Action Alert -- Senate Appropriations

(no name) ((no email))
Fri, 21 Jul 1995 11:40:19 -0400

TO: Concerned Supports of Archaeology
FROM: William D. Lipe, President
Society for American Archaeology
DATE: July 21, 1995
RE: Action Alert -- Senate Appropriations

The House has passed its appropriations bill for Interior and
Related Agencies. Compared with some other federal programs, we
were treated fairly well, considering that the overall
allocations for Interior were more than 10 percent below this
year's funding levels.

Our most significant victory was the overwhelming vote on the
House floor to restore funding for the Advisory Council. SAA
worked alongside ACRA, Preservation Action, SHA, and other
organizations to accomplish this turnaround.

Although we had some relative successes in the House, the
appropriations process there still left us with some painful
cuts. In particular, the cultural resources budgets of the BLM
and the Forest Service took hits. The fact that the total pie
is smaller this year than it was last year should not keep us
from making the strongest case we can for the value of the
programs we care about. The experience in the House suggests
that we need to make a special effort to explain and justify
funding for cultural resource programs in the public lands
agencies. The workload in these programs is going up, so the
effect of cuts are even more severe.

We hope that the strength that archaeology and historic
preservation showed in the House can carry over to the Senate
appropriations process, which will happen very rapidly, over the
next week. ***It is essential that the members of the Senate
Appropriations Committee immediately get communications from
their constituents supporting archaeology and historic
preservation; members of the Interior Subcommittee are especially
important.*** If your Senators are on the attached list, please
contact them now by letter or by a phone message. Even if your
Senators are not members of the Appropriations Committee, you can
ask them to convey their support for archaeology and historic
preservation to Senator Hatfield, the Committee Chair, or Senator
Gorton, Interior Subcommittee Chair.

I've attached a sample letter that may help you get started. It
will be particularly effective if you can mention how federal
programs in archaeology and historic preservation have saved
important sites or buildings in the state, have made it possible
for students or the general public to learn more about their
heritage, have contributed to economic development, etc. If
your Senator has been a supporter of archaeology and historic
preservation in the past, please don't forget to thank her or him
for the help.

Please pass this material along to friends of archaeology and
historic preservation.

Interior Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee

_Senator_ _Party_ _State_ _Fax No._

Slade Gorton (chair) R Washington 202-224-9393
Ted Stevens R Alaska 202-224-2354
Thad Cochran R Mississippi 202-224-9450
Pete V. Domenici R New Mexico 202-224-7371
*Mark O. Hatfield R Oregon 202-224-0276
Conrad Burns R Montana 202-224-8594
Robert Bennett R Utah 202-224-6717
Connie Mack R Florida 202-224-8022
**Robert Byrd D West Virginia 202-224-0002
J. Bennett Johnston D Louisiana 202-224-2952
Patrick J. Leahy D Vermont 202-224-3595
Dale Bumpers D Arkansas 202-224-6435
Ernest F. Hollings D South Carolina 202-224-4293
Harry Reid D Nevada 202-224-7327
Patty Murray D Washington 202-224-0238

Other Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee

Arlen Specter R Pennsylvania 202-224-1893
Phil Gramm R Texas 202-228-2856
Christopher S. Bond R Missouri 202-224-8149
Mitch McConnell R Kentucky 202-224-2499
Richard Shelby R Alabama 202-224-3416
Jim M. Jeffords R Vermont 202-228-0338
Judd Gregg R New Hampshire 202-224-4952
Daniel Inouye D Hawaii 202-224-6747
Frank R. Lautenberg D New Jersey 202-224-9707
Tom Harkin D Iowa 202-224-9369
Barbara Mikulski D Maryland 202-224-8858
J. Robert Kerrey D Nebraska 202-224-7645
Herbert Kohl D Wisconsin 202-224-9787

* Chair, Appropriations Committee
** Ranking Minority Member, Appropriations Committee


