East Hawaii News

Sen. Schatz Introduces Bill to Expand Hawaii’s National Parks

March 20, 2013, 12:19 PM HST
* Updated March 20, 3:29 PM
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Senator Brian Schatz has introduced his first bill in the United States Senate.

The “Pacific Islands Park Act of 2013” would direct the National Park Service to complete the studies of three designated sites in the state of Hawai`i that could become future national parks.

The bill also pushes for studies on Midway Atoll, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau.

Sen. Schatz commented on the measure in a statement released by his office, saying “It is my hope that this legislation will begin a conversation about what sites should become national parks, monuments, trails, preserves, memorials, historic sites, and other public land designations.”

Schatz notes that Hawai`i’ is currently home to seven national parks that brought in an estimated $259 million in revenue in 2011.

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According to the National Park Service, $96.7 million of that total can be attributed to activities surrounding Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

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Schatz is inviting the public to weigh in on potential new park sites by visiting his website at http://www.schatz.senate.gov/contact.cfm and selecting “new parks” from the drop-down menu.

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