In recent articles several authors have pointed out the multifaceted world that is New York history. Museums, historical societies, historical agencies on all levels and the local government historians all play a role in our efforts to ensure the continued importance of this state’s history and heritage. Is this the right approach or should there be a more top down method to our madness? Whatever your answer is to that question, the same divergent pattern is found in historic preservation in the Empire State. [Read more…] about Historians Should Promote Preservation
National Park Service
Most of the spending/jobs are related to lodging, food, and beverage service (52 percent) followed by other retail (29 percent), entertainment/amusements (10 percent), gas and local transportation (7 percent) and groceries (2 percent).
The figures are based on $12 billion of direct spending by 281 million visitors in 394 national parks and nearby communities and are included in an annual, peer-reviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for the National Park Service.
The National Parks in New York include: African Burial Ground National Monument, Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Castle Clinton National Monument, Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Federal Hall National Memorial, Fire Island National Seashore, Fort Stanwix National Monument, Gateway National Recreation Area, General Grant National Memorial, Governors Island National Monument, Hamilton Grange National Memorial, Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, Saint-Paul’s Church National Historic Site, Saratoga National Historical Park, Statue of Liberty National Monument, Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, and Women’s Rights National Historical Park.
Across the U.S., local visitor spending added a total of $31 billion to the national economy and supported more than 258,000 jobs, an increase of $689 million and 11,500 jobs over 2009 the report concludes.
The report is available online; click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2010. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has received a grant of $23,985 from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) to undertake an archeological survey to determine the precise location and established boundaries for MacDonough’s War of 1812 Shipyard in Vergennes, Vermont.
“We are proud to support projects like this that safeguard and preserve American battlefields,” said Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service. “These places are symbols of individual sacrifice and national heritage that we must protect so that this and future generations can understand the struggles that define us as a nation.”
This grant is one of25 National Park Service grants totaling $1.2 million to preserve and protect significant battle sites from all wars fought on American soil. Funded projects preserve battlefields from the Colonial Indian Wars through World War II and include site mapping (GPS/GIS data collection), archeological studies, National Register of Historic Places nominations, preservation and management plans.
Federal, state, local, and Tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions are eligible for National Park Service battlefield grants which are awarded annually. Since 1996 more than $12 million has been awarded by ABPP to help preserve significant historic battlefields associated with wars on American soil.
Additional information is online at www.nps.gov/history/hpslabpp. To find out more about how the National Park Service helps communities with historic preservation and recreation projects please visit www.nps.gov/communities.
Artist conception of MacDonough’s War of 1812 Lake Champlain Shipyard Workers by Kevin Crisman, LCMM Collection).
Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have reintroduced legislation to authorize the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a study on whether the Hudson River Valley should become a unit of the National Park system. Under such a distinction, it’s expected the region would benefit from greater national attention, additional federal resources to support and preserve heritage sites, and increased regional tourism, all of which are hoped would contribute to job creation and economic growth.
“The Hudson River Valley has inspired artists for centuries, fueled the industrial development of our nation for generations and played a vital role in the American Revolution and founding of our Republic,” Hinchey said. “This region deserves to be recognized by the National Park Service for its historical and natural significance and should receive the federal resources and economic benefits that would come with such a recognition. This bill takes the first step by allowing the National Park Service to study if the Valley would be a good fit within the National Parks system. I am so proud to again bring forward this legislation with the support Kirsten Gillibrand in the Senate.”
“We’re still unlocking the Hudson River Valley’s potential,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Hudson River Valley is truly one of America’s richest treasures. From the Adirondacks to the busy ports of New York City, the Hudson River fuels our economy, inspires our artists, and provides New Yorkers with miles of adventure and endless recreation. As New York’s first Senator from Upstate in nearly 40 years, I will always work to preserve the beauty and tradition of the Hudson River Valley, and this bill takes the first step to getting the national recognition it deserves.”
The legislation, entitled The Hudson River Valley Special Resource Study Act, is similar to the bill which passed in the House last year. The Hudson River Valley is already designated as a federal National Heritage Area and state Greenway, but the current federal designation provides only limited funding that is subject to change each budget year. A designation as a National Park unit would provide more consistent and expanded federal support, including National Park Service staff and national attention to the region, all of which would help to boost tourism and preserve and restore the region’s historic sites and cultural resources.
In order for the Hudson River Valley to become a unit of the National Park System, a congressionally-authorized NPS study must be conducted. Hinchey and Gillibrand’s legislation would authorize such a study for the counties within the borders of current the Hudson River National Heritage Area. Specifically, the area to be studied would include the counties abutting the Hudson River that flows from Rogers Island at Fort Edward in Washington County to the southern boundary of Westchester County.
The bill provides guidelines designed to ensure that the NPS study recognizes the unique realities of the Hudson River Valley and its differences from more traditional National Park Service units. These guidelines require the NPS to examine park unit models, in particular national river and recreation areas, as well as other landscape protection models, that: encompass large areas of non-federal lands within their designated boundaries; foster public and private collaborative arrangements for achieving NPS objectives, and protect and respect the rights of private land owners. No forced land acquisition activities would be permitted.
Following a study, subsequent legislation would be required for a National Park Service unit designation to move forward. In the event that such subsequent legislation were to pass, all activities that are currently permissible under state or local laws would be unaffected because the National Park Service would have no legal authority to overrule state or local laws and policies on non-federal lands, such as those governing hunting and fishing, regardless of whether the region sits within a nationally designated unit of the park system.
Hinchey has long sought greater recognition, protection, and federal and state resources for the Hudson River Valley. As a member of the New York State Assembly, Hinchey authored the legislation that led to the creation of the Hudson River Valley Greenway. In Congress, he authored legislation that led to the designation of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, which provides technical assistance to local communities or local managers to assist them in managing natural and historic sites of national importance.
This Wednesday, June 22 at 7 pm, National Park Service Historian Duncan Hay will speak at the Chapman Historical Museum in Glens Falls, Warren County, on The History of Hydroelectric Power in Northeastern New York. The lecture is the third in a series funded by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities and presented in conjunction with the museum’s summer exhibit, Harnessing the Hudson. The program is free and open to the public.
The speaker, Duncan Hay, works for the National Park Service as an historian and hydroelectric licensing specialist in the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. He advises license applicants and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding protection of historic and archeological properties and outdoor recreation at hydroelectric projects.
Duncan also works as a cultural resources and museum specialist on planning teams for proposed new units and heritage areas of the National Park Service. Previously he worked for the Museum of American Textile History, and the New York State Museum as curator of industrial history. Duncan earned a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware’s Hagley Program in the History of Industrial America.
The author of Hydroelectric Development in the United States, 1880-1940, Mr. Hay will speak about the significance of Spier Falls dam and other early hydroelectric generators in the region. He also will address the rapid growth and consolidation of the industry during the first three decades of the 20th Century, leading ultimately to the formation of Niagara Mohawk.
The Chapman Historical Museum is located at 348 Glen Street, Glens Falls, NY. The exhibit Harnessing the Hudson will be on display through September 25th. Public hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm , and Sunday, noon to 4 pm. For more information call (518) 793-2826 or go to www.chapmanmuseum.org.
The Dutch and the indelible role they played in the formation of the ideas and ideals that shaped New York City and America is being celebrated by National Parks Service, the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, and the Henry Hudson 400 Foundation with The New Amsterdam Trail. This free downloadable audio walking tour is the first of three in a series featuring the iconic National Park Service Rangers and an expert cast of historians, scientists, and other great storytellers.
Using a backdrop of period music and special sound effects, the audio with map can be downloaded from the Harbor Conservancy’s website or on the Henry Hudson 400 website. Visitors travel through the streets of downtown Manhattan to 10 historically significant locations, cueing commentary from their mobile phone, mp3 player or ipod. As they stand at the tip of the Battery, they can visualize Manhattan in the hours before Henry Hudson arrived and when he first navigated our waters and then listen to the stories of the life and times of New Amsterdam’s most famous and infamous settlers.
The New Amsterdam Trail features Steve Laise, Chief of Cultural Resources for Manhattan’s National Parks; Eric Sanderson, author of Mannahatta, Natural History of New York City; Andrew Smith, editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, and Russell Shorto, author of Island at the Center of the World.
The family-friendly walking tour takes about 90-minutes– however, you can walk the trail at your own pace during lunchtime and pause the recorded commentary at any point. For more details and to download the free tour, visit www.nyharborparks.org or www.henryhudson400.com.
The Harbor Conservancy is the official partner of the National Parks of New York Harbor and together they champion the 22 National Park sites that call New York Harbor home by helping to preserve the environment, promote economic development and create the finest urban waterfront recreation and educational park system in the world.
Henry Hudson 400 New York is a foundation created to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s legendary voyage for the Dutch to the Hudson River and New York. The unique character of New York City, originally New Amsterdam, has been shaped by the legacy of the multiethnic and tolerant culture of 17th century Amsterdam. Henry Hudson 400 is producing a series of special events in 2009 to celebrate the spirit of freedom, enterprise, and diversity shared by Amsterdam and New York.