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Letter from James V. Hansen, Chairman, Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands, to Honorable Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior, dated January 25, 1999:

Honorable Bruce Babbitt
Secretary of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20240-00001

Dear Secretary Babbitt,

It has come to my attention that there are numerous and significant problems associated with the Gettysburg National Military Park and the general management plan (GMP). These problems are contained in both the substance and the procedure of the GMP, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) associated with the GMP, and the planned construction of the visitor's center. Without hesitation, I can tell you that there is very strong opposition being voiced by the local government, businesses, and the community at large, including Civil War interest groups, to the preferred alternative found in the EIS and the way that the entire public process has progressed. Indeed, many contend that the public process has been purposely subverted by those Park personnel leading the GMP and EIS process.

In light of this genuine public outcry and concern, I am strongly and urgently recommending that the current EIS and GMP be withdrawn and the process be suspended until all the facts and issues have been explored. Furthermore, I strongly urge that a new EIS, with a reasonable range of alternatives as per the National Environmental Policy Act, be developed and that a completely open public process be initiated.

It is not too late to correct this fatally flawed document and public process which has been, heretofore, ineffective, to put it mildly. I am calling on you to please advise Gettysburg National Military Park, under your direction, to immediately regard the recommendations stated above. Thank you for your consideration.



James V. Hansen, Chairman
Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands

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