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Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 20, Number 22, July 14, 2017 →

House Subcommittee Releases Interior Appropriations Bill, Includes $74.41 Million for the Historic Preservation Fund

This week the House Appropriations Committee released the Subcommittee Draft of the FY18 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill. This bill funds the National Park Service and preservation programs like the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). This our first look as Congress begins the appropriations process. Overall the bill funds the HPF at $74.41 million, which $6.5 million below FY17 enacted levels, but $23.3 million above the administration’s FY18 budget requestreleased in May. The subcommittee draft includes the following levels of funding for the HPF.

  • -SHPOs and THPOs: $56.41 million, $2 million below FY17 enacted levels
  • -Civil Rights Grants: $10.5 million, $2.5 million below FY17 enacted levels
  • -Save America’s Treasures Grants: $4 million, $1 million below FY17 levels
  • -HBCU Preservation Program: $3 million, $1 million below FY17 levels
  • -Underserved Communities Grants: $500,000, equal to FY17 levels
  • .

The Trump Administration’s budget eliminated funding for all of the grant programs listed above and significantly cut funding to State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs) and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs). Preservation Action is pleased the Appropriations Committee rejected the cuts proposed in the administration’s budget request and looks forward to working with Congress throughout the appropriations process to ensure robust funding for the HPF.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment favorably referred to bill to the full committee, without amendment. The subcommittee ranking member, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) specifically praised the committee for rejecting the Administration’s request to eliminate grant programs within the HPF.

“[This bill] includes funding for the Civil Rights Initiative, grants in aid to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the Save America’s Treasures program. This program works towards the preservation of nationally significant sites, structures and artifacts.”

The full committee markup is scheduled for Tuesday, July 18th. Preservation Action will continue to follow the appropriations process and bring you the latest. Stay tuned for more details.

Harmful Military LAND Act Amendment Not Included in House NDAA

For the last several years, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has introduced the Military LAND Act (H.R 473) in Congress. This harmful and unnecessary bill would amend the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) to allow for any federal agency to indefinitely block a properties inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, designation as a National Historic Landmark, or nomination to the World Heritage List on the basis of national security. The bill would also allow for the expedited removal of a property from the National Register on the basis of national security. Despite objections from the Department of Defense and White House, this bill was included as an amendment to the annual House National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 2015 and 2016, but later removed in conference. We are pleased to report that the House just approved the 2018 NDAA and the Military LAND Act was not included as an amendment.

Last month Preservation Action, along with our partners, submitted a letter to the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee advocating against the inclusion of H.R 473 in the 2018 NDAA. Preservation Action will continue to advocate against the Military LAND Act and any other attempt to undermine the NHPA. Check out the full letter submitted to the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.

Over 1.4 Million Comments Submitted in National Monument Review- Secretary Zinke to Make Recommendations

The pubic comment period on the review of 27 National Monuments officially closed this week. Thank you to everyone who submitted comments in support of our National Monuments. The Department of Interior received more than 1.4 million comments. Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, released a statement on the National Monument review, in which he thanked everyone for their comments.

“These comments, in addition to the extensive on-the-ground tours of monuments and meetings with stakeholders, will help inform my recommendations on the monuments,”

In April, President Trump signed an executive order calling on Secretary Zinke to conduct a review of 27 National Monuments designated over the last 21 years and submit recommendations on whether the monuments should be modified or rescinded. Yesterday, Secretary Zinke issued recommendations on Idaho’s Craters of the Moon National Monument and Washington’s Hanford Reach National Monument, in which he recommended no modifications be made. In June, Secretary Zinke issued an interim report on Bear’s Ears National Monument in Utah in which he recommended a reduction in size and creation of a national conservation area. Recommendations on the remaining National Monuments under review are still being determined.

Save the Date! Preservation Action Foundation After Party and Auction Returns Nov. 15th

PastFoward 2017We’re excited to announce the revival of our annual benefit auction with the Preservation Action Foundation’s After 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 and of the National Preservation Conference. The After Party and Auction will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 15th at the Cliff Dwellers Club on the 22nd floor of the Borg-Warner building in Chicago. The event will held from 8pm-10pm following the Opening Reception of the National Preservation Conference at the Field Museum. Please save the date, and stay tuned for more details!

PastFoward 2017, the National Preservation Conference hosted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will be held Nov. 14-17 in Chicago, IL. Check out the conference website for more information.

National News

National Park Service: “National Park Service Awards More Than $1.7 Million in Maritime Heritage Grants

Stories From Around the States

Kentucky: “Webinar- Proposed Tax Reform and the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit

Rhode Island: “$228 Million in Potential Development on Hold Due to State budge Impasse

Wisconsin: “Barca: Don’t Cap Historic Preservation Tax Credits

Ohio: “Gibbs: Tax Credits Helping to Rebuild Downtown Canton

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