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C&O Canal landowners hold rally

October 13, 1999

WILLIAMSPORT - A group of property owners facing eviction by the National Park Service will hold a rally Friday afternoon at the C&O Canal Cushwa Basin.

The homes of about 70 families along the C&O Canal are at risk of being condemned because of their proximity to the canal, said Blaine Weaver, whose summer cabin is one of those targeted.

The National park service purchased the properties from the landowners in the 1970s and then negotiated contracts that allowed the residents to live on the property for a specified time. Many of those contracts are set to expire and the Park Service will not extend or renegotiate them, he said.

Chuck Cushman, executive director of the American Land Rights Association, will speak to residents at 9:30 a.m. at the community room of the Byron Memorial Park in Williamsport and will lead the rally at 11:30 a.m.

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ALRA is a nationwide grassroots organization of people concerned with the federal government's land use policies.

The C&O Canal was designated a National Park in 1971 but many of the homes have been there since the 1950s, said Weaver.

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