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National Heritage Area Designation
Legislation
Legislative Chronology

Main Benefits of National Heritage Area Designation
for the Oil Heritage Region

  • Higher profile and reputation as a National Heritage Area, thus having Venango County and eastern Crawford County become even more of a destination for heritage and recreational travelers.
  • Authorizing legislation allows up to $10,000,000 in federal funding during the next 15 years, to be matched with Pennsylvania and other local funds to more rapidly implement the widely varied projects to develop, preserve and promote the region's cultural, recreational, historic and natural resources.
  • Able to receive, upon request, technical assistance from the National Park Service.

Definition of a National Heritage Area
Current National Heritage Areas

The National Park Service definition for a national heritage area is as follows:

"A 'National Heritage Area' is a place designed by Congress where natural, cultural, historic and scenic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinct landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography. These patterns make National Heritage Areas representative of the national experience through the physical features that remain and the traditions that have evolved in them. Continued use of National Heritage Areas by people whose traditions helped to shape the landscapes enhances their significance."

The focus is on the protection and conservation of critical resources; the natural, cultural, scenic, and historic resources that have shaped us as a nation and as communities.

National Park Service Criteria for National Significance

The National Park Service has established four criteria for evaluation of national significance for natural, cultural or recreational resources.

  1. A site must be an outstanding example of a particular type of resource.
  2. A site must possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the natural or cultural themes of our nation's heritage.
  3. A site must offer superlative opportunities for recreation, public use and enjoyment or for scientific study.
  4. A site must retain a high degree of integrity as a true, accurate and relatively unspoiled example of a resource.

2006 NHA Management Plan Amendment

An amendment to the 2004 Management Plan Update is being prepared to incorporate changes required by the National Heritage Area designation. Please select this link (2006 NHA Management Plan Amendment) to review the schedule and scope of this work, to review interim products, and to make comments on this work.