Incorporating two Civil War sites in Kentucky as part of the National Parks System is among the provisions included in the Natural Resources Management Act that will be voted on Monday, said U.S. Senate Majority U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Camp Nelson and the Mill Springs Battlefield are the two sites designated as national monuments, he said.
McConnell and House representatives Hal Rogers and Andy Barr worked together on the legislation.
“By designating these two sites as national monuments, we will ensure that their rich history will be preserved for the education and service of future generations,” McConnell said. “With the support of these communities, prominent historians and Kentucky cultural organizations, I look forward to these treasured lands receiving the recognition and protection they deserve.”
Camp Nelson was established in 1863 in Jessamine County. It would become Kentucky’s top recruiting station and training facility for the Union’s African-American soldiers. In later years, those seeking freedom from slavery fled to the camp.
McConnell’s other provision would protect Mill Springs Battlefield, the site of an 1862 battle that historians remember as the Union’s first significant victory in the West and one of its earliest major victories in the War.
Another key provision calls for federal agencies to develop plans to reduce or eliminate invasive species populations, like Asian Carp. It requires agencies to develop cost effective measures to combat the invasive species and ensures funding is directed to on-the-ground activities in impacted communities, like those surrounding Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.
“I am pleased the measure contains a provision to help combat the Asian Carp population and provides support to bolster our critical efforts to combat the invasive species that clog up Western Kentucky waterways,” McConnell said. “With the leadership of Lyon County Judge/Executive Wade White and Marshall County Judge/Executive Kevin Neal, we are continuing to address these dangerous fish and protect Kentucky’s waters.”
The legislation also helps historically black colleges and universities like Kentucky State University preserve their distinguished contributions to Kentucky communities and it extends the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail into Kentucky.