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Senate panel approves funds for C&O Canal, Antietam

June 27, 1998

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved funding to protect land around the C&O Canal and Antietam National Battlefield.

The committee approved $1 million to buy land at the battlefield near Sharpsburg and $250,000 to buy land at the canal, U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes, announced.

The C&O Canal is updating its preservation plan, said park Superintendent Doug Faris.

The money could be used to protect sites like 28-acre Dellinger's Neck downstream from Williamsport, where the rare and endangered plant trillium grows, he said.

The park also would like to buy eight acres at Ferry Hill near Sharpsburg, home of the Historic Antietam Cement Mill Lime Kiln, and the old Antietam Ironworks located on five acres at the mouth of Antietam Creek, he said.

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The Appropriations Committee also approved $1.2 million for the C&O Canal Terminus in Cumberland, Md., the two Democratic senators from Maryland said. The money will be used to move the visitor's center and develop new museum exhibits there.

"The C&O Canal and Antietam Battlefield are vital parts of Maryland's rich heritage," Mikulski said. "This funding is a victory for the preservation of that heritage. The funds will not only boost efforts to preserve and improve these parks but will also boost the tourist economy that is rapidly growing in Western Maryland."

The funding bill will go to the Senate for a vote after the July 4 recess, and the federal budget is scheduled to be approved this fall.

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