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President's FY'12 Budget a Mixed Bag of Cuts and Increases for Historic Preservation
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - Public Policy Department of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2011 budget, Congress, President Obama, public policy, Save America's Treasures, Historic Preservation Offices
Contributed By: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy

President Obama delivered his administration’s FY’12 budget on Monday that delivered expected bad news on Save America's Treasures (SAT) and Preserve America funding, which were zeroed out, but increased funding for State (8%) and Tribal (38%) Historic Preservation Offices.  However, the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) suffered a 23% cut overall as a result of the cuts to SAT and Preserve America while national heritage areas suffered a 50% cut.  The silver lining in an otherwise dark budget cloud was provided by public lands funding that saw increases for national monuments and conservation areas (26%), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cultural resources management (59%), BLM Recreation management for travel management plans for off-highway vehicles (14%), the National Landscape Conservation System (22%) and National Forest heritage sub-activity (2%).  National Park Service (NPS) Operations also received a 2% increase although the construction budget, which includes maintenance of historic structures and sites, was slashed (35%).   Read our complete summary analysis of the President's FY'12 budget and its impact on historic and cultural resource funding on www.PreservationNation.org.

The House began three days of debate on their resolution (HR 1) to make an additional $100 billion in cuts to FY’11 spending bills this week.  As of Wednesday, 583 amendments were filed to the measure under an open rule, although only a handful of amendments were actually voted upon.  The GOP leadership hopes to finish voting on all amendments by late Thursday but may have to go until Friday.  Included among the types of spending cuts offered by the GOP were separate amendments to prohibit funding for carrying out the Antiquities Act, elimination of the construction budget of the National Park System, and defunding of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS).  On a macro level, there was also a separate amendment that would institute a 5.5% across-the-board cut in all FY’11 discretionary spending.  If enacted, these amendments would have disastrous consequences for historic and cultural resources located on public lands and in the national parks.  The national parks alone contain 27,000 historic and pre-historic sites across all park units and elimination of the construction budget would end all maintenance and upkeep of these sites.  In addition, public lands within the NLCS have yet to be fully inventoried for their cultural resources, which would be at further risk if funding is eliminated.  Finally, the Antiquities Act of 1906 is the signature law that helped create many of the nation's iconic national monuments and national parks and is the foundation of modern preservation law.

Reprinted by permission of the Public Policy Department of the National Trust

 


Keywords: Public Policy Department of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2011 budget, Congress, President Obama, public policy, Save America's Treasures, Historic Preservation Offices

Posted: February 21, 2011
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