Gov. Ricketts objects to heritage area proposal in Nebraska

Nebraska News

FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2021 file photo, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts speaks during a news conference at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, Neb. The Biden administration’s plan to funnel more coronavirus aid into states with greater unemployment has irked governors with lower jobless rates, even though many have economies that weren’t hit as hard by the pandemic. “You’re penalizing people who have done the right thing,” said Gov. Ricketts, a Republican whose state has reported the nation’s lowest unemployment rate over the last several months. (Kenneth Ferriera/Lincoln Journal Star via AP)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts is objecting to an effort to designate parts of south-central and southwestern Nebraska as a federally recognized National Heritage Area to try boost tourism.

Ricketts said he was concerned that the designation requires approvals from Congress and the National Park Service.

He says the designations come with “unquantifiable and unknowable risks,” and that requirements to maintain the designation could change without input from states.

Ricketts says the effort was led by the Willa Cather Foundation as a way to promote tourism and local development.

He said state and local officials should maintain control as they look for ways to promote Nebraska’s heritage and tourism.

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