Sample Letter

_ _ _ _ _ , 1995

The Honorable _ _ _ _ _ _
The Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator _ _ _ _ _:

I live in _ _ _ _ , _ _ _ _ _, and I am writing to express my
support for continued funding for key elements of our national
historic preservation system. Congress and the American people
have consistently given strong bipartisan support for protecting
the significant archaeological sites, historic buildings, and
traditional cultural places that represent our national heritage.
I urge you to continue this tradition by supporting adequate
levels of funding for the Advisory Council on Historic
Preservation, the Historic Preservation Fund, and the cultural
resource programs of the National Park Service, the Bureau of
Land Management, and the Forest Service.

I understand and support Congress' efforts to control federal
spending and move toward a balanced budget. However, imposing
crippling levels of cuts on these small programs would be a false
economy. It would result not only in the unnecessary destruction
of portions of America's heritage, but in the delay of worthwhile
development projects due to the failure of agencies to comply
with the Historic Preservation Act, with the attendant
possibility of litigation. Let me briefly discuss the
contributions of each of the programs I hope you will support.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation is more than an
advisory committee--it takes an active role in seeking solutions
to historic preservation problems and ensures that the interests
of businesses, tribes, and the general public are represented
when these problems arise. The Council oversees Section 106
review, a widely supported "look before you bulldoze" process
requiring federal agencies to consider the effects of their
actions on historic properties, and to work with the states and
affected parties (tribes, business interests, etc.) to minimize
destruction of these properties. The Council can play a
mediating role when there are disagreements. Section 106 review
does not require that historic properties be protected at all
costs, and it does not stop projects if the agency determines
that other social or economic values outweigh the historic ones.
This type of review has generated little litigation, and the
Council is working with industry and the historic preservation
community to streamline the new Section 106 regulations now being
drawn up to implement recent Congressional amendments to the
Historic Preservation Act.

The Historic Preservation Fund primarily supports the State
Historic Preservation Offices in all the states and territories.
Federal funds are matched and generally exceeded by state and
private monies. The State Historic Preservation Officers are
appointed by the governors. The Section 106 review process gives
them a strong voice in protecting historic properties that may be
affected by federal agency actions (construction, permits, etc.).
The fund also provides some assistance for the National Trust for
Historic Preservation, and for the historic preservation programs
of Native American tribes and historically Black colleges.

The Cultural Programs of the National Park Service provide
technical assistance and other support for historic preservation
in federal agencies, the states, and the private sector. For
example, the Park Service maintains the National Register of
Historic Places, and provides guidance for rehabilitation
projects that enable businesses to obtain tax credits for
preserving buildings that are on the National Register. The
preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings have
increased the economic vitality of many of our older towns and

The Cultural Resources Program of the Bureau of Land Management
and the Heritage Program of the U.S. Forest Service allow these
agencies to protect and manage thousands of archaeological sites,
historic structures, and traditional cultural properties on the
public lands. Many of these sites represent Native American
cultural heritage. Recent legislation and court cases have
increased the agencies' responsibilities for consulting and
cooperating with tribes. Increasing numbers of citizens enjoy
visiting rock art panels, cliff dwellings, historic mining towns,
and other archaeological and historical sites on the public
lands. Commercial looting of Native American graves for
marketable artifacts is a growing problem requiring attention,
and agencies must also consider the effects of development
projects under Section 106, as described above. Consequently,
the cultural resource specialists in the public land agencies
have a heavy and increasing workload.

In sum, these programs provide a time-tested, cost-effective way
to ensure that America's historic heritage receives at least
minimal protection and public access. Federal preservation
programs have resulted in many economic, educational,
recreational, and cultural benefits for the American people. I
urge you to support funding for these programs. Crippling cuts
will result in the loss of irreplaceable archaeological and
historic properties that are the heritage of all Americans.


_ _ _ _ _ _


For additional information contact:

Society for American Archaeology
900 Second Street NE #12
Washington DC 20002

Telephone 202-789-8200
Fax 202-789-0284