Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing on June 27 to discuss the extension of the authorization for the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area for 10 more years. The extension would keep the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area operating to promote recreation and tourism, as well as enabling them to continue to access matching federal funding for projects in the area.
In April, Senator Gillibrand wrote a letter to Senator Jeff Bingaman, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski urging them to hold a hearing on the legislation.
“The Hudson River Valley is truly one of America’s richest treasures, and holds enormous potential that we are still unlocking,” Senator Gillibrand said. “From the Adirondacks to the busy ports of New York City, the Hudson River Valley helps fuel our economy, inspires our artists, and provides New Yorkers with miles of adventure and endless recreation. As New York’s first Senator from upstate in nearly 40 years, I will always work to preserve the beauty and tradition of the Hudson River Valley, and this bill is an important step to continue garnering the national recognition it deserves.”
Mark Castiglione, Acting Director of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, said, “Our natural, cultural and historic resources define our quality of life. By working to promote, protect and celebrate those resources, National Heritage Areas help to provide a solid foundation for sustainable regional economies. Tourism generates $4.7 billion dollars in our Hudson Valley economy and we know that the majority of travelers seek out cultural, arts and local heritage activities that National Heritage Areas support. I applaud Senator Gillibrand for her support of our National Heritage Area and leadership in advancing this important bill.”
Stretching from Saratoga to Westchester Counties, the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area links over 100 individual sites that promote tourism and recreation in the region while showcasing the Hudson Valley’s unique role in American history and development. First authorized in 1996, the current authorization is set to expire in September. Without the authorization, the Area ceases to exist and is no longer eligible to apply for matching federal funding to be used to help preserve and promote historical, cultural, recreational, and natural sites in the region.
Senator Gillibrand’s letter to Chairman Bingaman and Ranking Member Murkowski is attached.