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House to Consider V.I. Cattle Ranch as National Park

Sept. 21, 2004 – The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill giving the Secretary of the Interior permission to review Castle Nugent Farms on St. Croix, the territory's largest privately owned land mass, as a national park.
Delegate Donna M. Christensen sponsored the bill. The study could start as soon as the bill is passed by the U.S. Senate, Brian Modeste, Christensen's spokesman, said.
Castle Nugent Farms, a 1,350-acre cattle ranch, is home to both pre-Columbian and colonial Danish architecture, Caribbean dry forest and four miles of beachfront.
Addressing the House, Christensen said designation of the land as a national park "could provide an unparalleled insight into the colonial influences on the area."
Rep. Steve Pearce, a Republican from New Mexico, urged support for the bill.
It was not immediately clear when the Senate would address the bill. Looming before the House is Christensen's controversial Chief Financial Officer legislation that would appoint a financial overseer for the territory. Modeste said the house will likely consider the bill before the end of the month.

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