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Good Morning. I'm Senator Mike Enzi from Wyoming and I would like to thank Director Fore for inviting Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell and me to say a few words today. I'm sorry I am not able to be there in person. Senator Campbell has been in Colorado for the designation of Sand Dunes National Park and another event with President Bush this week so Senator Campbell was unable to join me in this message.

Both of us are very big supporters of the nickel redesign initiative. We believe that the images of the Lewis and Clark adventure on the new nickels have and will help millions of school children throughout our nation to hold history in their hands.

Earlier this year, Senator Campbell and I introduced legislation that would require the new nickel designs to be a three-year initiative. The timing on the original law set forth unrealistic expectations that the mint could turn on a dime to immediately produce new nickels. These nickels are why we need more designs for the Lewis and Clark series. In addition, we strongly believed that one of the new designs for the nickel should be the American Bison and included that in our legislation.

A fitting honor for the American Bison would be to restore the image on the back of the nickel and we hope that is the design choice for the newest nickel. We believe the bison nickel would inspire school children to recognize the importance of our western heritage, the importance of the bison in Native American culture, and the importance of the public/private efforts to restore the American bison from virtual extinction. While our nation's symbol is the bald eagle, an enduring symbol of the West is the American Bison. Whatever design is chosen though, we are pleased that the nickel redesign initiative is moving forward. It is good for the nation.

I would also like to personally acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Dick Bratton who served on the citizens coin advisory committee until ill health forced him to give up his seat. His matchless patriotic enthusiasm and all of the coins that he has handed out are an inspiration to us all.

Thanks once again to Director Fore and to all those who made the redesign possible. If the Bison is chosen for the nickels that are minted NEXT year, then, just as the bison has recovered, after 67 years we will have returned this magnificent image of the American West to the nickel.