Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 18, Number 41, November 20, 2015 →
HPF Authorization Advances in the Senate
Earlier this week the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 or S. 566. The legislation, in addition to expanding and enhancing activities for sportsmen on federal lands, also permanently reauthorizes the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The Sportsmen Act included the same language as the bipartisan Senate Energy Policy Modernization Act which permanently reauthorizes the the HPF and LWCF. Reauthorization of the LWCF calls for reforms to the program including designating at least 40% of funds to state-based programs and new guidelines for federal land acquisition.
The Sportsmen Act was originally introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowsi (R-AK) earlier this year, since introduction she has worked with Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) to strengthen the bill. The final version includes HPF and LWCF reauthorization.The HPF, along with the LWCF, expired on September 30th and since has been unauthorized. The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) was established in 1976 to preserve our Nation’s most important historic resources and enjoys broad, bi-partisan support. Despite chronic under-funding the HPF has been hugely successful. Preservation Action supports the Sportsmen Act of 2015 and encourages quick passage by the Senate. We applaud Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Heinrich for their work on the bill. Tell Congress to protect our historic resources, by supporting the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, S.566, and passing permanent reauthorization of the HPF!
Bipartisan Legislation Would Create Network of African American Civil Rights Sites
Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) introduced the African American Civil Rights Network Act (H.R 3836). This bill would authorize the National Park Service to create a trail program to recognize, preserve and protect the sites and stories of the African American civil rights movement between 1939-1968. The legislation was coauthored by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) and thus far has 68 cosponsors.
While many sites associated with the civil rights movement are units of the National Park Service (NPS), a number of sites have not been adequately protected and recognized. Some of these sites are in danger of being lost or destroyed. This legislation instructs the NPS to work with existing park units, state and local governments, and the private sector to create a network of African American Civil Rights sites. H.R 3836 is similar to the National Underground Railroad to Freedom Act which passed in 1998 and created a similar network of sites related to the Undergorund Railroad . The bill has been referred to the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands. Preservation Action applauds Rep. Clay for his work introducing this important legislation.
Historic Nuclear Reactor Building Threatened in Washington
For several years, the Nuclear Reactor Building on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, WA, has faced increased threats of demolition. The Nuclear Reactor Building, built in 1961 is a completely unique structure that represents a significant period in american history. The building was constructed as a research facility following World War II at a time when nuclear energy was gaining in popularity and seen as a safe, cheap and efficient new technology. Since 2008 the University of Washington has attempted to demolish the building to redevelop the site. In 2009 the Nuclear Reactor Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Threatened once again, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation listed the site on their 2015 Most Endangered Historic Properties List.
Currently the University of Washington is reviewing the possibility of destroying the historic structure to construct a new Computer Science and Engineering Building. The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has teamed up with Historic Seattle and Docomomo WEWA to create the Save the Reactor Campaign. This campaign is a great example of state level advocacy. Check out the Save the Reactor page to see latest and find out how you can get involved!
PAF Advocacy Scholars Program- Call for Papers
The deadline for applications is December 21, 2015.
Preservation Action Foundation is excited to once again announce our annual call for papers for the 2016 Advocacy Scholars Program. Are you or someone you know interested in historic preservation, planning, history, public policy, law, architecture or a related field and currently enrolled in a undergraduate or graduate program? If so, encourage them to apply to our Advocacy Scholars program, which offers a limited number of competitive scholarships to students interested in attending National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week (March 8-10, 2016) in Washington, D.C. The first two years of the Advocacy Scholars program were huge successes in training the next generation of preservation advocates; so we are very excited to announce the third year of the program.
Applications are now being accepted through December 21, 2015.
Stories From Around the States
Tennessee: “Preservationist: Buildings are Connections of Life“
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