2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the National Heritage Areas program. Conceived as a way to cross the culture – nature divide, heritage areas stretch beyond political boundaries to tell landscape scale histories and protect regional environmental resources. The areas tell stories that are too big, too gritty, too alive and too expensive to be confined within a traditional national park unit. Yet, heritage areas have been consistently hammered by shrinking federal budgets, questions about the proper role of government, and even their right to exist. Read more about how the LLO plans to mark this important anniversary.
Each year shorebirds use habitats across a vast geography, undertaking some of the longest migrations of any animals on earth. Atlantic Flyway shorebirds are exposed to a diverse set of human-induced threats like habitat loss and change, hunting in the Caribbean, and predators. Effective shorebird conservation thus requires a wide-ranging approach to identify and reduce these threats at sites all along the flyway. Only with such a flyway-scale approach can we reverse the serious declines we are witnessing in many of our shorebird populations.
Interested in the roots of National Heritage Areas? Check out these proceedings from a 1983 conference on greenline and urbanline parks.
Congress designated the first National Heritage Corridor 30 years ago, but still has yet to pass comprehensive heritage area program legislation. While the lack of a unifying policy framework has not hindered new heritage area designations, it has been raised as a justification to cut the NHA budget and to challenge the very legitimacy of the heritage area model. What is the history of NHA program legislation and what – if anything – should be done to promote a more sweeping heritage area policy bill?
In this piece Guest Observer Rolf Diamant examines the Presidio of San Francisco. The 1,500-acre former military post is national parkland managed jointly by the federally chartered Presidio Trust and NPS, nested within the much larger Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
In the late 1970′s, New York State began to experiment with urban cultural parks, an idea that would eventually evolve into a system of 20 designated heritage areas. In the past three decades, support for the program has waxed and waned, with recent years marking an especially low point in state support.