Caddo Lake could soon become a National Heritage Area, but some residents have lots of questions about this proposal.

Senator Bill Cassidy has proposed the legislation as a way to bring in more federal money and investment into the region. Cassidy’s bill makes it clear that the proposal would not affect property rights or regulatory authority.

You can click here to find out more about the current national heritage areas. In 2004, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) studied all 24 National Heritage Areas (NHA) existing in the U.S. at the time, including Cane River in the Natchitoches area and specifically looked at whether any NHA had ever affected individual property rights. The GAO could not find a single example of an NHA affecting individual property rights.

National heritage areas do not appear to have affected private property rights, although private property rights advocates have raised a number of concerns about the potential effects of heritage areas on property owners’ rights and land use. These advocates are concerned that heritage areas may be allowed to acquire or otherwise impose federal controls on nonfederal lands. … Despite concerns about private property rights, officials at the 24 heritage areas, Park Service headquarters and regional staff working with these areas, and representatives of six national property rights groups that we contacted were unable to provide us with a single example of a heritage area directly affecting—positively or negatively—private property values or use.

Senator Bill Cassidy talked with KEEL about this proposal.

You can click here to find out more information about the Caddo Lake National Heritage Area.

An opposition group has formed, and they don't want this designation.

There is a public meeting later this month to talk about this proposition.

Organizer Danny McCormick says passage of this bill could be the "biggest loss of freedom in our lifetime."  He goes on to say that a 900 square mile area around Caddo Lake is being targeted as a "green asset" and that property owners and their rural lifestyle have been judged "unsustainable."  McCormick adds that if this bill passes "it could steal your private property rights."  He has started a Facebook page to get people in the area to rise up to oppose this move.