Congressman David McKinley has introduced House Bill 3142 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area Act of 2017 will bring national recognition for the organization.

Designation as a National Heritage Area will bring national recognition of the importance of the Appalachian Forest Heritage story, technical assistance through the National Park Service, and funding for local projects.

Appalachian Forest Heritage Area (AFHA) has been seeking National Heritage Area designation since 2006. 

“This designation, should it go through Congress, would create us as a National Heritage Area. There are 49 other National Heritage Areas around the country, including two others in West Virginia. It would give national recognition of the national significance of our story,” said AFHA Executive Director Phyllis Baxter.

AFHA has been working for 15 years to promote rural community development through heritage tourism and forest conservation.  

Communities, agencies, and non-profit groups have benefited by the AFHA’s efforts to build partnerships with a wide variety of interest groups, including forest industry, public land agencies, environmental groups, historic and cultural sites, and tourism and community development efforts.

AFHA sponsors a 38 member AmeriCorps program which provides assistance to local site partners on conservation, community development, heritage tourism, and historic preservation projects. 

For more information and to support Bill 3142, call Mike Hamilton for Congressman McKinley at (202) 225-4172.