Northern Plains National Heritage Area public meetings scheduled for Morton, Oliver, Mercer counties
The Northern Plains Heritage Foundation will conduct three public input meetings Nov. 29-Dec. 1, in Morton, Oliver and Mercer counties to provide information about the Northern Plains National Heritage Area and take comments on the development of goals and objectives for the investment of federal matching funds in the area. Legislation creating the National Heritage Area authorizes the NPHF to make grants to government, non-profits, and others to help tell the nationally-significant stories of the area.
The Morton County meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Nov. 29 at the Commissary Great Room at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. The room is being provided free of charge by the Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation and gate vehicle fees are being waived by the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department.
At 7 p.m. Nov.30, the Mercer County meeting will be held at the Mercer County Courthouse in Stanton.
At 7 p.m. Dec. 1, the Oliver County meeting will be held in the Civic Auditorium in Center.
Meetings are free and open to the public. Each meeting will start with a brief presentation on National Heritage Areas and the process of developing the Northern Plains National Heritage Area, which was designated by Congress in legislation signed by President Obama on March 30, 2009. Public comment forms will be available to fill out and oral comments will be accepted and made part of the public record. The Northern Plains Heritage Foundation, a local non-profit, is charged with providing a proposed plan to the Secretary of the Interior by March 29, 2012.
The Northern Plains National Heritage Area consists of a core area of resources in Burleigh, McLean, Mercer, Morton and Oliver Counties and any public sites, buildings, and districts within the core area that area officially recommended for inclusion in the Heritage Area. Private lands are excluded from the Heritage Area unless the landowner applies for inclusion.
The Northern Plains Heritage Foundation received funding from Congress through the National Park Service to undertake a study to identify and evaluate a range of alternatives for managing, preserving and interpreting the assemblage of nationally important historic sites, structures, stories, legends and landscapes existing within the free-flowing segment of the Missouri River in central North Dakota.
This study includes an evaluation of the collective natural, cultural, scenic and recreational resources within the fertile Missouri River Valley that shaped centuries of human activity. A thriving agricultural economy created a destination for multitudes of people who came to the area to live, to farm, to trade, to visit and to explore.