WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today released the text of a letter directed to National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis calling for additional information on how the agency plans to manage the implementation of the newly established Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park (NHP) on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
“The implementation of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park needs to proceed with the same meticulous planning and extensive public engagement that went into its establishment,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and author of the 2014 legislation establishing the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park. “Our goal is to build and broaden consensus on the management plan for the park and to ensure that local residents are a continued part of the stewardship of its landscapes.”
Specifically, Senator Cardin requests written clarification on the National Park Service’s proposed management, land use, administration and land acquisition procedures. Senator Cardin also calls for more detail on the agency’s plans for coordination with its fellow Department of the Interior agencies, like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manage nearby lands and waters, like the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.
“We are hearing from local residents concerned about maintaining the agrarian character of the park’s lands, along with questions about historically and culturally significant activities, like farming, forestry, hunting and trapping,” said Senator Cardin. “Local residents want to know what opportunities there will be for them not only participate in the decision making, but how they may partake in permissible activities.”