From Preservation Action:
This week the House Appropriations Committee voted 33-27 to advance their FY24 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. The bill calls for drastic cuts across the board, including a $436.25 million or a 13% cut to the National Park Service. Critics estimate this cut could result in a loss of more than 1,000 park staff. The bill funds the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) at $175.4 million, which is $29.115 million below FY23 enacted levels or a nearly 17% cut. The cut reflects the elimination of the community project funding (or earmarks) for HPF projects, which included $29.115 million in funding last year. The bill includes level funding for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs/THPOs) and important grant programs supported by the HPF. A full breakdown is below.
- $62.15 million for State Historic Preservation Offices (equal to FY23 enacted)
- $23 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (equal to FY23 enacted)
- $26.5 million for Save America's Treasures (equal to FY23 enacted)
- $30.25 million for Competitive Subgrants, which includes African American Civil Rights, History of Equal Rights, and Underrepresented Communities grants (equal to FY23 enacted)
- $11 million for HBCU preservation grants (equal to FY23 enacted)
- $12.5 million for Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization grants (equal to FY23 enacted)
- $10 million for the Semiquincentennial grant program (equal to FY23 enacted)
Total: $175.4 million ($29.155 million below FY23 enacted levels)
Additionally,, the bill funds the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at $8.285 million, a $300,000 cut below FY23 levels. And funds the National Recreation and Preservation Account at $80 million, a $12.512 million cut below FY23 levels. That includes $30.331 million for the Heritage Partnership Program, which supports National Heritage Areas, a $1.099 million increase over FY23 levels. The American Battlefield Protection Program is level funded at $20 million.
While we are disappointed in the cut to the HPF, the program largely avoids some of the steeper cuts seen in other parts of the bill. That said, level funding would still be especially harmful for SHPOs and THPOs in the current economic climate, where they face increased costs, and additional responsibilities. Preservation Action submitted testimony in March requesting $225 million for the HPF, including much-needed support for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices and important grant programs. A full committee hearing is scheduled for the Senate FY24 Interior Appropriations bill next week.
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