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A Call for Congressional Designation

Mr. Richard H. Collins, Collins Academy and the TODAY Foundation, citizens of the 1st and 4th Congressional Districts in Texas, and the 4th Congressional District in Louisiana respectfully request the formation of a bi-state effort to establish the Caddo National Heritage Area (NHA) by the Congress of the United States.



The National Park System’s authority to carry out the National Heritage Area Program is found in the Historic Sites Act, the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and related statutes.  The National Historic Preservation Act establishes a national policy for Federal agencies to use measures such as financial and technical assistance to foster conditions under which our modern society and our prehistoric and historic resources can exist in productive harmony and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.  Each NHA has been authorized by a specific statute to effectively carry out the national policy.  These same statutes have also assigned a prominent role for the National Park Service to play in nurturing the areas and supporting their success (Jarvis, 2012).

The Purpose for a Caddo NHA Designation

The Caddo NHA Program will expand on traditional approaches to resource stewardship by supporting large-scale, community centered initiatives that connect local citizens through preservation, conservation, and planning processes.  Through the facilitation of a local coordinating entity – the Caddo National Heritage Area Commission – this program will provide assistance to residents to improve their quality of life by protecting their shared cultural and natural resources.  The Caddo NHA Commission will promote the conservation of natural, historic, scenic, and cultural resources, while improving the area’s economic vitality.  All work of the Caddo NHA will be guided by a management plan developed by the Commission and approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

Property Owners and Regulatory Protections

Nothing in the Act establishing the Caddo NHA shall:

1. Abridge the rights of any property owner including the right to refrain from participating in any plan, project, program, or activity conducted within the NHA;

2. Require any property owner to permit public access to such property or to modify any provisions of law with regard to public access or use of private lands;

3. Alter any duly adopted land use regulation or any approved land use plan;

4. Authorize or imply the reservation or appropriation of water or water rights;

5. Diminish the authority of the State to manage fish and wildlife including the regulation of fishing and hunting within an NHA; or

6. Create any liability, or to have any effect on any liability under any other law, of any private property owner with respect to any person injured on such private property.