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Historic Preservation, NLCS Funding and Historic Leasing Provisions Preserved in Year-End FY'12 Omnibus Spending Bill
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: National Trust for Historic Preservation
Website: http://www.preservationnation.org/resources/newsletters/trustee-bulletin/Public-Policy-Weekly-Bulletin-2-1-1-2-2-3-3.html

Historic preservation funding for FY'12 was settled at the eleventh hour when Congress approved a year-end omnibus spending bill just before a temporary continuing resolution (CR) expired on December 16th.  The nine-bill omnibus included the Interior Appropriations bill, which funds historic preservation and provided $56 million for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) - a slight increase of $1.6 million over FY'11 level funding.  Included in the HPF allocation was $47 million for State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) and $9 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs).  Unfortunately, $8 million that was provided for the Save America's Treasures (SAT) program in the Senate ($64 million) for the HPF was excluded from the final conference report.  Other preservation funded included level funding for national heritage areas ($17.4 million).

The omnibus bill also included a historic leasing provision for cultural resources in the national parks in which the lessee agrees to invest in the rehabilitation and maintenance of the leased structure in exchange for the right to use the structure. A historic lease shifts the burden of maintenance to the lessee for the duration of the lease term. Historic leases not only generate revenue, they play a role in rehabilitating, restoring, and maintaining park resources with private funds, saving taxpayer dollars.  In addition, the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) was funded at $74 million within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) budget.  NLCS lands are considered the crown jewel of the Bureau of Land Management and encompass 26 million acres in 12 Western states, including dozens of national monuments, conservation and wilderness areas, historic trails, and wild and scenic rivers, while embracing an incredible array of historic sites ranging from Native American pueblos to traces of frontier-era migration routes.  The NLCS system was established to conserve, protect, and restore natural and cultural landscapes from a variety of threats.

Reprinted with permission from the National Trust's Public Policy Department and Center for State and Local Policy


Posted: December 23, 2011
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