House Passes Smucker’s Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. —On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act, sponsored by Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.) by a vote of 363-62.
Smucker applauded the passage of the bill, explaining how the legislation will positively affect Pennsylvania’s 11th District.
“This bill’s passage is a win for our community for a number of reasons,” Smucker said. “Not only will this bill highlight the natural beauty of the Susquehanna Valley but it will also help bring jobs and economic growth to our area.”
The Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act (H.R. 262) would designate parts of the 11th District (Lancaster and York Counties) as NHAs. NHA designations recognize important natural, cultural and historic landscapes and help celebrate the nation’s diverse heritage. Senators approved the legislation last month by a vote of 92-8 as part of S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act.
NHAs have a significant impact on the economy. A 2012 study by the Alliance of National Heritage Areas and National Park Service showed NHAs contribute nearly $13 billion annually to the national economy and support 148,000 jobs. The economic benefit of NHAs in the Northeast Region was $5.4 billion annually and nearly 67,000 jobs.
Through public-private partnerships, NHA areas support historic preservation, natural resource conservation, recreation and heritage tourism.
Fellow Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Scott Perry, who cosponsored the bill and whose district borders Smucker’s, said he was also glad to see the legislation pass.
“Congratulations to Congressman Smucker on successful passage of his bill – I’m grateful for the opportunity to support it throughout the process,” said Perry. “I’m proud to know that the Susquehanna Valley’s role in our Nation’s history will be recognized, honored and celebrated via this legislation.”
Senate bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said he was looking forward to the bill becoming law.
“I am pleased that we were able to work together on legislation that sets provisions for the conservation of federal lands in south central Pennsylvania,” said Casey. “This is an effort I have been proud to support since my earliest days in the Senate. Congress took an important step forward in passing this measure and I urge the President to swiftly sign this bill into law.”
The bipartisan bill was passed as part of the Natural Resources Management Act, a comprehensive package which promotes public lands, economic development and conservation.
“I’m grateful to my colleagues for passing this bill and am looking forward to the President signing it into law soon,” Smucker said.