Legislation was introduced last week in the U.S. Senate which would change the New River Gorge’s designation from the “New River Gorge National River” to the “New River Gorge National Park.” 

The designation currently includes more than 70,000 acres of land along 53 miles of the New River. The legislation, aims to encourage tourism and boost the region’s economy. 

“The New River Gorge is a special part of West Virginia and a real source of pride for our state,” U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said in a release. “Whether it’s cheering on the BASE jumpers at Bridge Day, experiencing the thrill of world-class whitewater rafting, or taking in the beautiful panoramic views, the New River Gorge provides unlimited opportunities for thousands of visitors each year,” Capito said. 

“Redesignating the National River to a National Park will shine a light on the New River Gorge and its many offerings to help drive tourism and spur the local and regional economy.”