Last week, Preservation Action submitted written testimony to the House Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee as they work on drafting the FY24 Interior Appropriations bill. This includes funding for important historic preservation programs like the Historic Preservation Fund and National Heritage Areas.
Preservation Action requests $225 million for the Historic Preservation Fund, including much-needed increases for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, especially as SHPO/THPOs face increased workloads as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is implemented. Our request also includes increases for the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization grant program, which is helping to foster economic development in rural communities through subgrants for preservation projects. The request also includes increases for programs like the African American Civil Right grants, Underrepresented Communities grants, and the History of Equal Rights grants, that are helping to tell a more diverse and inclusive American story. This marks the same level of funding that we advocated for during our National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week earlier this month. A full breakdown is below.
Preservation Action's FY24 Historic Preservation Fund Request
$70 million for State Historic Preservation Offices
$40 million for Save America's Treasures
$34 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices
$28 million for the African American Civil Rights grant program
$17 million for Paul Bruhn grants
$13 million for HBCU preservation grants
$11 million for the Semiquincentennial grant program
$7 million for the History of Equal Rights Grant program
$5 million for Underrepresented Communities Grants
Total: $225 million
Our request also notes the need to permanently reauthorize the Historic Preservation Fund and increase the authorized level from $150 million to at least $300 million. This is especially important this year as the current authorization is set to expire in September.
Preservation Action also requested $33.5 million for the Preservation Partnership Program, which supports National Heritage Areas (NHAs). This request would keep all NHAs at existing funding levels while providing support for the 7 newly authorized NHAs. We also requested $10.5 million for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The increase in funding will enhance the critical function of the agency in ensuring the nation's historic and cultural resources are protected, while advancing tribal consultations, and finding efficiencies in federal reviews of infrastructure projects. We also included $3 million for the African American Burial Grounds Preservation Program, which was established by Congress last year and was included in the President's budget. This program will identify, document, and preserve African American Burial Ground sites whose protection and documentation has too often been neglected or forgotten.
The House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee held member day hearings this week and expected to hear testimony from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland next week. Read Preservation Action's full testimony and stay tuned as the appropriations process continues.
Preservation Action's FY24 House Written Testimony: https://preservationaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Preservation-Action-FY24-House-Interior-Appropriations-Testimony-1.pdf
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