H.R. 2882

Great Basin National Heritage Area and Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Extension Act

STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC LANDS, CONCERNING H.R. 2882, A BILL TO EXTEND THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE MORMON PIONEER NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA, TO DESIGNATE THE GREAT BASIN NATIONAL HERITAGE ROUTE IN THE STATE OF NEVADA AS THE “GREAT BASIN NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA”, TO DESIGNATE THE GREAT BASIN HERITAGE ROUTE PARTNERSHIP AS THE “GREAT BASIN HERITAGE AREA PARTNERSHIP”, AND TO EXTEND THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE GREAT BASIN NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA. 

June 23, 2022

Chair Neguse, Ranking Member Fulcher, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department’s views on H.R. 2882, a bill to extend the authorization of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, to designate the Great Basin National Heritage Route in the State of Nevada as the “Great Basin National Heritage Area”, to designate the Great Basin Heritage Route Partnership as the “Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership”, and to extend the authorization of the Great Basin National Heritage Area. 

The Department supports H.R. 2882 with a recommended technical amendment.

H.R. 2882 would rename the Great Basin National Heritage Route as the Great Basin National Heritage Area and make a corresponding change to the name of the area’s local coordinating entity. The bill would also extend the authority of the Secretary to provide financial assistance to the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area and the Great Basin National Heritage Area through fiscal year 2036. 

National heritage areas foster stewardship of our nation’s heritage without creating new park units. Rather than providing direct management, the National Park Service partners with national heritage area local coordinating entities to provide technical and financial assistance. National heritage areas match and leverage federal funds appropriated by Congress to carry out heritage projects and programs in collaboration with local and federal partners, expanding the impact of the funds invested. The National Park Service does not assume ownership of lands that make up heritage areas or impose land use controls on them. National heritage areas are locally public-private partnerships which support historic preservation, natural resource conservation, recreation, heritage tourism, and educational projects. Through their resources, these areas tell nationally important stories that celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage.

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, designated in 2006, stretches through six counties along the U.S. Highway 89 corridor in southern Utah. The region is recognized for its dramatic landscapes including Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Zion National Park. This setting tells the story of the native peoples such as the Paiute, Ute, and San Pitch, and the early Mormon settlers, who farmed, ranched, logged, and mined in this part of the state. 

The Great Basin National Heritage Route was also designated in 2006. It is a remote region spanning the border of Nevada and Utah with rich cultural roots, rugged landscape features, and is home to many historical sites as well as the Duckwater Shoshone Reservation. The area includes Great Basin National Park and two national historic landmarks: the Nevada Northern Railway and the Topaz WWII Japanese American Internment Camp. Residing in the area are communities of Americans of Serb, Greek, Basque, and Italian descent whose ancestors provided the labor for ranching, railroading, and mining enterprises in the Great Basin region. 

The Department supports the change in designation for the Route and its local coordinating entity. While the Great Basin National Heritage Route and Great Basin Heritage Route Partnership were named in the area’s establishment legislation, the area is known as the Great Basin National Heritage Area and the local coordinating entity operates as the Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership.

The Department recommends a technical edit to the bill to reflect that the National Heritage Areas Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-338) was amended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 (Public Law 177-103) after H.R. 2882 was introduced.

Chair Neguse, Ranking Member Fulcher, this concludes our statement.

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