In eastern Australia where coal seam gas [CSG] has become a new industry in the last 10 years, the land is the battleground: grazing country, cropping country, state forest, water catchment areas, rural residential blocks and even urban areas. Gas miners through development approvals have the rights to the mineral resources underground, all government- owned in this country, and prevail over the rights of landowners on the surface.
Now that New York state has five National Heritage Areas — including the cultural landscapes of the Hudson River with its renowned 19th-century art school; the Erie Canal that initiated a new era in labor, transportation and commerce; and Niagara Falls, one of the nation’s best known natural icons — it is time for Congress to designate the Adirondack Park a National Heritage Area, too. This designation does not call for land use regulation or other restrictions. It is a means to foster recognition of heritage and education of this great American landscape.
Learn more about the World Heritage program in the United States. The National Park Service has just released a new travel itinerary featuring all the U.S. World Heritage Sites so start planning your next vacation and for younger visitors there is the World Heritage Junior Ranger program.
What does it mean for new types of parks and protected areas, like heritage areas, to be financially “sustainable”? Is that the best approach to the conservation of complex, lived-in landscapes or does it lead to unrealistic goals, especially in the realms of fundraising and yearly operating budgets.
Congress wrapped up the 2014 session with two big Christmas tree bills with lots of presents for the National Heritage Areas (NHA). The first was the National Defense Authorization Act, which extended National Park funding for fifteen of the National Heritage Areas. Then a couple of days later along came the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for 2015, which increased funding for the program from the administration’s original 2015 request of $9.2 to $20.3 million dollars.