Why Central Montana for a Heritage Area?
Central Montana exemplifies Big Sky Country. Spectacular open horizons plunge into deep ravines and canyons where the Missouri River carved its path across the prairie; evidence of our First Peoples marks the land; and stories of historic steamboat trips and harrowing exploration escapades leap from the pages of leather-bound journals. Central Montana, where the real west captivates the imagination of archeologists, anthropologists, historians, artists and modern-day explorers, is poised for additional tourists and corresponding new economic development.
States with NHA's have experienced positive economic growth and community vibrancy. NHA's across the nation notably attract secondary service and retail businesses in communities within and near such landscapes. Central Montana will be no different - communities along the Missouri River and outlying arenas of the NHA can anticipate increased business.
To achieve national status, a community must prove the cultural, historic and natural ecosystem form a cohesive, nationally significant landscape. Congress requires the submission of a Feasibility Study as a part of the process. A Feasibility Study assembles available resource information, demonstrates community support and provides justification for Congressional designation. Having four National Historic Landmarks within our proposed NHA boundary is a strong indicator that we have stories of national significance about America and our nation's heritage.
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