As most travelers know, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites are amongst the most spectacular places in the entire world. The list, which currently consists of more than 900 unique locations across the planet, recognizes those places for their cultural or physical significance. But that list is constantly being evaluated and updated, with some sites being removed when they are threatened or altered, and others being added as their significance becomes more apparent.
The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, which operates as a Federal Advisory Commission to the Department of State, has just opened a 30-day call for public comments on the current list of places that are being considered for World Heritage status. During this phase, the general public is invited to weigh in on the nominees, and express their opinion on whether or not those sites are worthy of UNESCO’s very esteemed list.
There are a total of 13 sites under consideration, with nine falling under the “cultural” category. Those sites include: Civil Rights Movement Sites, Alabama; Dayton Aviation Sites, Ohio; Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, Ohio; various Thomas Jefferson Buildings in Virginia; Mount Vernon, Virginia; Poverty Point National Monument and State Historic Site, Louisiana; San Antonio Franciscan Missions, Texas; Serpent Mound, Ohio and various Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings throughout the country. Additionally, there are four sites up for nomination in the “natural” category as well. Those sites include: Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, American Samoa; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia; Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona and White Sands National Monument, New Mexico.
The call for comment went out on Tuesday, Dec. 14, so the process has already been set in motion. For more information you can read the official entry into the Federal Registry by clicking here. If you would like to share a comment with the Commission, you’ll find the contact information for doing so, including mailing address, by clicking here.
This is a great opportunity to get some historically and culturally significant sites recognized by UNESCO. If you would like to see one, or more, of these sites added to the World Heritage list, be sure to share your thoughts now.
[Photo credit: National Park Service]