• National Trust Submits Preservation Policy Priorities to Biden Administration Transition Team

    January 27, 2021

    In December, the National Trust met with and submitted policy priorities to the Biden-Harris transition team for the first 100 days of the new administration. Among the priorities cited were addressing proposed regulatory changes to the National Register of Historic Places, restoring Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, and imposing a moratorium on oil and gas leasing activities that threaten cultural resources on public lands, particularly in Greater Chaco Culture Landscape, and in the currently unprotected but culturally rich areas of Southeast Utah. Additionally, the National Trust highlighted the need for action to address the damaging changes made last summer to the regulations governing the National Environmental Policy Act and requested a full review of the Trump Administration’s reorganization of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

    The National Trust also asked for the revocation of Secretarial Order No. 3389 that was issued in December to change DOI’s approach to Section 106 compliance under the National Historic Preservation Act. Among other things, the order restricts the use of off-site compensatory mitigation for projects where historic resources will be harmed or destroyed, requires National Environmental Policy Act review to be used as a substitute for Section 106 consultation, establishes unreasonable compliance timelines, and requires the BLM to institute a review of the existing programmatic agreement, policy directives, and other guidance documents for conformance with the order.

    Each of these changes has raised troubling issues for the long-term protection of the nation’s cultural resources that the National Trust stands ready to help the new administration to address.

    Visit our Action Center to learn more about how you can speak up today for the places that matter to you.

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  • Big Win! National Register of Historic Places Rulemaking Halted

    January 21, 2021

    Preservationists around the country have been seriously concerned about proposed changes to the regulations governing the National Register of Historic Places since they were first proposed in 2019. Last fall, despite an outpouring of public concern about the proposal, the new rule was forwarded for review by the Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

    During this review process, historic preservation advocacy organizations, state historic preservation offices, tribal governments, and tribal organizations pressed hard to make the case that the rule should be dropped. As a result, it was not finalized prior to the presidential transition and is not expected to be pursued by the Biden Administration.

    This is a big win that demonstrates the strength of the historic preservation movement when we work together on policy priorities. Congratulations and thanks to all who helped to achieve this important victory!

  • Webinar 1/28: Advocacy During the First 100 Days of the Biden Administration and the 117th Congress

    December 23, 2020

    January 28, 3-4 P.M. ET

    Join preservation partners, congressional staff, and National Trust’s government relations team for a presentation on the most pressing policy issues facing the preservation community in the months ahead. Advocates will discuss early priorities of the Biden administration and the 117th Congress, as well as advocacy strategies for preservationists in this new political climate.

  • Congress Passes Omnibus Appropriations Act

    December 23, 2020

    The FY 2021 appropriations season appears to be coming to a close with the House and Senate passing a 5,593-page Omnibus Appropriations bill which was paired with the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill. Despite Congress having reached a bipartisan agreement, President Trump has signaled he may not sign the final combined bill because of objections to elements of the relief package.

    The Interior Appropriations bill is a remarkable affirmation of sustained congressional support for historic preservation, including programs that advance equity and a more diverse American story. And it reflects the engaged advocacy of preservationists throughout the nation.

    A major highlight is a record level of funding, for the fourth successive year, for the Historic Preservation Fund.

    Historic Preservation Fund
    FY 2020 - FY 2021
    ($ in millions)

    FY 2020
    Enacted

    FY 2021
    Preservation Request

    FY 2021
    Admin Request

    FY 2021
    Omnibus
    (Pending Enactment)

    State Historic Preservation Officers

    $52.675

    $61.000

    $26.934

    $55.675

    Tribal Historic Preservation Officers

    $13.735

    $22.000

    $5.738

    $15.000

    African American Civil Rights Grants

    $15.500

    $20.000

    --

    $16.750

    Civil Rights Grants for All Americans

    $2.500

    $8.000

    --

    $3.375

    Semiquincentennial Celebration Grants

    --

    --

    --

    $10.000

    Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grants

    $10.000

    $10.000

    $8.000

    $10.000

    Underrepresented Community Grants

    $0.750

    $1.000

    --

    $1.000

    Save America Treasures
    (SAT) Grants

    $16.000

    $18.000

    --

    $25.000

    Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants

    $7.500

    $10.000

    --

    $7.500

    Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) Total

    $118.660

    $150.000

    $40.672

    $144.300

    In addition to record levels of funding for the vitally important work of State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, record levels of funding were also achieved for the competitive grant programs that are expanding the reach of preservation to identify and protect the stories of all Americans. African American Civil Rights grants continue a steady increase in funding, and we are gratified by the expansion of this program for the second year to include grants for Civil Rights for All Americans.

    The small but impactful Underrepresented Community Grant Program was awarded its highest level of funding. HBCU preservation grants were funded at their authorized level. The venerable Save America’s Treasures program and the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization grants again received robust funding. And for the first time, Congress awarded $10 million for grants to recognize the Semiquincentennial Celebration of the Declaration of Independence.

  • Post-Election Look at the 117th Congress

    November 25, 2020

    Several races remain undecided across the country after the November elections, but a clearer picture about what to expect at the start of the 117th Congress is coming into focus. The Associated Press called the Presidential race for Joe Biden winning 306 electoral votes to President Trump’s 232 electoral votes. The Trump campaign has challenged the results in several states, but the President’s path to reelection appears to be narrowing.

    Democrats will retain control of the House by the slimmest margin in nearly twenty years. The Associated Press has called 427 of the 435 seats up for election, with Democratic Party winning 222 seats and the Republicans winning 205 seats.

    In the Senate, Republicans have a 50-48 advantage, but control of the chamber will come down to a runoff election on January 5 for two Georgia seats. If Democrats win both seats, then Vice President Kamala Harris would break a 50-50 tie in their favor. In this scenario Democrats would have full control of government, albeit by the slimmest of margins. If Republicans win just one of the Georgia seats, then Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell would remain majority leader and would have significant leverage to influence the Biden-Harris agenda.

    To learn more about preservation advocacy during the Lame Duck session of the 116th Congress and during the early days of the 117th Congress, take a moment to listen to a webinar on preservation advocacy during the lame-duck hosted by the Government Relations team on Preservation Leadership Forum.

    Key Dates

    • Dec. 5: Louisiana House runoff election
    • Dec. 8: “Safe Harbor” deadline for a state to document how it concluded a contested vote
    • Dec. 14: Electoral College delegations meet and vote
    • Jan. 3, 2021: 117th Congress officially convenes, but likely to shift to Monday, Jan. 4
    • Jan. 5: Georgia Senate runoff elections

All 5 updates

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