Willa Cather Foundation responds to governor’s letter

Willa Cather's childhood home sits in Red Cloud, where the annual Spring Conference for the...
Willa Cather's childhood home sits in Red Cloud, where the annual Spring Conference for the Willa Cather Center typically takes place.(KSNB)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 3:01 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The Willa Cather Foundation said ”there is no Willa Cather National Heritage Area” in response to the governor’s letter Wednesday objecting to an effort to designate parts of south-central and southwestern Nebraska as a federally recognized National Heritage Area to try boost tourism.

Gov. Ricketts and other state leaders announced their opposition to the creation of a National Heritage Area in Nebraska in a letter to Willa Cather Foundation Executive Director Ashley Olson.


Recently, the Kansas Nebraska Heritage Area Partnership announced their intent to seek a National Heritage Area designation for 49 counties in Nebraska and Kansas.

Ricketts said he was concerned that the designation requires approvals from Congress and the National Park Service. He said the designations come with “unquantifiable and unknowable risks for the future.” Adding that conditions and requirements for federal management can change at any time without input from states.

Ricketts said 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.

On Thursday, the Willa Cather Foundation responded to the opposition with the below release:

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