Program Legislation

“National Heritage Areas are considered one of the Department of the Interior’s most cost effective initiatives, relying on a public-private partnership in which every federal dollar is matched with an average of $5.50 in other public and private financing.” —Congressmen Charles Dent (R-PA) & Paul Tonko (D-NY)

The administration of President Ronald Reagan supported the National Heritage Area concept as a cost-effective way of telling America’s stories and conserving the nation’s cultural, natural, and historic resources. For the past 30 years, this approach has been validated as 49 National Heritage Areas around the country have developed dynamic partnerships among local governments, nonprofit groups, and businesses.

The Alliance of National Heritage Areas has worked with the National Park Service and members of Congress to draft the National Heritage Area Act of 2017, H.R. 1002.

What does this bill do?

    • Establishes a standardized set criteria for new NHAs
    • Establishes a rigorous process for existing NHAs to ensure accountability
    • Modernizes the program to ensure long-term sustainability
    • Clearly defines an oversight structure that will allow these popular public/private partnerships to better preserve the nation’s heritage and spur economic growth with minimal federal support
    • Remains consistent with recommendations of both the Bush and Obama administrations

To learn more about the legislation, become a co-sponsor or join the Congressional Caucus, please contact:

Dennis Petersen, Senior Policy Advisor
Congressman Charles W. Dent
P: (202) 225-641

Emily Duhovny, Legislative Assistant
Congressman Paul D. Tonko
P: (202) 225-5076