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NHA@30 National Heritage Areas at Thirty: Help tell the Story

By Brenda Barrett January 30, 2014
Credit: Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor

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.

The Atlantic Coast Flyway: A Highway for Shorebird Migration

By Guest Observer March 31, 2014
The American Oystercatcher, a vibrantly-colored bird seen along the Atlantic Coast. Credit: William Majoros

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.

NHA@30: Key Documents 1983 New York Greenline and Urbanline Parks Conference

By Guest Observer March 30, 2014

Interested in the roots of National Heritage Areas? Check out these proceedings from a 1983 conference on greenline and urbanline parks.

NHA@30: Program Legislation for National Heritage Areas

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?

Letter from Woodstock: The Presidio Matters

By Guest Observer March 2, 2014
Credit: Dan Stern

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.

NHA@30: The Story of Heritage Areas in New York State

Credit: New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

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.