U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced Wednesday that efforts to designate the Finger Lakes region as a National Heritage Area has cleared its first hurdle after it passed the Senate as a provision in the Natural Resources Management Act.
“The Finger Lakes region is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in our state, and it is one of our country’s great historical and cultural treasures,” said Gillibrand, D-N.Y. “A National Heritage Area designation would help further conserve and protect the region’s natural resources and attract even more people from all over the world to the Finger Lakes.”
The legislation, dubbed the Finger Lakes National Heritage Area Study Act, authorizes the National Park Service to conduct a feasibility study in Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne and Yates counties. Gillibrand, New York’s junior senator, initially began pushing for the designation in 2015.
“This study will determine if the Finger Lakes region could qualify to be added to the prestigious list of 49 current National Heritage Areas,” said Cynthia Kimble, president of the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance. “Given our rich background, national resources and historical connection to the nation’s growth, we are hopeful that the next step will be the designation of the Finger Lakes as a National Heritage Area.”
The Ithaca Journal: