Stefanik, Tonko Work to Include Washington, Saratoga Counties in National Heritage Area

Bipartisan Bill Expands Eligibility for Federal Grants

January 18, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY-20) introduced bipartisan legislation to enhance the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area to include all of Washington and Saratoga Counties. This measure would expand opportunities for both counties to participate in federal grant programs, increase tourism, and support economic development in Washington and Saratoga Counties.

“Upstate New York and the North Country are home to a rich history, and I am proud to continue to preserve and promote it through this legislation,” Stefanik said. “The cultural, environmental, and economic impact that these National Heritage Areas have on communities in Upstate New York cannot be overstated, and I am proud to work to expand this opportunity to all of Washington and Saratoga Counties.”

“I’ve long pushed to strengthen and preserve our heritage areas, and I was thrilled to make a major breakthrough in that push with the passage of my National Heritage Area Act into law this year to secure the success and longevity of these cherished sites. The bipartisan legislation we’ve introduced today will provide added support and clarity for the Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. I urge my colleagues to join in supporting this bill to help drive cultural preservation, job growth, and economic opportunities for our Upstate communities and all who visit,” Tonko said.

This action would bring the federal boundaries of the area in line with the state boundary and would provide cultural and economic development opportunities in New York's 20th and 21st Congressional Districts. 

Heritage areas have a proven record of fostering job creation and advancing economic, cultural, historic, environmental, and community development. In addition to job creation, National Heritage Areas generate valuable revenue for local governments and sustain communities through revitalization and heritage tourism. The local Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership, and Hudson River Valley Greenway are just a few of the sites that make up New York’s national heritage network and bring countless benefits to its communities.

Read the full bill text here.