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Partnering to Promote Heritage Tourism in Local Communities: Guidance for Federal AgenciesarrowRecommendations for Federal Assistance Agencies

Recommendations for Federal Assistance Agencies

The following recommendations are designed to help you improve the effectiveness or your efforts to partner with non-Federal parties to promote local heritage tourism initiatives. For examples of these recommendations in action, see Links to Innovative Initiatives and Success Stories.

Participate in coalitions. At all levels – local, state, and national – coalitions are being created to plan for heritage tourism development and implement heritage tourism initiatives. This can be particularly important for small communities, where marketing historic resources regionally can be much more effective than if each individual community attempted its own marketing. Be an active participant in such coalitions.

USDA’s RC&D Program assisted development of the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail

Recognize the role of heritage tourism in economic and community development. It is important not to overlook the potential for heritage tourism to revitalize local communities and their economies. When selecting projects for funding or technical assistance, remember that a heritage tourism project may be as important to a community’s future as more frequently funded housing, commercial, and industrial development.

HUD’s publication on CDBG funds and heritage tourism

Let those seeking assistance know how you can help. States, Tribes, and local communities may be familiar with your funding or technical assistance programs but not realize how they might support heritage tourism. They may mistakenly assume such activities aren’t eligible for assistance at all. Or they may not appreciate the range of heritage tourism projects that might be supported. Develop guidance that specifically identifies how your programs can help heritage tourism efforts. Provide examples of heritage tourism projects that you previously have assisted.

Remember heritage tourism during consultation under Section 106. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires that agencies consult with other parties to seek to avoid or mitigate adverse effects of Federal undertakings on historic properties. Agreeing to specific actions to assist local heritage tourism efforts might be an acceptable mitigation measure in some cases. For instance, mitigation for permitting a project that will adversely impact a surrounding historic district could include requiring the developer to fund development of an interpretive walking trail of the district. Think outside the box and include heritage tourism options in Section 106 consultation.

Seek opportunities to give special consideration to heritage tourism projects in Preserve America Communities.  Under the Administration’s Preserve America initiative, communities can be designated Preserve America Communities when they meet criteria documenting how they are preserving their heritage assets and using them for heritage tourism and economic development. By giving preferential consideration to assistance requests from such communities, you will be promoting public/private partnerships with communities that have already demonstrated a commitment to heritage tourism and historic preservation.

Updated March 13, 2006

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