By Angel Cushing for Protect The Harvest
National Heritage Areas are federal jurisdictions designated by Congress. There are 55 National Heritage Areas in the United States, with more currently seeking approval by Congress. If you were to do an internet search for information on National Heritage Areas, you are not likely to get past the feel-good press descriptions produced by the National Park Service. You will notice that all 55 National Heritage Areas sound just like the National Park Service though; they claim to be independent of the National Park Service and the US Department of the Interior.
Like all other federal land jurisdictions, National Heritage Areas come with federal Land Management Plans. Land Management Plans are not created until after the map has been created and signed into law.
Above map of National Heritage Areas found on the National Park Service website
The Misuse of Eminent Domain to Expand National Parks and Monuments
The National Park Service and Department of Interior are quick to point out that President Ronald Reagan created National Heritage Areas. They are correct and it was the result of a compromise. For more than 10 years throughout the 1960s and 70s, the National Park Service created inventory lists and used them to reach the goals of the Outdoor Recreation Review Commission of 1962.
As a direct result,