|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||May 17, 2012|
|Contact:||Perry Wheeler, Senior Media Relations Coordinator, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-419-3712|
U.S. House of Representatives Takes Important Step toward San Antonio Missions Expansion
Statement by NPCA Texas Regional Director Suzanne Dixon
“Today, in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands will hold a hearing on HR 3100 – the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Boundary Expansion Act. The National Parks Conservation Association strongly supports this bill, which could both enhance the experience of visitors to the Missions and vastly expand the park’s economic impact on the city of San Antonio.
“This bill authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to study lands in Bexar and Wilson counties that have significant natural, cultural, scenic, and recreational values, for potential inclusion within the boundaries of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. It also modifies the current boundary of the park to include an additional 151 acres. Significantly, no land condemnation or use of eminent domain will be used to acquire lands and only willing sellers will participate in any boundary expansion.
“As shown through NPCA’s economic impact study at the park in 2011, San Antonio Missions already provides tremendous benefits for its surrounding communities – and could vastly expand on its impact with park expansion. In 2009, the park helped generate $98.8 million in economic activity and supported 1,116 jobs. By enacting or completing key initiatives connected to park expansion, the San Antonio Missions could more than double its economic impact by 2016 – creating jobs and increasing visitor spending.
“Representative Francisco Canseco deserves praise for his leadership on this legislation in the House. He introduced the bill, which is co-sponsored by Representatives Henry Cuellar, Charles Gonzalez, Lamar Smith, Pete Sessions and Lloyd Doggett – showing tremendous backing from our Texas delegation. It has received bipartisan support, and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has championed a companion bill in the Senate. Today’s hearing is an important step toward ensuring our regional treasure is adequately protected for future generations.”