The House passed the FY’09 omnibus spending bill (HR 1105) this week by a vote of 245-178 with increases in funding for State and Tribal Preservation Offices, but reduced funding for Save America’s Treasures program grants and eliminated funding for the Preserve America Program entirely. The omnibus contains the remaining nine bills for FY’09, including the Interior bill which funds historic preservation for FY’09. The Senate is expected to clear the measure by the end of next week. Below is summary of the highlights for preservation-related spending in the bill.
National Park Service (NPS):
Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF is funded at $69.5 million but does not include $10 million requested for the Preserve America program or $2 million requested to initiate an inventory of historic properties. The Committees on Appropriations stated that “that future funding for the Preserve America program should be deferred pending a full evaluation of the effectiveness of the program in meeting national heritage tourism needs.” State Preservation Offices (SHPOs) would receive $42.5 million; Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs) would receive $7 million; Save America's Treasures would receive $20 million, a reduction of over $4.5 million from FY’08. Half of the SAT money is earmarked towards members’ historic preservation projects in their districts, leaving $10 million for competitive awards. Below is a summary of funding levels for HPF programs comparing funding levels from FY’08.
HPF Funding Levels ($ in millions):
||FY08 Enacted Levels
||FY09 House Level
||FY09 Omnibus House-passed |
|Inventory of Historic Sites
* Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) received $15 million funding in the “American Recovery and Revitalization Act of 2009”
Operations: $2,131,529,000 for expenses necessary for the management, operation, and maintenance of areas, including $99,586,000 for maintenance, repair or rehabilitation projects for constructed assets.
National Recreation: $59.684 million for expenses necessary to carry out recreation programs, natural programs, cultural programs, heritage partnership programs, environmental· compliance and review, international park affairs, statutory or contractual aid for other activities, and grant administration.
Gettysburg National Military Park (NMP). $200,000 is provided to continue the restoration of historic battlefield landscaping at Gettysburg National Military Park.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of John Brown's raid on the arsenal at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, the bill provides up to $300,000 to defray the costs of the extensive events that will surround the site’s anniversary.
Cultural Programs. The bill includes $1 million to initiate programmatic activities under the Japanese-American Confinement Sites Act (P.L. 109-441). However, the bill does not include $2 million requested to begin an inventory of historic properties requested in the President's budget.
Heritage Partnerships Program. The bill includes $15.702 million for the Heritage Partnerships Program. This amount will fund all heritage partnerships authorized during the 110th Congress. Partnerships which received funding in fiscal year 2008 will be funded at the same level as they received last ear. In addition, the bill provides $148,000 of planning funds for each of three newlyauthorize heritage partnerships.
Park Support. The bill assumes funding of $11 million for the National Trail System.
U.S. Forest Service (USFS):
Construction and Capital Improvement. $495.393 million to remain available until expended, for construction, capital improvement, maintenance and acquisition of buildings and other facilities and infrastructure; and for construction, capital improvement, decommissioning, and maintenance of forest roads and trails by the Forest Service as authorized.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM):
Cultural Resources Management. There is an increase of $500,000 to begin implementation of the Galisteo Basin (in New Mexico) Archeological Sites Protection Act of 2004.
Recreation Resources Management. Within the amounts provided, there is an increase of $1 million for management of the national scenic and historic trails.
Challenge Cost Share. The Challenge Cost Share (CCS) program is a grant matching program for partners to receive a 50% matching grant for work on improving habitat or cultural resources on public lands. The Bureau of Land Management proposed in its FY2009 Budget to set aside $3 million specifically for the Challenge Cost Share program in the National Landscape Conservation System. The House has responded that a specific Challenge Cost Share setaside should not be made for the National Landscape Conservation System. National Monuments and Conservation Areas. The bill includes the yarious funding transfers proposed by the Bureau, and an increase of $6.371 million above the request, for a total of $28.196 million for the new National Monuments and Conservation Areas activity. Additional National Landscape Conservation System funding is included in the wilderness and recreation activities in this account, and in the Oregon and California Grant Lands account.Reprinted by permission of the Public Policy Department of the National Trust