IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 25, 2021
Mr. Kaine (for himself and Mr. Warner) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating certain land as the Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area Act.
In this Act:
The term Heritage Area means the Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area.
The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.
The term States means each of the States of Virginia and North Carolina.
The term study area means—
the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk in the State of Virginia;
Isle of Wight County in the State of Virginia;
Camden, Currituck, Gates, and Pasquotank Counties in the State of North Carolina; and
any other areas in the States that—
have heritage aspects that are similar to the areas described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C); and
are adjacent to, or in the vicinity of, those areas.
The Secretary, in consultation with State and local organizations and governmental agencies, Tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and other appropriate entities, shall conduct a study to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating the study area as a National Heritage Area, to be known as the
Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area.
The study shall include analysis, documentation, and determinations on whether the study area—
has an assemblage of natural, historic, and cultural resources that—
represent distinctive aspects of the people and cultures of the United States;
are worthy of recognition, conservation, interpretation, and continuing use; and
would be best managed—
through partnerships among public and private entities; and
by linking diverse and sometimes noncontiguous resources and active communities;
reflects traditions, customs, beliefs, and folklife that are a valuable part of the story of the United States;
provides outstanding opportunities—
to conserve natural, historic, cultural, or scenic features; and
for recreation and education;
contains resources that—
are important to any identified themes of the study area; and
retain a degree of integrity capable of supporting interpretation;
includes residents, business interests, nonprofit organizations, State, local, and Tribal governments, and other appropriate entities that—
are involved in the planning of the Heritage Area;
have developed a conceptual financial plan that outlines the roles of all participants in the Heritage Area, including the Federal Government; and
have demonstrated support for the designation of the Heritage Area;
has a potential management entity to work in partnership with the individuals and entities described in paragraph (5) to develop the Heritage Area while encouraging State and local economic activity; and
has a conceptual boundary map that is supported by the public.
Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds are first made available to carry out this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives a report that describes—
the findings of the study under section 3; and
any conclusions and recommendations of the Secretary.