Public input sought on National Heritage Area study for Eastern Kentucky

Published 4:55 am Tuesday, March 1, 2022

The National Park Service is asking for public input on whether 41 counties in eastern Kentucky should be designated as a National Heritage Area known as the Kentucky Wildlands, officials said.

The 90-day comment period began Tuesday and runs through June 1, the park service said in a statement. Public meetings on the proposal will be held virtually on March 10 and March 15, and comments can be made online.

“Public input is crucial to any study, particularly one covering such a large region,” said Ben West, regional planning manager for the National Park Service.

Congress authorized a study in 2019 to assess whether the region meets the criteria for a National Heritage Area, which is a place where historic, cultural and natural resources form a nationally important landscape with local preservation efforts, the park service said. The study is expected to last through next year.

The study’s findings will be reported to Congress, which will then decide whether to make the designation.