National Parks Group Applauds Initiative to Protect Our Civil War Heritage at Petersburg National Battlefield

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   July 12, 2013
Contact:   Pam Goddard, Chesapeake and Virginia Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 202.454.3365 C: 202.604.3781


National Parks Group Applauds Initiative to Protect Our Civil War Heritage at Petersburg National Battlefield

“As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War, the National Parks Conservation Association applauds U.S. Representatives Randy Forbes (VA-4) and Robert Scott (VA-3) for introducing the bipartisan Petersburg National Battlefield Boundary Modification Act (H.R. 2634). This bill will allow significant Civil War battlefield lands to be added to Petersburg National Battlefield, part of the National Park System. We urge members of Congress to support this important bill to create a lasting legacy so that 150 years from now, Americans can visit and learn from these treasured places, where our shared heritage unfolds.

“Civil War battlefields are being destroyed at the alarming rate of 30 acres each day, despite their continued value and meaning to America. Petersburg National Battlefield is under substantial development pressure, and significant sites already have been lost. A comprehensive National Park Service study of the area calls for the addition of 7,238-acres of critical battlefield to the national battlefield. The added lands at Petersburg will protect America’s Civil War history, leave a lasting legacy for future generations, and enhance the park’s ability to attract visitors.  

“Of particular note, over the nine-and-a-half months-long siege, Petersburg saw engagement of some 16,000 U.S. Colored Troops (U.S.C.T), the largest concentration of U.S.C.T. during the Civil War.

“Protecting these lands enjoys strong support among businesses and other leaders in the communities surrounding the national park, in part because protecting these lands would enhance the area’s vital tourism economy. More than 213,000 visitors to the park in 2011 spent more than $11 million in the area, supporting over 150 local jobs. Many more visitors are expected in the upcoming years as commemorating the 150th anniversary at Civil War sites across the country brings new audiences to these places, and increases understanding of their value to our communities.  

“We thank Representatives Randy Forbes (VA-4) and Robert Scott (VA-3) for their leadership to protect Petersburg’s future, and urge members of Congress to support the Petersburg National Battlefield Boundary Modification Act now, before these irreplaceable pieces of our American history are lost forever.”

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