US Coins

Bill calls for National Park Service commems

Legislation that would authorize 1.35 million commemorative coins to mark the 2016 centennial of the establishment of the National Park Service is under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives.

H.R. 5840, the National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act, was introduced May 18 by Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-TN. The legislation was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

The bill seeks not more than 100,000 gold $5 coins, 500,000 silver dollars and 750,000 copper-nickel clad half dollars.

Designs would be emblematic of the National Park Service centennial. Final designs would be selected by the secretary of the Treasury after consultation with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation and the Commission of Fine Arts, and after they are reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

The coins would be dated 2016 and could be struck between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016.

Similar legislation was introduced in 2010 but failed to become law.

The National Park Service was established in 1916 as a bureau within the Department of the Interior to administer America’s national parks and monuments.

Since its establishment the park system has grown from 37 park units with 6 million acres of land in the western United States to more than 395 units with 84 million acres of land in nearly all states and territories.

Each of the $5 coins would bear a $35 surcharge; every dollar coin, a $10 surcharge; and every half dollar, a $5 surcharge.

The surcharges would be paid to the National Park Foundation for “projects and programs that help preserve and protect resources under the stewardship of the National Park Service and promote public enjoyment and appreciation of those resources.”

According to the legislation, proceeds from surcharges cannot be used to acquire additional land. ¦

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