Congress Funds Harpers Ferry Expansion (WV)

Washington, DC – November 22, 2004- The Trust for Public Land (TPL) celebrated the appropriation of $2.9 million for the protection of important civil war lands through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund for inclusion in the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The funding will enable the National Park Service to purchase the 75-acre Ott property and other historic properties located on School House Ridge, where Stonewall Jackson placed nearly 15,000 men during his 1862 advance on Harpers Ferry.

U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, led the effort in Congress to include key funding for protection of this vital historic landscape. “Getting these critical protection funds at the 11th hour is nothing short of miraculous,” said Alan Front, Sr. Vice President for the Trust for Public Land. “It’s really an affirmation of the unique place that School House Ridge holds in our nation’s history. And it demonstrates once again that Senator Byrd’s long experience and seniority in the appropriations process, his effective commitment to key resource lands at Harpers Ferry and elsewhere across the state and across the country, and the energy of West Virginia’s Congressional delegation in preserving these irreplaceable public assets can indeed work wonders. As a result, a crucial part of our history will not be lost.”

The funding was included in the Interior Appropriations section of the Omnibus Appropriations legislative package that was approved by Congress on November 20th. The bill will head to the President for signature.

The authorizing legislation to expand the boundary of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and allow these properties to be protected was passed by Congress in September 2004, also with the strong support of Senator Byrd, Representative Shelley Moore Capito, and other members of the West Virginia Congressional delegation.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national, nonprofit land-conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Established in 1972, TPL is the only national nonprofit working exclusively to protect land for public enjoyment and use. In West Virginia, TPL has a twenty-year history of working with landowners, communities, government agencies and other conservation partners to protect important natural and historic resources resulting in the conservation of over 65,000 acres of high priority lands that provide a wide range of public benefits. For more information, visit TPL on the web at

Note to editors: To request a photo of the Ott property to be sent via email, contact Nicole Schimpf at (202) 543-7552, ext 31 or