Currently, the U.S. government has designated some 37 places in various parts of the country as so-called National Heritage Areas. These areas are deemed to be of cultural, historic or recreational significance and while this may sound good, National Heritage Areas are not without their critics. Some of the issues drawing fire were recently detailed in a Heritage Foundation report which noted that, in addition to these areas being very costly, the vagueness of the legislative language giving Congress authority to designate heritage areas is vague, and virtually any parcel of land could be touted as historical or significant. Since this obviously puts private property at risk, it’s little wonder many want to, dare we say, “modernize” this Heritage Act.

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