Act.
An amendment to designate the Great Falls Historic District as an affiliated site' of the National Park Service instead of a full National Park was overwhelmingly defeated by a bipartisan vote of 25-11.
"I thank my colleagues in the House Natural Resources Committee for overwhelmingly approving the Paterson Great Falls National Park Act," stated Pascrell. "The support which this bill received from Representatives all over the country validates the deep national significance of the Paterson Great Falls."
New Jersey's House Natural Resource Committee Members U.S Reps. Jim Saxton (R-NJ-03), Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06) and Rush Holt (D-NJ-12) were amongst several members to speak on behalf of the bill.
Specifically, the legislation would create the national park and provide for public participation in its management:
* The National Park would encompass about 109 acres and include the Great Falls National Historic District.
* The Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park Commission would be created to assist and advise the Secretary of Interior Department in the development and implementation of the general management plan for the park.
Membership on the Commission would consist of nine members appointed by the Secretary of the Interior Department
· Four members would be nominated by the Governor of the State of New Jersey
· Two members would be nominated by the City Council of Paterson
· One member would be nominated by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders
· Two members shall be qualified to serve on the Commission because of their familiarity with national parks and historic preservation.
Members of the Commission will serve three year terms free of pay.
The Natural Resources Committee will now report the Paterson Great Falls Act to the full House of Representatives where it will be considered for a vote on the House floor.
"Paterson's national park is about to hit the homestretch in the House of Representatives. I am determined to continue standing on behalf of the people of Paterson and showcase our city's historical significance and natural splendor before all of America. A national park designation in Paterson would be an incredibly important economic engine for our local, county, and state economies," concluded Pascrell.
U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez are the main sponsors of the Paterson Great Falls National Park Act in the United States Senate.