A bipartisan bill, introduced by Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24), aims to designate the Finger Lakes as a National Heritage Area.
This move has garnered extensive support from several New York politicians, with the objective of both boosting tourism-driven economic growth and preserving the rich history of the region.
Unlike National Parks, National Heritage Areas are expansive, inhabited regions recognized for their cultural, natural, or historical significance.
The bill, which encompasses 14 counties including Cayuga, Monroe, and Tompkins, is co-sponsored by Congressman Joe Morelle (NY-25), Congressman Nick Langworthy (NY-23), and Congressman Anthony D’Esposito (NY-04). In the Senate, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) champions the effort.
The Finger Lakes area has deep-rooted connections to pivotal national movements, including women’s suffrage and the abolitionist movement.
The introduction of the bill has been lauded by local leaders, including Leslie Church, chairwoman of the Yates County Legislature, who emphasized both the potential financial benefits and the acknowledgment of the Finger Lakes as a national gem.
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