by Ms Meg Jensen, Superintendent, Wrangell-St. Elias Park and Preserve
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The United States is currently revising its World Heritage Tentative List for the first time in 25 years. The previous list is outdated.
The National Park Service Office of International Affairs has the lead responsibility for the United States to develop the tentative list. Land managing agencies nominating properties to the tentative list were required to submit applications by April 1, 2007. Prior to submission, applications must have extensive review and broad support from the public, stakeholders, and community leadership in the local area. The NPS received 35 nominations. No arctic areas were proposed. Two national parks near the Arctic were under consideration by the National Park Service: Denali National Park and Preserve and Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Neither of these proposals advanced to the application stage because local managers were not able to develop broad grass roots support for an application at this time. The NPS plans to continue to evaluate these areas in the future.
In the past, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been on the Tentative List, but it was not renominated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for inclusion in this update.
The draft Tentative List was available for public comment in November 2007. It is anticipated that the list will be finalized by the Secretary of Interior and the State Department early in 2008.