national parks

Miguel Vieira / Flickr

Several Northwest land deals cleared Congress Friday with the Senate's final vote on a defense spending bill.

The land deals were tacked onto a $585 billion military spending package. They included large expansions for Oregon Caves National Monument and Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington. They also created a new national historical park at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. 

But Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio said there's one major land deal missing from the package.

Congress has approved a new national park in Washington state that commemorates the Manhattan Project at Hanford.

The defense spending bill passed by Congress Friday included the biggest expansion of the national parks system in decades.

If this bill is signed into law by President Obama, it could bring thousands more visitors to the B Reactor at the Hanford Site. The reactor was the first full scale nuclear reactor and was built during World War II.

100,000 people visited the museum last year through the Department of Energy tours.

Umptanum / Wikimedia Commons

The Yakama Nation and neighboring tribes have strongly objected to a congressional move to offer public access to a place tribal members consider sacred. That place is the scenic summit of Rattlesnake Mountain in the Hanford Reach National Monument.

U.S. Department of Energy

A bill that passed Thursday in the U.S. House included big changes for the Tri-Cities. The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2015 would create a new set of national parks in honor of the top secret Manhattan Project.

That would include a museum at Hanford and other historical sites.

Officials in the Tri-Cities haven’t broken out the bourbon to toast quite yet. This national defense bill still has to pass the Senate intact. And it must be signed off by President Obama.