Action Needed to Encourage Senate -Forwarded (fwd)

Hugh W. Jarvis (hjarvis@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Mon, 19 Jun 1995 12:07:05 -0400

And more forwarded mail on the DC follies...


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Reply-To: Ralph C Johnson -- Society for American Archaeology
Sender: Archaeology List <ARCH-L@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU>

To: Concerned Supporters of Archaeology

From: Bill Lipe, President, Society for American Archaeology


As many of you are aware, the Society for American Archaeology,
in conjunction with other organizations, has been encouraging
supporters of archaeology to contact members of the House
appropriations Committee (and particularly, its Interior
Subcommittee) to urge that adequate levels of funding continue to
be provided for key elements of the national historic preservation
system. This subcommittee initiates appropriations for the Historic
Preservation Fund, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation,
the cultural programs of the National Park Service, and the cultural
resource program of the Bureau of Land Management. We need to
continue this effort in the House, but we must also make a
concerted effort to win support in the Senate as well. The Senate
Appropriations Committee has an Interior Subcommittee with
jurisdiction over these same programs.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will begin considering
appropriations measures shortly after the House votes on its
appropriations bills. The Senate bills can be quite different from the
House versions, and the differences will be ironed out by a conference
committee after the floor votes. The House appropriations bills are
currently scheduled to go to a floor vote by the 28th of June, and the
Senate appropriations measures will be marked up and sent to the floor
soon after the House version passes. We can be sure that the members and
staffs of the Senate Appropriations Committee are currently quite busy
developing their positions on how programs should be funded, so
they can act quickly after passage of the House appropriations.

Therefore, it is essential that supporters of archaeology and historic
preservation express their concerns and interests to members of the
Senate as soon as possible. Because the Interior Subcommittee of
the Senate Appropriations Committee has primary jurisdiction over
several programs that are very important to American archaeology,
the members of this subcommittee must hear from as many of their
constituents as possible about the value of these programs. If one of
your Senators is on this subcommittee, you are in the best position
to have an influence on funding. Next in importance are the other
members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, because they
will have to approve the recommendations of their various
subcommittees. Even if your Senators are not on the
Appropriations Committee, however, you can ask them to contact
their colleagues on the Interior Subcommittee to express their
support for adequate funding for archaeology and historic

Below, I've listed the members of the Senate Appropriations Interior
Subcommittee, as well as the other members of the Appropriations
Committee. I've also attached a sample letter that presents some
arguments in favor of continued funding for some of the key components of
the national historic preservation system.

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


June 16, 1995

The Honorable ________ _________
The Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator ________:

I live in __________, ___________, and am writing to express
my support for the funding of key elements of our national historic
preservation system. My special interest is archaeology, but I am
also concerned about the preservation of other historic properties
as well. Congress and the American people have consistently given
strong and bipartisan support for the protection of the significant
archaeological sites, historic buildings, and traditional cultural
places that represent our national heritage. I urge you to continue
this tradition by supporting funding for the Historic Preservation
Fund, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the cultural
programs of the National Park Service, and the cultural resource
program of the Bureau of Land Management. Adequate funding for
these programs is essential if federal agencies and the states are to
implement the National Historic Preservation Act--a piece of
legislation that has maintained strong public support since its
passage in 1966.

I understand and support Congress' efforts to control federal
spending and move toward a balanced federal budget. However,
eliminating the budgets of these small programs, or imposing
crippling levels of cuts, will be a false economy. The result will be
not only the unnecessary destruction of portions of America's
heritage, but the delay of worthwhile development projects due to
litigation over failure of agencies to comply with the National
Historic Preservation Act. Let me briefly discuss the contributions
of each of the programs I have listed above.

The Historic Preservation Fund (administration request $43
million) 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, and they have
a strong role in reviewing and requiring modifications in federal
undertakings (construction, permits, assistance, etc.) that have the
potential to damage significant archaeological sites and historic
buildings in their states. The fund also provides some assistance to
the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and to the historic
preservation programs of Native American tribes and historically
Black colleges.

The Advisory Council for Historic Preservation (administration
request $3.06 million)establishes guidelines for what is called
Section 106 review. This establishes a widely-supported "look
before you bulldoze" policy that requires federal agencies to
consider the effects of their programs on archaeological sites,
historic buildings, and traditional cultural properties, and to work
with the state historic preservation offices and with affected
parties(Native American tribes, private business and industry, etc.)
to minimize the destruction of these aspects of our heritage. The
Advisory Council can also play a mediating role when there are
disagreements. This process is designed to see that historic
preservation values are given some consideration; it does not set up
arbitrary thresholds requiring that certain properties be protected at
any cost, and it is not designed to stop development projects.
Section 106 review has generated very little litigation. The
Advisory Council is working with industry to streamline and make
more cost-effective the Section 106 regulations that implement
recent amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act, and I
support these efforts. Some in Congress have tagged the Council as
"redundant." I can assure you this is not the case; it plays an
essential role in the effective operation of the larger federal historic
preservation system.

The cultural programs of the National Park Service
(administration request $18.5 million)provide technical information
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
technical guidelines under which businesses can obtain tax credits
for the rehabilitation of buildings that are on the Register. The
rehabilitation of historic buildings has promoted the economic
vitality of many of our older towns and cities.

The cultural resource program of the Bureau of Land
Management (administration request$12.6 million) allows this
agency to protect and manage thousands of archaeological sites and
traditional cultural properties in the western U.S. and Alaska. The
BLM is responsible for more archaeological and cultural sites than
any other federal agency. Many of these sites represent the Native
American cultural heritage and are of great concern to the tribes.
The increasing number of recreational users of the public lands find
enjoyment in visiting rock art panels, cliff dwellings, historic mining
towns, and other archaeological and historic sites on these lands.
Commercial looting of Native American graves for marketable
artifacts is a growing problem requiring attention, and the agency
must consider the effects of development projects on archaeological
and historical properties under Section 106 review, as described

In sum, these programs provide a time-tested and cost-effective
way to ensure that America's historic heritage is given at least
minimal protection. Federal preservation programs have resulted in
numerous economic, educational, recreational, and cultural benefits
for the American public. Again, I strongly urge that you support
basic levels of funding for these programs. Elimination of funding
for the Advisory Council or crippling cuts in the other small
programs will have disproportionate negative effects on the national
Historic Preservation system. This would result not only in the loss
of irreplaceable archaeological and historical properties, but in the
slowing down of private development projects because of the
inability of federal agencies and the states to carry out the reviews
required by law.

_________ __________


For further information, contact:

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

202/789-0284 fax

William D. Lipe, President
Judy Bense, Chair, Government Affairs Committee
Ralph Johnson, Executive Director
Donald Craib, Manager, Goverment Affairs and Counsel