• Opportunity to Advance Public Lands Bills during the Lame-Duck Session

    November 30, 2022

    The National Trust remains focused on advocating for several bills during the lame-duck session that preserve and protect specific historic places. Several bills that the National Trust has endorsed have progressed through the legislative process and could be passed before the 117th Congress adjourns in December. One is the African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act (S. 3667 / H.R. 6805), which would authorize the National Park Service to establish a $3 million annual grant program to aid preservation efforts of historic African American burial grounds across the country. The legislation ensures that descendant-led organizations preserving African American burial grounds can receive grant funding to protect these sacred landscapes. The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing in April, and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee favorably voted on the bill in July. Please join the National Trust in asking your elected officials to support this legislation.

    The Route 66 National Historic Trail Designation Act (H.R. 3600) would designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail. After reintroduction in the summer of 2021, the bipartisan bill led by Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Grace Napolitano (D-CA) had a House Natural Resources Committee hearing and markup session last November. This bill provides an opportunity to secure the preservation and protection of Route 66, the most culturally celebrated and internationally recognized stretch of highway in America. So far, more than 71,000 supporters have signed a petition in support of the preservation of Route 66. Contact your House representative and ask them to support the bill establishing the Route 66 National Historic Trail to ensure House passage this year.

    On November 17, 2022, members of the New Mexico congressional delegation re-introduced legislation, the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act (H.R. 9344 / S. 5124), to prevent future oil and gas development, as well as coal and uranium mining, on federal public lands within a roughly 10-mile radius of Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Chaco Canyon and its surrounding landscape in northwest New Mexico hold remarkable examples of ancestral Pueblo ceremonial buildings, distinctive great houses, and an elaborate network of engineered roads. Recently, the Biden Administration moved forward with a twenty-year moratorium on development in the 10-mile buffer zone. This legislation would provide urgent and permanent protections by banning oil, gas, and mineral development on federal lands in the Greater Chaco Region. This incredible landscape—designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and included on the National Trust’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list in 2011—is threatened by encroaching oil, gas, and mineral development. A previous iteration of the legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2019. Encourage your members of Congress to support this legislation.

  • African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act Advocacy Continues

    June 29, 2022

    The African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act (S. 3667/H.R. 6805) introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC), Donald McEachin (D-VA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), would authorize the National Park Service, in consultation with the National Trust and Black heritage organizations, to establish a $3 million annual grant program to aid preservation efforts across the country through research, documentation, conservation, and interpretation of historic African American burial grounds. The legislation ensures that descendant-led organizations preserving African American burial grounds can receive grant funding to protect these sacred landscapes that tell the earliest stories of Black America’s sacrifice and achievements.

    On May 23, Lawana Holland-Moore, Program Officer of the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, participated in a webinar, “Historic African American Cemeteries,” hosted by Cultural Heritage Partners. She discussed the importance of the legislation alongside advocates from the National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition for American Heritage. Watch the webinar below.

  • Support the Historic Preservation Enhancement Act

    April 27, 2022

    Advocacy is needed to support efforts to permanently authorize and fund the HPF prior to the expiration of the program’s authorization to receive funding after September 2023. The Historic Preservation Enhancement Act (H.R. 6589), introduced by Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), would permanently authorize funding for the HPF and double the amount the HPF is authorized to receive from $150 million to $300 million annually. The legislation also ensures the HPF receives $300 million annually as part of the appropriations process.

    Now that Congress has appropriated more funding than is deposited into the HPF account each year, it is time for Congress to reauthorize the program at an amount that accounts for inflation. If enacted, the Historic Preservation Enhancement Act would represent the first increase the HPF is authorized to receive each year since its inception in 1976 and provide much-needed updates to the program

  • African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act Introduced in the House and Senate

    March 23, 2022

    In late February, the African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act (S. 3667/H.R. 6805) was introduced in the Senate by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Mitt Romney (R-UT), and in the House by Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC), Donald McEachin (D-VA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). The legislation would authorize the National Park Service to establish a $3 million grant program, in coordination and collaboration with governmental, private, and nonprofit partners, to aid efforts across the country to research, identify, document, preserve, and interpret historic African American burial grounds.

    The protection and documentation of African American burial grounds has long been neglected. Many African American burial grounds are in a state of disrepair, inaccessible, or unmapped. In the 116th Congress, the African American Burial Grounds Network Act was introduced to create a voluntary national network of historic African American burial grounds. The newly introduced legislation takes more immediate steps by establishing a competitive grant program to aid localities in acquiring the funding necessary to preserve these burial sites. The National Trust for Historic Preservation strongly supports this important legislation.

    Please join the National Trust in asking your elected officials to support this legislation.

  • FY 2022 Omnibus Appropriation Bill Passes and FY 2023 Appropriations

    March 23, 2022

    After a five-month delay and three short-term stopgap funding measures, Congress passed the FY 2022 omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2471) on March 10. The $1.5 trillion spending package includes the biggest increase in non-defense spending in four years.

    The bill includes a record funding level for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) of $173.07 million, exceeding the previous year’s enacted level of $144.3 million. The bill includes increases to State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, although additional funding is needed, and increases to several important competitive grant programs that are helping tell the full history of our nation.

    After many years, earmarks have returned to the budget process, now referred to as “community project funding items” or “congressionally directed spending.” For the first time in the history of the program, there is $15.27 million specified within the HPF for congressionally directed projects.

    On March 7, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its fourth-annual report, “Preservation Budget: Select Preservation Priorities for FY2023 Appropriations.” The report is designed to assist federal policymakers and their staff, as well as historic preservation stakeholders throughout the country, in advocating for FY2023 funding for key federal programs that protect our nation’s historical legacy. Please note this is a preliminary report. Congressional delays in passing FY2022 appropriations bills, as well as a delayed FY2023 President’s budget, prevented completing all sections of the report. The report will be updated as information becomes available.

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