Schumer Calls For Immediate Release Of Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Resource Study

Schumer: Congress Passed the Law Mandating the Study in 2002; After Three Years its Time for Niagara to See ResultsIn Personal Phone Call, Schumer Urges Director of National Park Service to Expedite Release of Study

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer late Wednesday urged the Director of Park Service to expeditiously release the Niagara Falls Heritage Area Resource study. Schumer secured $300,000 for the study, which has explored the feasibility of creating a National Heritage Partnership in Niagara Falls. This "special resource" study is the first step toward gaining a National Heritage Area designation for the area, a status that would enable the National Park Service to assist local efforts to protect the Niagara Reservations natural resources while promoting development and tourism in the region.

"Niagara Falls is one of the natural wonders of the world, but like so many other of our natural treasures, it has been taken for granted over the years and has deteriorated to a point of disrepair a sad fact that is underscored each June when the summer tourist season starts," Schumer said. "This study gives local officials the option of tapping into the federal government's resources to aid their longterm Niagara Falls revitalization efforts. It is the first step toward a congressional designation for Niagara Falls as a National Heritage Area."

Schumer late Wednesday made a personal phone call Fran P. Mainella, Director of the National Park Service, urging her to expedite the release of the Niagara Falls Heritage Study. The study was mandated in 2002, and three years later, the results have yet to be released. Schumer urged Mainella to prevent the study from getting caught up in the Washington Bureaucracy. On the call, Director Mainella was receptive to Schumers request, indicating she would pursue and expedite the release.

"The National Park Service needs to resolve any issues they are having as soon as possible so that the study can be released," Schumer said. "Weve been waiting a long time and I look forward to reviewing the results of their work. We just need to ensure that we do more than just talk about restoring the beauty of one of our country's greatest landmarks."

In 2001, Schumer and U.S. Rep. John LaFalce secured $25,000 for National Park Service officials to put together a list of ways the federal government can assist local revitalization efforts. National Park Service officials presented their recommendations to Schumer's Niagara Falls Advisory Panel, a group of elected officials, community advocates and business leaders exploring what the scope of the federal role should be in the revitalization effort. In 2002, Schumer personally secured $300,000 in the Interior Appropriations bill that was used to implement some of those recommendations, which included pursuing a National Heritage Area designation. The "special resource" study will determine the scope of the potential Heritage Area and will start to develop a management plan for the Park.

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