U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand yesterday (February 13) announced the passage of provisional legislation through the Senate that will take the first step towards designating the Finger Lakes Region as a National Heritage Area.
Gillibrand has been working to pass similar legislation since 2015. Her newest provision now authorizes the National Park Service to conduct a feasibility study in Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Tioga and many other nearby counties which would determine whether the region has the resources and local capacity necessary to be designated a National Heritage Area.
Gillibrand says that designation would help “boost local tourism and conserve and protect the region’s natural, historic, and cultural resources.”
According to the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance’s data from 2017, tourism in the region’s 14 counties generates over $3 billion in business and employs more than 58,000 people.