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NPS to perform study on battlefield

By Staff | Feb 17, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Park Service is conducting a special resource study of Shepherdstown Battlefield, which is located outside town limits. As part of the study, the NPS will hold two public meetings to explain the history and the study process of the two-day Shepherdstown battle and provide an opportunity for public comment. These informational meetings will be held in an open-house format.

The first meeting will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Stephen T. Mather Training Center in Harpers Ferry. The next meeting will take place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Shepherdstown.

Historian Thomas McGrath, author of “Shepherdstown: Last Clash of the Antietam Campaign, Sept. 19-20, 1862,” will present research on the events that occurred during the two-day Shepherdstown battle. For directions and details about the meetings and study, or in case of rescheduling due to bad weather, please go to www.parkplanning.nps.gov/SHBA.

Congress directed the NPS to complete this special resource study on Shepherdstown Battlefield in order to assess the potential of its inclusion within the National Park system (as an addition to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park or Antietam National Battlefield). The special resource study will evaluate the battlefield based upon the battle’s significance to U.S. history and whether the NPS should manage the area for resource preservation and public use. The study will also assess public support and alternative strategies to NPS ownership and management. The findings of the study will be reported to Congress, who will make the final decision on whether it will be included in the National Park System.

The 30-day public comment period will take place from now to March 13 to solicit public comments on this proposed study. The public is invited to identify concerns they may have with the proposed study verbally or in writing, at the public open houses. Written comments can be submitted electronically at the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/SHBA or by mail to Regional Director, National Capital Region, Attn: David Hayes, National Park Service, 1100 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 20242. Written comments must be postmarked by March 13.