Kenai heritage area gets Senate approval

Posted: Sunday, August 05, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate has unanimously approved legislation authored by Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, to create a national heritage area on the Kenai Peninsula.

The designation of the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area would honor Natives and pioneers traveling from Seward to Anchorage.

''Through a national heritage designation, the traditions and cultural values of this landscape will be portrayed as part of the whole picture of human history in Alaska, including early Native trade routes, connections by waterway and the railroad,'' Murkowski said in a statement.

The heritage designation, if approved by the House and signed by President Bush, will provide interpretive signs and federal money to preserve and interpret the historic and modern resource development and cultural landscapes along the route, according to Murkowski.

The bill specifically prohibits any limits on business or resource development as a result of the designation. And the designation includes no land acquisition by the government.

An eleven-member board would be set up to decide how to recognize the area's historical resources.

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