National Park Service Awards More Than $1.6 million to Protect Civil War and Revolutionary War Battlefields
Contributed By: National Park Service
WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) has awarded more than $1.6 million in grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund in 2016 to preserve 397.61 acres at 11 of America’s battlefields. The grants will fund projects at battlefields that are threatened by development in Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.
A grant awarded to Lancaster County, South Carolina for land acquisition at the Second Hanging Rock Battlefield is the first NPS grant for acquisition of land at a Revolutionary War battlefield since the expansion of the NPS American Battlefield Protection Program in 2015.
The Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants are funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since its establishment in 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has conserved land in every state and supported tens of thousands of state and local projects. The fund does not use taxpayer dollars; the primary source of income derives from fees paid by oil and gas companies drilling offshore in waters owned by the American people.
“The National Park Service is the protector of the stories and places that define American history, including the fields of battle that shaped that history,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants are a fundamental tool by which we help states and local communities preserve and protect the integrity of these important battlefields.”
The Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants are administered by the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), one of more than a dozen programs administered by the National Park Service that provide states and local communities technical assistance, recognition, and funding to help preserve their own history and create close-to-home recreation opportunities. Consideration for the battlefield land acquisition grants is given to battlefields listed in the National Park Service’s Civil War Sites Advisory Commission’s 1993 Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields and the ABPP’s 2007 Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States.
Grants are awarded to units of state and local governments either for the fee simple acquisition of land or for the non-federal acquisition of permanent, protective interests in land (easements). Private non-profit groups may apply in partnership with state or local government sponsors. Please see the award lists below for partnership organizations involved in the grant projects. Complete guidelines for grant eligibility and application forms are available online at: www.nps.gov/abpp.
Only once in the past 50 years has Congress appropriated LWCF funding at the fully authorized level of $900 million. President Obama’s 2017 budget request includes a legislative proposal to establish mandatory funding for LWCF programs, with full funding at $900 million. Congress provided a short-term renewal of three years for LWCF in the fiscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Act. Chronic uncertainty and underfunding have made it increasingly challenging for local, state and federal partners to use this important conservation tool.
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