WASHINGTON, D.C. (WOWK) — The New River Gorge National Park and Preservation Designation Act has been included in the year-end legislative package.

According to U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV), the legislation would redesignate the New River Gorge National River as the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

“The New River Gorge is such an important part of West Virginia and a real source of pride in our state. I am thrilled legislation redesignating the National River as a National Park and Preserve is included in this legislative package. Redesignation of the National River to a National Park and Preserve will shine a brighter light on West Virginia and all that it has to offer, and provide another catalyst for our tourism industry and local businesses. I’m grateful to all of the West Virginians—sportsmen, business owners, and constituents—for their feedback and involvement during this entire process. Throughout all of these discussions, it has become clear that this redesignation would bring enormous benefits to the region and those who call it home. I look forward to a strong bipartisan vote on this so we can send this to President Trump’s desk for his signature.”

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

Congress is expected to vote on the year-end legislative package soon. If approved, the Act would make the New River Gorge the 63rd National Park and 20th National Preserve in the United States. The legislators say it would also ensure hunting and fishing opportunities in the area are protected for future generations.

Capito and Manchin first introduced the New River Gorge Park and Preserve Designation Act in Oct. 2019, while Miller introduced a companion bill in the House.

“The New River Gorge is truly one of West Virginia’s most treasured playgrounds and largest tourist attractions because of its whitewater rafting, hunting, fishing, outdoor sports and natural beauty. This designation will increase the international recognition by highlighting West Virginia’s world-class beauty and resources. Over the last two years we have met with outdoorsmen, businesses and local leaders and other interested groups to ensure this designation will promote the beauty and rich history of the New River Gorge, while ensuring that the longstanding traditions of hunting and fishing are protected for generations to come.”

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

The legislators say redesignating the New River Gorge will promote the beauty and historical significance of the area. The Act would create a 65,165-acre Preserve and a 7,021-acre Park. The legilsation would also keep 301 acres of the Lower Gorge open following requests from hunters while opening up 368 acres in Grandview for hunting.

The legislation would also authorize the National Park System to bid on up to 3,711 acres of additional land for the Preserve and acquire up to 100 acres for parking, which the legislators say is needed due to an increase in visitors.

“I am excited to see our legislation to redesignate the New River Gorge as a National Park and Preserve be voted on. The New River Gorge is home to all West Virginia has to offer – our beauty, small businesses, and adventurous tourism opportunities. This legislation will preserve and protect the New River Gorge for generations to come and make our state an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV)