The Interior Appropriations Bill (HR 2996) conference report (H. Rept. 111- 316), which settled final funding levels for historic preservation for FY 2010, passed the House and Senate on Thursday. The conference report also included a second continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government running through December 18th.
Regarding historic preservation funding, the conference agreement provides $79.5 million for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) instead of $90.675 million as proposed by the House and $74.5 million proposed by the Senate. The conference agreement splits the difference between the House ($30 million) and Senate ($20 million) funding for Save America’s Treasures (SAT) and provides $25 million for the program — a $5 million increase over last year’s amount. SAT funding includes $14.8 million for competitive grants and $10.2 million for earmarked projects. The conferees also agreed to fund State and Tribe Preservation Offices at $46.5 and $8 million, respectively, but split the difference between the House ($6.175 million) and Senate ($3.175) funding levels for Preserve America (PA), providing $4.6 million for PA through the Interior Department’s National Recreation and Preservation account.Other conference items worth noting include:
Forest Service – Recreation, Heritage, and Wilderness. The conference agreement provides an increase of $5 million to assist priority recreation operations, which includes heritage resources and keeps the report language from the Senate report urging lawmakers to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act, and to detail accomplishments and expenditures on heritage resources for FY2009 and FY2010 by September 30, 2010.
Japanese Internment Camp Sites. Conferees provided $350,000 for land acquisition and $3 million for the Japanese-American Confinement Site Grants Program.
BLM Cultural Resources Management. The conference agreement includes $500,000 above the request for cultural resource activities in wilderness lands as authorized by the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009. The Senate had recommended $1 million for this activity.
Climate Change Adaptation. The conference report provides $55 million for mitigation efforts for climate change affecting the national parks.
National Foundation for the Arts and Humanities. The conference report provides $335 million, $12.4 million above the request and $25 million above 2009 to support projects of excellence and foster greater access to our nation’s cultural heritage, including $167.5 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $167.5 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Many historic sites are also museums and receive NEA funding and grants.Reprinted by permission of the Public Policy Department of the National Trust