Senate Passes Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act

February 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.) passed the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, moving the legislation one step closer to becoming law. Senators approved the legislation as part of S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act. The measure passed by a vote of 92-8.  

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.

“Our community is filled with so much natural beauty that needs to be maintained. I see it every time I come home to the 11th District,” Smucker said. “Creating a National Heritage Area will help highlight our area’s natural beauty and history while attracting visitors and stimulating our local economy. ”  

Smucker first introduced the legislation in 2017.  The House approved the same measure with bipartisan support last year by a vote of 373-9.

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.”

“I’m grateful the Senate has acted on this measure and I urge my colleagues to pass it in the House,” Smucker said.