S.1160, Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area Amendment Act
S. 1472, A bill to reauthorize the Tennessee Civil War Heritage Area
S. 2225, Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Reauthorization Act of 2017
S. 2238, A bill to amend the Ohio & Erie Canal National Heritage Canalway Act of 1996 to repeal the funding limitation
STATEMENT OF P. DANIEL SMITH, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, EXERCISING THE AUTHORITY OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, CONCERNING S. 1160, S. 1472, S. 2225 AND S. 2238, BILLS PROVIDING REVISED AUTHORITIES FOR THE LINCOLN NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA, THE TENNESSEE CIVIL WAR HERITAGE AREA, THE BLUE RIDGE NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA, AND THE OHIO AND ERIE NATIONAL HERITAGE CANALWAY.
February 14, 2018
Chairman Daines, Ranking Member King, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on S. 1160, S. 1472, S. 2225 and S. 2238, bills providing revised authorities for the Lincoln National Heritage Area, the Tennessee Civil War Heritage Area, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, and the Ohio and Erie National Heritage Canalway, respectively.
The Department recognizes that each of these entities serves an important role in preserving, interpreting, and promoting the unique natural and cultural characteristics that led to their designation as national heritage areas by Congress. However, in order to focus resources on reducing the National Park Service’s $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog and addressing other critical national park needs, funding for national heritage areas is not a priority in the Administration’s FY 2018 or FY 2019 budget. Under these circumstances, we believe it would be unwise to extend the authorization of funding, remove funding limitations, or expand the boundaries of national heritage areas at this time.
S. 1160 would add Livingston County, the city Jonesboro in Union County and the city Freeport in Stephenson County to the Lincoln National Heritage Area, which was established in 2008 in te State of Illinois. These areas help tell the stories of the places that President Abraham Lincoln lived for almost 30 years.
S. 1472 would extend the authorization for funding for the Tennessee Civil War Heritage Area for fiscal years 2018 to 2021. This national heritage area tells the story of how warfare, occupation, emancipation, and Reconstruction impacted the State of Tennessee.
S. 2225 would extend the authorization for funding for the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area for fiscal years 2019 to 2022. The national heritage area consists of 25 counties in Western North Carolina encompassing cultural and natural assets.
S. 2238 would eliminate the $17 million funding ceiling for the Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway. This heritage area includes the 110-mile long Ohio & Erie Canal, from Cleveland to New Philadelphia, Ohio.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.