Historic Preservation Appropriations (fwd)

Hugh W. Jarvis (hjarvis@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Mon, 19 Jun 1995 19:47:16 -0400

---------- Forwarded message ----------

FYI, excuse any cross posting
TO: Concerned colleagues
FROM: Bill Lipe (President, Society for American Archaeology
(SAA)), Judy Bense (Chair, SAA Government Affairs Committee),
Donald Craib (SAA Government Affairs Manager)

SUBJECT: Appropriations for key elements of the historic
preservation system

This memo is intended to bring you up to date on Congressional
activities as they relate to funding for important elements of
the historic preservation system--specifically, the Advisory
Council, the Historic Preservation Fund, and the cultural resource
programs in the Park Service. We urge you to contact your
members of Congress to ask them to support continued funding for
these aspects of the system. Although most of these programs are
mandated by law, they can be eliminated or crippled if the
appropriations process results in severely reduced funding for
them. These programs are essential to the operation of the
larger historic preservation system, including Section 106
review, the operation of the National Register, certification of
tax credits for rehabilitated historic buildings, etc. We
encourage you to send this memo and supporting materials around
to colleagues, and to urge them also to contact their
congressional delegations.

As you may know, both houses of Congress have passed budget
resolutions that include plans to balance the federal budget over
the next seven years. This will necessarily require eliminating
some programs and cutting or slowing the rate of growth of
others. The budget resolutions were drafted by the budget
committees of the House and Senate and were voted upon by the
full membership of both of these bodies. The House and Senate
resolutions are somewhat different, so compromises will have to
be struck, and eventually a joint budget resolution will emerge.
The joint budget resolution will be designed to provide Congress
with some budget targets, both in terms of total expenditures,
and for the allocation of funds to broad functional categories
within the budget.

The actual allocation of funds to specific programs will occur in
the appropriations process, with most of the work being done by
various subcommittees to which these programs are assigned. This
will result in a series of appropriations bills that will have to
be voted on by Congress and signed by the President in order to
go into effect. The reports accompanying the House and Senate
budget resolutions were prepared by the budget committees to
provide some guidance to the appropriating committees as they
draft these appropriations bills. These recommendations are not
binding, and there is a great deal of room for tradeoffs within
the broad goals set by the budget resolutions.

There are some disturbing passages regarding historic
preservation in the reports accompanying both the House and
Senate budget resolutions. For example, the report of the Senate
Budget Commitee includes the following passage in a long
statement regarding assumptions about budget cuts:

Eliminate lower priority and duplicate programs in the
Department of Agriculture and Department of Interior such as the
forestry incentives program, urban park and recreation fund,
international forestry, advisory council on historic

The House Budget Committee report has a similar section on
recommended cuts, which includes the following:

Federal Requirement for Archeological and Historic Impact
Statements. The Federal Government requires historic and
archeological impact statements for certain construction projects
under the National Historic Preservation Act. State historical
societies contract out for the service. But most States and
municipalities now have sufficient infrastructure to make
historic and archeological evaluations on their own, without a
Federal requirement. Therefore, this mandate can be waived.

These passages were written by budget committee staff who pretty
clearly did not know much about how the historic preservation
system works. They do indicate that we need to get busy
educating members of Congress and their staffs about the value of
archaeology and historic preservation, and about how federal
expenditures on key parts of the historic preservation system
support state and private-sector partnerships. Our first job
will be to make sure that the appropriating committees (and
effectively, their relevant subcommittees) understand the value
and cost-effectiveness of historic preservation and that they
include adequate funding for key elements of the system in the
bills they prepare.

Appropriations for the Advisory Council, the Historic
Preservation Fund, and the cultural programs of the Park Service
will be in the hands of the Interior subcommittees of both the
House and Senate Appropriations Committees. In the very near
future (within a few days to a few weeks), these committees will
produce a number of appropriations bills that incorporate funds
for the various federal agencies and programs. The members of
these committees and subcommittees are listed on an attached
page. Contacts with members of the subcommittees will be
especially important, and are most likely to be effective if you
are a constituent of the member of Congress being conacted. We
urge you to make these contacts. Subcommittee members and their
staffs have already started to work on the appropriations bills,
so it is important that you make your views known to Congress in
the near future. Even if your Representative and Senators are
not on the Appropriations Committees, you can ask them to make
your views known to members who are involved in the
appropriations process.

The general operating budgets for the federal agencies that
manage cultural resources (e.g., BLM, NPS, USFS) are certainly
important, and we are not implying here that you should not
express your support for these agencies. However, we feel that
it is particularly critical at this time to show support for
continued funding of the Advisory Council, the Historic
Preservation Fund, and the cultural programs of the Park Service.
Elimination of any of these programs would have wide-ranging and
seriously negative effects on the protection and management of
archaeological sites, historic buildings, and traditional
cultural properties. We've attached some minimal information
about these three programs, including the President's funding
request for F.Y. 1996 (similar to current funding levels).

During the week of May 30--June 2, the three of us, plus Donna
Seifert and Bonnie McEwan of the Society for Historical
Archaeology, visited with staff members of a number of Senators
and Representatives in their Washington offices. We can pass
along the following suggestions, based on our experience. You
will of course not be able to use all of these points in a brief
letter (and it is important that it be brief), but we hope that
these "talking points" will help you develop your own arguments.

