Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement on the National Park Service opening 14,650 acres of newly-added land at Petrified Forest National Park to the public today:
“Ten years after the passage of the Petrified Forest National Park Expansion Act, I’m pleased that efforts to add new lands to the Park are beginning to be realized. This announcement means the public can enjoy more of the Park’s spectacular fossilized attractions and geological formations.
“Petrified Forest National Park is Arizona’s very own ‘Triassic Park’ – over 220 million years in the making. The Park offers a glimpse back in time when Arizona was a tropical forest near the equator of the supercontinent Pangaea. Visitors can see various paleontological finds, including fossilized plant life, ancient clam beds, and evidence of the earliest dinosaurs, as well as the archeological story of some of North America’s earliest human inhabitants.
“Many more thousands of acres of land inside the Park’s new boundary are believed to be rich in undiscovered paleontological resources and I look forward to more areas being preserved and opened to the public for their enjoyment in the years to come.”
Senator McCain sponsored legislation in the Senate during the 108th Congress known as the Petrified Forest National Park Expansion Act (S. 784/H.R. 1630) that authorized the National Park Service to acquire about 125,000 acres of unprotected paleontological and archeological resources on outlying lands adjacent to the Park. The legislation was signed into law on December 3, 2004 (P.L. 108-43).