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Submitted photo Paige Cruz, second from right, attends the dedication of the Lewis and Clark trail’s new eastern terminus in Pittsburgh.

The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation recently announced the Lewis and Clark Eastern Legacy Committee as the recipient of the foundation’s Meritorious Achievement Award at its 51st annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sept. 25. Members of the committee are Chairwoman Paige Cruz of Huntington; Michael Loesch of Mason, Ohio; Jerry Wilson of Versailles, Indiana; and Phyllis Yeager of Floyd’s Knob, Indiana.

Under the leadership of the Eastern Legacy Committee, the 3,700-mile Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail was lengthened by 1,200 miles from Wood River, Illinois, on the Mississippi River, back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Meriwether Lewis and his expedition members launched their newly built keelboat on the Ohio River.

President Donald Trump signed the Eastern Extension to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail into law March 12 as part of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation Management and Recreation Act, which contains more than 100 pieces of land and conservation legislation. The federally recognized trail now passes through portions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

Volunteers with the nonprofit Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, under the guidance of the Eastern Legacy Committee, played a significant role in helping to shepherd the legislation through Congress, writing letters and talking with their congressional representatives to encourage the legislation’s movement through the House and Senate.

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