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Proposal afoot to merge two national parks

By Sally Voth

A proposal to realign Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park with Shenandoah National Park will be discussed during a Dec. 20 park advisory commission meeting in Strasburg.

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park's advisory commission's meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. and will be at the Strasburg Town Hall, according to a news release from the National Park Service.

"Part of the proposal that the National Park Service is making is sort of combining our national park with Shenandoah National Park," Diann Jacox, superintendent of the Middletown park said on Wednesday.

She said the proposal came from Gay Vietzke, deputy director of the National Park Service's Northeast Region.

The park advisory commission was written into the legislation that created the 10-year-old park, said Jacox. She said it has 15 members, although some of the seats are vacant.

A bill signed by President Bush created the new national park in December 2002. The National Park Service worked with various partners to create and manage the park: Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation, Cedar Creek Battlefields Foundation, Belle Grove Inc., National Trust for Historic Preservation and Shenandoah County. The park includes land in Shenandoah, Warren and Frederick counties.

Jacox said she is retiring Jan. 3, the same date the superintendent of Shenandoah National Park, Martha Bogle, is retiring.

"We're both retiring on the same day, and I think they took that opportunity to rethink how things were going to work," Jacox said.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com


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