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Senate Hearing for Parkway Bill
Posted by helen on June 15th, 2012
Update: Thank you to everyone who sent in letters! Check back soon for an update on the progress of our bill.
We need your help to tell our representatives in Washington why they must support passage of this bill and designate the Parkway as a National Heritage Area (NHA).Senator Kohl’s bill (S. 2158), the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway National Heritage Area Act of 2012, will be taken into hearing on Wednesday, June 27. The Subcommittee on National Parks has opened up the opportunity for public an organizational comment.
Please take a few minutes to issue a statement of your support via MS-Word document for the record. Email this document as an attachment to Jake McCook at Jake_McCook@energy.senate.gov by June 27.
This is an exciting step in the process to designate the Parkway as an NHA and one of the few that the public can have direct input.
We ask you with urgency to please send a letter of support.
History of our Bill
The Parkway is currently seeking National Heritage Area (NHA) status. This is a designation given by the National Park Service (NPS) and comes with technical assistance, national marketing and exposure.
In 2009, after over a year of research by an executive committee, the Parkway successfully submitted a feasibility study to examine the Parkway’s potential for this designation to the NPS and Congress. In 2010, with full support from a bipartisan delegation, legislation was drafted and submitted to the 112th Congress. Due to turnover in the elections, the bill to authorize the Parkway as a NHA was resubmitted in March 2012 by Senator Herb Kohl and Congressman Tom Petri. The bills are now working its way through the committee process.
This is what the NPS had to say about the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway’s feasibility for designation as a NHA:
This feasibility assessment, when compared to other recent studies produced by the National Park Service, is stronger than most. It documents a robust list of partners already working together, a region that not only paid for their own feasibility study but is now beginning a regional interpretive plan, also out of pocket. They identified a list of strengths greater than many NHAs currently designated and are poised for success. We recommend that the National Park Service testify in favor of their designation while, at the same time, recommending deferred designation until program legislations is passed.
If designation is granted, the Parkway would receive technical support from the NPS, placement on their website and NPS promotional materials and a modest amount of funding which must be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Parkway. A primary benefit for the Parkway would be an increase in heritage tourism. Once the designation is received, the Parkway will remain a locally run 501(c)(3) while receiving support from the NPS.