Text of the Western Reserve Heritage Areas Study Act
The text of the bill below is as of Mar 15, 2005 (Referred to Senate Committee).
HR 412 RFS
March 15, 2005
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to determine the suitability and feasibility of establishing the Western Reserve Heritage Area.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Western Reserve Heritage Areas Study Act'.
SEC. 2. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE STUDY REGARDING THE WESTERN RESERVE, OHIO.
(a) Findings- The Congress finds the following:
(1) The area that encompasses the modern-day counties of Trumbull, Mahoning, Ashtabula, Portage, Geagua, Lake, Cuyahoga, Summit, Medina, Huron, Lorain, Erie, Ottawa, and Ashland in Ohio with the rich history in what was once the Western Reserve, has made a unique contribution to the cultural, political and industrial development of the United States.
(2) The Western Reserve is distinctive as the land settled by the people of Connecticut after the Revolutionary War. The Western Reserve holds a unique mark as the original wilderness land of the West that many settlers migrated to in order to begin life outside of the original 13 colonies.
(3) The Western Reserve played a significant role in providing land to the people of Connecticut whose property and land was destroyed during the Revolution. These settlers were descendants of the brave immigrants who came to the Americas in the 17th century.
(4) The Western Reserve offered a new destination for those who moved west in search of land and prosperity. The agricultural and industrial base that began in the Western Reserve still lives strong in these prosperous and historical counties.
(5) The heritage of the Western Reserve remains transfixed in the counties of Trumbull, Mahoning, Ashtabula, Portage, Geagua, Lake, Cuyahoga, Summit, Medina, Huron, Lorain, Erie, Ottawa, and Ashland in Ohio. The people of these counties are proud of their heritage as shown through the unwavering attempts to preserve agricultural land and the industrial foundation that has been embedded in this region since the establishment of the Western Reserve. Throughout these counties, historical sites, and markers preserve the unique traditions and customs of its original heritage.
(6) The counties that encompass the Western Reserve continue to maintain a strong connection to its historic past as seen through its preservation of its local heritage, including historic homes, buildings, and centers of public gatherings.
(7) There is a need for assistance for the preservation and promotion of the significance of the Western Reserve as the natural, historic and cultural heritage of the counties of Trumbull, Mahoning, Ashtabula, Portage, Geagua, Lake, Cuyahoga, Summit, Medina, Huron, Lorain, Erie, Ottawa and Ashland in Ohio.
(8) The Department of the Interior is responsible for protecting the Nation's cultural and historical resources. There are significant examples of such resources within these counties and what was once the Western Reserve to merit the involvement of the Federal Government in the development of programs and projects, in cooperation with the State of Ohio and other local governmental entities, to adequately conserve, protect, and interpret this heritage for future generations, while providing opportunities for education and revitalization.
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary, acting through the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, Midwest Region, and in consultation with the State of Ohio, the counties of Trumbull, Mahoning, Ashtabula, Portage, Geagua, Lake, Cuyahoga, Summit, Medina, Huron, Lorain, Erie, Ottawa, and Ashland, and other appropriate organizations, shall carry out a study regarding the suitability and feasibility of establishing the Western Reserve Heritage Area in these counties in Ohio.
(2) CONTENTS- The study shall include analysis and documentation regarding whether the Study Area--
(A) has an assemblage of natural, historic, and cultural resources that together represent distinctive aspects of American heritage worthy of recognition, conservation, interpretation, and continuing use, and are best managed through partnerships among public and private entities and by combining diverse and sometimes noncontiguous resources and active communities;
(B) reflects traditions, customs, beliefs, and folklife that are a valuable part of the national story;
(C) provides outstanding opportunities to conserve natural, historic, cultural, or scenic features;
(D) provides outstanding recreational and educational opportunities;
(E) contains resources important to the identified theme or themes of the Study Area that retain a degree of integrity capable of supporting interpretation;
(F) includes residents, business interests, nonprofit organizations, and local and State governments that are involved in the planning, have developed a conceptual financial plan that outlines the roles for all participants, including the Federal Government, and have demonstrated support for the concept of a national heritage area;
(G) has a potential management entity to work in partnership with residents, business interests, nonprofit organizations, and local and State governments to develop a national heritage area consistent with continued local and State economic activity;
(H) has a conceptual boundary map that is supported by the public; and
(I) has potential or actual impact on private property located within or abutting the Study Area.
(c) Boundaries of the Study Area- The Study Area shall be comprised of the counties of Trumbull, Mahoning, Ashtabula, Portage, Geagua, Lake, Cuyahoga,
Summit, Medina, Huron, Lorain, Erie, Ottawa, and Ashland in Ohio.
Passed the House of Representatives March 14, 2005.