U.S. Congress Approves Susquehanna National Heritage Area!

On February 26, 2019, by a 363-62 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S.47, the Natural Resources Management Act, a major public lands and conservation bill that includes designation of Lancaster and York Counties as the Susquehanna National Heritage Area. The U.S Senate previously passed the same legislation on February 12, 2019 by a 92-8 vote. The bill now awaits the signature of President Donald Trump.

The bill’s passage is great news for our 10+ year effort to bring this national honor to our region and the Susquehanna. We thank U.S. Senator Bob Casey for his strong, persistent advocacy for this legislation, his success in securing an amendment to S.47 to designate the Susquehanna National Heritage Area, and his vote in favor of the final bill. Congressman Lloyd Smucker has also championed National Heritage Area designation in the House of Representatives and voted in favor of S.47.

We very much appreciate the bi-partisan collaboration of Mr. Casey and Mr. Smucker in securing Congressional approval for the Susquehanna National Heritage Area – soon to be America’s 55th National Heritage Area!.

Thank Our Legislators

We encourage all our friends to thank Senator Casey and Rep. Smucker for supporting congressional designation of Lancaster and York Counties as the Susquehanna National Heritage Area: Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Lloyd Smucker.

Honoring Our Place in the National Story

Susquehanna Heritage is seeking National Heritage Area designation of Lancaster and York Counties by the United States Congress. The Susquehanna National Heritage Area will advance heritage and outdoor tourism in our region, create jobs, and enhance our region’s economy. National recognition will boost visibility and visitation, bring more National Park Service support, and further promote the majestic Susquehanna – its scenic riverlands, its vibrant river towns, and its special significance to our nation’s history. This designation will bring us into the network of forty-nine National Heritage Areas already established across the United States.

Earlier Progress

After Susquehanna Heritage completed a local community engagement process and a National Heritage Area Feasibility Study Report in 2008, the National Park Service determined that our region meets the criteria for Congressional designation as a National Heritage Area. Encouraged by this important determination, Susquehanna Heritage has worked with our Senators and Congressmen in Washington to achieve the designation that is only attainable through legislation – an Act of Congress.

With the NPS finding of national significance, Susquehanna Heritage secured the support of U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania as the prime Congressional sponsor of our National Heritage Area legislation. Senator Casey has sponsored bills to designate the Susquehanna National Heritage Area in every session of Congress since 2008 and continues to advocate for the designation in the current 116th Congress. In 2017, Congressman Lloyd Smucker (PA-11) introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to establish the Susquehanna National Heritage Area. The bill passed the House in June 2018 but did not pass the U.S. Senate before Congress adjourned its 115th session. In January 2019, Rep. Smucker re-introduced the bill in the 116th Congress as H.R.262, the Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act, with Congressman Scott Perry as co-sponsor.

Learn more about our National Heritage Area Initiative.