National Trust Vice President for Public Policy, Emily Wadhams, testified before the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands in support of HR 3891, a bill authorizing two key historic preservation programs — Preserve America (PA) and Save America’s Treasures (SAT) — on April 24th.
Wadhams’ testimony emphasized the importance of moving forward with Congress’ ongoing commitment to the SAT program in particular, and that “without it would be virtually impossible to stimulate private matching contributions and hard to imagine where else the money would come from to preserve our national heritage.” Wadhams also highlighted the synergy between the PA and SAT programs in saving historic and cultural resources, and noted that “SAT bricks-and-mortar recipients benefit greatly from Preserve America awards that provide funds for the planning process needed to qualify for SAT support, as well as essential education and outreach activities to increase the value of an SAT-funded restoration.”
SAT was established a decade ago to celebrate the millennium and highlight the importance of history in marking the 21st century. With broad bi-partisan support in Congress, the leadership of two First Ladies, and the continuing support and leadership of both the Clinton and Bush administrations, SAT has proved to be a phenomenal success and has provided more than $264 million in federal challenge grants to 1,024 historic preservation projects through 2007.
However, even with all of its tremendous success and support, SAT and PA are unauthorized and tenuously funded from year-to-year though the annual appropriations process. Wadhams stated that “the National Trust is urging Congress to authorize SAT and PA with a long-term programmatic and funding vision that would enable both programs to work in harmony with the other components of the national historic preservation program. Authorization [of SAT] would codify the successful implementation and practices of a ten-year old initiative along with its newer partner [PA], and I think that this is a step in the right direction.”
To read the complete text of Ms. Wadhams’ testimony, please visit http://www.preservationnation.org/issues/federal-funding/additionalresources/PA_SAT_House_Authorization_Bill_testimony_EW.pdf.