ILWACO - There is $375,000 to finish Discovery Trail included in a federal spending plan, but it is part of legislation threatened with a presidential veto.
The money, which would pay for paving and other work on the Long Beach-Seaview-Ilwaco trail, is in the fiscal year 2008 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, a fan of the trail, has shepherded the appropriation through the U.S. House. The bill awaits U.S. Senate action.
"The Lewis and Clark National Park is an important part of our community; it brings jobs and tourism dollars to our region and helps educate visitors about the important history of Lewis and Clark," Baird said. "The Discovery Trail is critical to realizing the overall vision for the Park and provides residents and visitors a safe route to communities along the Lewis and Clark Trail."
The Discovery Trail is a 35-mile linear trail, which will ultimately connect units of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, including Cape Disappointment, Ft. Columbia, Station Camp and Dismal Nitch.
The Discovery Trail provides visitors and residents of Pacific County57;s Long Beach Peninsula an alternative transportation corridor since US 101 and SR 100 Loop routes do not have adequate capacity to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.
This funding will permit the completion of the construction of the Discovery Trail, Phase I, between Seaview and Ilwaco. Planning, design, engineering, and right of way activities have been completed.
In 2004, Congressman Baird led the effort to create the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. The establishment of this park ensures that sites on both sides of the Columbia River are recognized for their role in Lewis and Clark57;s journey. The bill received broad support from local communities, state, and federal government representatives and the US Department of the Interior. In 2007, funding was allocated for the Station Camp conservation easement, which completes the Park57;s land acquisition plan.
The park incorporates an existing Park Service site at Fort Clatsop in Oregon and three Washington state sites: Cape Disappointment State Park (formerly Fort Canby), Megler57;s Rest Area, and Station Camp near McGowan, Washington.