The National Park Service (NPS) has determined that the Finger Lakes region fulfills the criteria for a national heritage area (NHA) designation.
The region, spanning 14 counties in total, underwent a feasibility study assessing its cultural, historical, and natural resources. The study also measured local support for the NHA status and identified the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance as the coordinating entity.
The designation can bring sustainable economic development, community engagement, improved quality of life, environmental stewardship, and educational opportunities, according to the NPS.
The push for the Finger Lakes region to become a national heritage area started in 2017 when U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand proposed a bill mandating a feasibility study by the NPS.
Following the successful completion of this study, Gillibrand announced plans to introduce legislation to officially establish the Finger Lakes National Heritage Area.
Congressional approval is required to designate new national heritage areas.
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