House Appropriators Slash Preservation Funding by Nine Percent for FY'12
Contributed By: National Trust's Public Policy Department and Center for State and Local Policy
The House Subcommittee on Interior and Environment Appropriations marked up and approved the FY’12 Interior spending bill on Thursday. Prior to the markup, the subcommittee released the draft bill which included a 9% cut ($5 million) to the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) from $54.5 million to $49.5 million. The bill would also cut funding by nearly 80 percent for land acquisitions at Interior agencies and the Forest Service, nearly eliminating the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), to stop the Obama Administration from any initiative to expand public lands. The LWCF funds land acquisitions, links habitats, and assists states in promoting recreation. In addition, the draft Interior bill contains a rider that rescinds Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s recent decision to extend a ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon pending study of the environmental impact of withdrawing 1 million acres from new mining activities for the next 20 years.
The Subcommittee mark would provide overall funding for the Interior Department of $9.9 billion, $720 million below the agency's current budget and $1.2 billion below the president's request. This translates into the following:
Although these funding levels did not break out individual sub-accounts for line items within HPF or the National Recreation budget for example, preservationistis are speculating that State and Tribal Preservation Offices might be broken out at FY'09 funding levels -- $42.5 million and $7 million, respectively. However, final sub-account totals will not be available until full Committee mark up in the House on July 12th. The cuts approved by the subcommittee came as no surprise as full Appropriations Committee chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) had pressed for even deeper cuts (20%) in advance of the initial 302(b) budget allocation of $27.5 billion for the Interior bill earlier in the spring. It would appear that the subcommittee was restrained somewhat by the prospect that the outcome of the debt ceiling talks (see below) would most likely result in an additional across-the-board spending cuts in all FY’12 spending bills at the end of the fiscal year. The Trust is evaluating what a 9% cut to the HPF will translate into lost services, staffing and services for State and Tribal Preservation Offices in carrying out the national preservation program.
- A $129 million cut for the National Park Service (NPS) down to $2.5 billion.
- A $63 million reduction for the Bureau of Land Management to $1 billion.
- The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) received $5.498 million (down from $5.908 million in FY’11 and from the FY’12 Administration's request of $6.108 million).
- National Recreation and Preservation programs, which include the National Register of Historic Places and Heritage Area Partnerships, were funded at $49.363 million.
- American Battlefield Protection Grants were funded at $2.0 million under NPS land acquisition, an increase of $640,000 from FY'11.
Reprinted with permission from the National Trust's Public Policy Department and Center for State and Local Policy
Keywords: National Trust's Public Policy Department and Center for State and Local Policy, Preservation Funding, House Subcommittee on Interior and Environment Appropriations, Historic Preservation Fund,
Posted: July 8, 2011
Unless noted, the thoughts and opinions expressed in the article are solely that of the
author and not necessarily the opinion of the editors of PreservationDirectory.com.