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Mint says law won’t allow Niagara Falls on new quarter series
Paterson, Schumerpush for exception
By Maki Becker

Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most iconic natural landmarks. Gov. David A. Paterson and Sen. Charles E. Schumer think the cascading falls would make an ideal pick to grace New York’s quarter in the upcoming America’s Beautiful National Parks quarters series.

But the U. S. Mint says no.

That’s because Niagara Falls is a state park, not a national park.

The selection process requires that images chosen for the quarters must be national sites “under the supervision, management or conservancy of the National Parks Service, the U. S. Forest Service, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or any similar department or agency of the federal government,” according to the Mint.

Mint officials say that their hands are tied and that it’s up to Congress to amend the law if members want nonnational parks included.

But Paterson and Schumer believe that the Mint has some discretion in making the final decision. “We believe the Mint, at the highest level, can make an exception for Niagara Falls,” Max Young, a Schumer spokesman said.

A couple of months ago, Paterson submitted the falls as his top choice for New York’s next quarter, but the Mint rejected his selection.

Paterson believes that Niagara Falls’ historic status as the “very first state park in the U. S.” and its National Historic Landmark status should qualify it for the quarter.

“Since its nomination earlier this spring, the administration has made the case for its qualification in the program and strongly urges its approval by the U. S. Mint,” Paterson said in a statement.

Wednesday, Schumer sent a letter to Mint Director Edmund C. Moy urging him to allow Niagara Falls to be considered. “Ensuring that these sites of national prominence and significance can be included in this program is clearly within the spirit of the law and the program,” he wrote.


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