SENATE PANEL HEARS TESTIMONY ON LAUTENBERG BILL DESIGNATING GREAT FALLS IN PATERSON A NATIONAL PARK
A Senate panel today heard testimony on legislation Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) sponsored to designate the Great Falls in Paterson, New Jersey a National Historic Park. The measure is co-sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The House version of the bill is sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08).
"The Great Falls in Paterson is a landmark that deserves recognition as a national historic park. Giving the Great Falls this designation would go a long way toward recognizing the beauty and history of the site and helping preserve it for future generations," said Sen. Lautenberg.
"The National Park Service says that Paterson's Great Falls are not a suitable addition to the Park Service because its characteristics are found elsewhere in the national park system. I could not disagree more strongly. No other site in the nation more richly represents the remarkable transformation of a rural agrarian society based in slavery into a modern global economy based in freedom. This truly unique park deserves federal recognition and protection," said Sen. Menendez, member of the National Parks Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
"I am honored to testify before the Senate on behalf of the Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park Act," said Rep. Pascrell. "We have moved the legislation through the House Committee process and must do the same here in the Senate. Today's Senate hearing was a significant step forward towards transforming Paterson's Great Falls into a national attraction with the potential to revitalize one of New Jersey's largest and most historic cities. I thank Senator Lautenberg for his leadership in introducing this legislation in the Senate, and commend Senator Menendez for securing this hearing as a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee."
The Lautenberg bill would designate the Great Falls in Paterson a National Historic Park, which would enable the park to receive federal funding. The Great Falls are the second highest waterfall in the Eastern United States. Paterson was America's first planned manufacturing city and was Alexander Hamilton's vision of what the American industrial economy should look like.
Rep. Pascrell, the House sponsor of Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park Act, testified on behalf of the legislation before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
On June 28, the House Committee on Natural Resources approved the legislation for consideration by the full House of Representatives.