law won’t allow Niagara Falls on new quarter
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
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.