Byron to introduce battlefield bill


U.S. Rep. Beverly Byron, D-Md., said she plans to introduce legislation to expand the Antietam National Battlefield boundary by 95 acres.

The boundary expansion would encompass farmland west of Md. 65 that is owned by the Conservation Fund. The fund wants to donate the land to the National Park Service, but the park service can't accept land until it is inside its congressionally approved boundary.

Mrs. Byron's decision, was greeted with disappointment by neighboring property owners, especially 18 homeowners whose property will become fully encircled by National Park Service land once the acquisition is complete. They believe it is only a matter of time before their houses are bought or condemned.

"We have had no say in this whatsoever; it's been a done deal from the word go," homeowner Ken Rohrer said at a Monday night meeting of the Sharpsburg Town Council.

The council voted to oppose the acquisition and send letters to congressional representatives noting their disapproval.

Mrs. Byron and the park service have denied interest in condemning the houses.

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