Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 20, Number 27, August 25, 2017 →
Congress Set to Return Sept. 5th as Shutdown Threat Looms
When lawmakers return from the August Recess in just under 2 weeks their top priorities will be passing a funding measure and increasing the debt ceiling. Members of Congress need to pass a funding measure by Sept. 30th to avoid a government shutdown. Thus far the House of Representatives have passed 4 of the 12 required appropriations bills, while the Senate has yet to pass any of the required appropriations bills. Considering lawmakers only have 12 scheduled legislative days in September, Congress will likely begin work on passing a Continuing Resolution (C.R). A C.R would temporarily continue current funding levels, giving Congress more time to pass the remaining appropriations bills, or more likely, time to pass a large Omnibus spending bill, which encompasses all 12 appropriations bills. President Trump has threatened a government shutdown if funding is not included for his proposed border wall.
The House Appropriations Committee approved the FY18 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill in July, which funds historic preservation programs like the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held hearings, but has yet to release an FY18 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The House Interior Appropriations bill, while significantly above the Administration’s request, would reduce the HPF by $5.5 million. Preservation Action will continue to closely monitor the appropriations process and continue to advocate for robust funding of the HPF.
Interior Secretary Zinke Submits National Monument Review Recommendations to President Trump
This week Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, submitted his recommendations on the 27 National Monuments under review to President Trump. According to Secretary Zinke the recommendations call for a reduction in size for a “handful” of National Monuments, but does not recommend the elimination of any National Monuments. Details were not immediately available on which National Monuments were recommended to be scaled back, but the Washington Post later reported that Secretary Zinke recommended President Trump reduce the size of at least 3 National Monuments, Bear’s Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.
The White House confirmed that Secretary Zinke submitted the draft report this week and they were reviewing the recommendations. The ultimate decision on how proceed will lie with President Trump. Opponents to the National Monument review including preservation and public lands advocates are gearing up for a legal challenge if President Trump attempts to roll-back the boundaries of any National Monuments; claiming the Antiquities Act of 1906 does not allow for the president to reduce or eliminate National Monuments.
President Trump issued an executive order in April calling for the review of 27 National Monuments designated over the last 21 years. Secretary Zinke opened a public comment period on the review and received an overwhelming 2.8 million responses, the vast majority in support of protecting our National Monuments. Earlier this summer, Secretary Zinke visited several National Monuments in person and announced no recommendations would be made to 6 of the National Monuments under review.
Preservation Action is committed to the protection of our National Monuments and will continue to follow as more details become available.
National Park Service Celebrates 101st Birthday
Today officially marks the 101st birthday of the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS was officially established on August 25th in 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson, signed the National Park Service Act. National Parks across the country celebrated with free admission at all 417 units of the NPS and special programming and events. Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, celebrated by visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Secretary Zinke said on the celebration:
“As we recognize another year of these amazing places, we ask every person to join in the celebration-whether it’s a walk through the National Mall or a hike on the Highline Loop at Glacier where I grew up,”
In recognition of the 101st anniversary, the NPS along with their non-profit partners, the National Park Foundation, are continuing the NPS 101 content series which highlights lesser known parks, stories and experiences. Did you celebrate the 101st birthday of the National Park Service today? Join the conversation on social media with #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, and #Parks101.
Get Your Tickets for Preservation Action Foundation’s Legendary Party Auction!
Tickets are now available for Preservation Action Foundation’s Legendary Party and Auction on November 15, 2017 from 830pm-1030pm during the National Preservation Conference in Chicago, IL! The annual auction had long been a highlight for Preservation Action Foundation and of the National Preservation Conference. Please join us immediately following the conference opening reception at the Cliff Dwellers Club, on the 22nd floor of the Borg-Warner building. Check out the auction webpagefor more information. Get your tickets today!
Donate an Auction Item
You and your organization are invited to donate items, hotel stays, tours of historic sites, or other unique experiences to our Annual Silent and Live auction during the National Preservation Conference! A donation to our annual auction provides great exposure of your historic site to an active and interested group of people. Interested in donating an auction item? Check out our Auction request letter and donation form for more information!
Living Heritage Symposium: Sept. 6-8, 2017. San Antonio, TX
The San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation invites heritage professionals, policy-makers, academics, and grassroots preservationists from around the world to assemble in San Antonio to answer that question and produce new ideas for managing living heritage in historic cities. For more information, visit the symposium website.
ACRA Annual Conference: Sept. 7-10, 2017. Philadelphia, PA
Each year the American Cultural Resource Association (ACRA) presents a dynamic and multifaceted convention to bring together CRM practitioners and those in related fields.This year’s conference theme is Continental Congress to Capitol Hill-Sustaining a Strong CRM Industry, reflecting the significant historical roots of our host city and the importance of our field. Register today!
National Preservation Conference: Nov. 14-16, 2017. Chicago, IL
Registration is now open for Past Forward 2017, the National Preservation Conference, hosted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation Also be sure to stop by Preservation Action’s booth in the conference exhibit hall!. Register today!
Stories From Around the States
Illinois: “Historic Tax Credits for Rockford Renewed“