From the Summary: "Over more than 30 years, Congress has established 55 national heritage areas (NHAs) to commemorate, conserve, and promote important natural, scenic, historic, cultural, and recreational resources. NHAs are partnerships among the National Park Service (NPS), states, and local communities, in which the NPS supports state and local conservation through federal recognition, seed money, and technical assistance. Unlike lands within the National Park System, which are federally owned and managed, lands within heritage areas typically remain in state, local, or private ownership or a combination thereof. Supporters of heritage areas argue that NHAs protect lands and traditions and promote tourism and community revitalization. Opponents, however, contend that NHAs may be burdensome or costly and may lead to federal control over nonfederal lands."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33462
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/