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.
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.
On the Thirtieth Anniversary of the National Heritage Areas (NHA), one thing we can celebrate is that the program is still alive and still funded. In the 2014 federal budget, the 49 NHAs felt fortunate to receive an appropriation of $18.2 million as the administration’s FY 2014 request to Congress was for only $9 million. [...]
A new crowd-sourced art project invites contributors from around the world to submit posters celebrating national parks and other sites and landscapes in the United States. Reflections on the origins of the first “See America” campaigns as well as a few wishes for what the current incarnation might include.
Within the Park Service budget is a very important program that helps to permanently protect land and water for all Americans, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Unfortunately, LWCF has only been fully funded a handful of times – despite its record of having protected over 5 million acres of public lands. Find out more about it did in this year’s budget.