< Back to H.Con.Res. 294 (111th Congress, 2009–2010)

Text of Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This resolution was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on September 22, 2010 but was never passed by the Senate. The text of the bill below is as of Sep 23, 2010 (Referred to Senate Committee).

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Source: GPO

III

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. CON. RES. 294

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 23, 2010

Received; referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Whereas the Blue Ridge Parkway links the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Shenandoah National Park, providing 469 scenic miles for motor recreation along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and Virginia;

Whereas North Carolina state geologist Joseph Hyde Pratt first proposed a scenic road along the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1906;

Whereas, on November 24, 1933, at the recommendation of Virginia Senator Harry Byrd, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes approved construction of the new highway to connect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the Shenandoah National Park;

Whereas, on September 11, 1935, construction began on the first 12.5-mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Cumberland Knob in North Carolina;

Whereas Stanley L. Abbott is widely remembered as the father of the Blue Ridge Parkway for his work to oversee planning of the project;

Whereas the Blue Ridge Parkway was established by Congress as a unit of the National Park Service on June 30, 1936;

Whereas the National Park Service development program, “Mission 66”, oversaw the completion of most remaining gaps along the Blue Ridge Parkway during the 1950s and 1960s;

Whereas the Blue Ridge Parkway's final stretch of road was completed in 1987 with the construction of the Linn Cove Viaduct;

Whereas the Blue Ridge Parkway provides recreational opportunities for American families at picnic areas, campgrounds, and on scenic drives through Appalachian mountain passes;

Whereas the diverse topography and numerous vista points along the Blue Ridge Parkway make it the most accessible way to visit and experience Southern Appalachian rural landscapes and mountains;

Whereas the Parkway is world-renowned for its biodiversity, which includes 74 species of mammals, 50 salamander species, 35 reptile species, 159 species of birds and 25 species of fish;

Whereas the Blue Ridge Parkway is the most visited unit of the National Park Service with nearly 20 million visitors each year;

Whereas the Blue Ridge Parkway promotes regional travel and tourism by unifying the 29 counties through which it passes, engendering a shared regional identity, providing a common link of interest, and contributing to the economic vitality of the area;

Whereas the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the strongest economic engines in the Southern Appalachian region, generating an estimated $2.3 billion in North Carolina and Virginia annually;

Whereas the Blue Ridge Parkway has received volunteer support from thousands of Virginians and North Carolinians, including 1,400 volunteers in 2008 who provided more than 50,000 hours of service;

Whereas the Blue Ridge Parkway is a great public works achievement that maintains natural, historic, and cultural significance for the people of Virginia and North Carolina; and

Whereas this crown jewel of the National Park Service deserves the support of Congress to preserve its ecological and cultural integrity, maintain its infrastructure, and protect its famously scenic views: Now, therefore, be it

That Congress—

(1)

commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway; and

(2)

acknowledges the historic and enduring scenic, recreational, and economic value of this unique national treasure.

Passed the House of Representatives September 22, 2010.

Lorraine C. Miller,

Clerk.