Overall Value of Historic Preservation

Preserving archaeological sites, buildings, and traditional
cultural properties that reflect the Nation's cultural heritage
is an important national goal and one that enjoys strong popular
support. The values involved are well stated in the preamble to
the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966:

(1) the spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and
reflected in its historic heritage;

(2) the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation
should be preserved as a living part of our community life and
development to give a sense of orientation to the American

(3) historic properties significant to the Nation's heritage
are being lost or substantially altered, often inadvertently,
with increasing frequency;

(4) the preservation of this irreplacable heritage is in the
public interest so that its vital legacy of cultural,
educational, aesthetic, inspirational, economic, and energy
benefits will be maintained and enriched for future generations
of Americans.

These principles are widely accepted by the American public, and
bipartisan majorities of Congress have reaffirmed them
repeatedly, in the process of strengthening the Historic
Preservation Act by successive amendments over the years, most
recently in 1992.

Specific Reasons to Support Funding for Key Elements of the
Historic Preservation System

1. Don't assume that the staff person or member of Congress you
have contacted knows anything about historic preservation law.
Give a simple explanation of how carrying out Section 106 review
helps ensure that historic values are considered (along with
economic and other values) when a federal undertaking
(construction, issuance of a permit, etc.) has the potential to
damage historic buildings, archaeological sites, or traditional
cultural properties.

2. Point out that the Section 106 process does not have
absolute standards that result in saving historic properties at
any cost. Rather, it requires that historic values be given
consideration, along with the economic and other public values of
the development under consideration. The process is designed to
find a solution when there is a conflict of values. It is not
designed to stop development; when put into practice, it does not
stop development, and it has generated very little litigation.
It is based on the principle of "look and evaluate before you
bulldoze", which has wide public support. In these respects, the
Section 106 process differs greatly from the way in which
endangered species or wetlands are protected. The Advisory
Council on Historic Preservation plays a key role in overseeing
this process, at very little cost. Elimination of the Council as
a cost-saving measure would save a small amount of money, but it
would also cause the Section 106 process to work much less
efficiently. This would undoubtedly result in greater costs
overall to federal agencies, the states, and the private sector,
as well as an increase in litigation.

3. The Advisory Council has met with representatives of
industry, Native American tribes, archaeologists, and historic
preservationists, in response to comments it received about draft
regulations for the Section 106 process that were designed to
implement 1992 amendments to the National Historic Preservation
Act. As archaeologists, we support the Advisory Council's goal
of providing a Section 106 process that provides a clear and
cost-effective way of balancing consideration for historic values
with society's needs for economic development.

4. The Section 106 process gives a major role to the states
when decisions are made about historic properties. Under this
process, the states review the plans of federal agencies, and can
cause these plans to be changed if they find problems with them.
The Historic Preservation fund makes this possible by providing
matching funds to help support a State Historic Preservation
Officer and a small professional staff in each state and
territory. These federal dollars (requested at $32 million for
the entire system) are highly leveraged by additional state and
often, private funds. Drastic cuts in the Historic Preservation
Fund would weaken the states' ability to review federal agency
plans, increasing the possibility for litigation or for
development projects to be held up.

5. The Park Service cultural programs provide essential
technical support and other historic preservation assistance to
federal and state agencies and the private sector. Hence, these
federal dollars are also highly leveraged, and enable the whole
system to work more effectively and efficiently at the federal,
state, municipal, and private levels. These services are not
limited to the Section 106 process, but provide technical
assistance that enable the private sector to obtain tax credits
for rehabilitated historic structures, etc.

When you write or FAX your member of Congress, your
communications need to be brief, with the focus on asking the
member of Congress to support these three programs (Historic
Preservation Fund, Advisory Council, and Park Service cultural
programs). You may also be able to visit directly with a staff
member in the Representative or Senator's home office, or even
with the member of Congress, if she or he is home for a visit.
After you write or FAX in your comments, it would be a good idea
to follow up with a phone call to the member's Washington office.
Tell the person who answers what your interest is, and ask to be
called back by a staff member who is familiar with your issue.
When you talk to this person, make your points again, answer
questions the staff member may have, and try to find out what the
member of Congress thinks about the issue you have raised, and
whether he or she is willing to take some action to further your

Basic Information About Key Elements of Federal Funding for
Historic Preservation, F.Y. 1996

The Historic Preservation Fund. Administration funding request
is $43 million
-$32 million for State Historic Preservation Offices
-$7 million for the National Trust for Historic Preservation
-$2 million in grants for cultural and archaeological
preservation programs of Native American tribes and Native
Hawaiian organizations
-$2 million in grants for historically Black colleges, to
protect historic properties that symbolize the civil rights
struggle and the contribution these colleges have made to

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Administration
funding request is $3.06 million
-The Advisory council issues regulations and provides guidance
to federal agencies for Section 106 reviews of the effects of
their undertakings on historic buildings, archaeological sites,
and traditional cultural properties.

The cultural resource programs of the National Park Service.
Administration funding request is $18.5 million
-This funding supports the National Register, the Historic
American Buildings Survey, the Historic American Engineering
Record, the National Center for Preservation Technology and
Training, NAGPRA assistance grants, the National Archaeological
Data Base, and other technical information and assistance
services in archaeology and historic preservation.

Senate Appropriations Committee

Republicans (15) Democrats (13)

Mark O. Hatfield, Oregon, Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia,
Chair Ranking Member
Ted Stevens, Alaska Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii
Thad Cochran, Mississippi Ernest F. Hollings, South Carolina
Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania J. Bennett Johnston, Louisiana
Pete V. Domenici, New Mexico Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont
Phil Gramm, Texas Dale Bumpers, Arkansas
Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Frank R. Lautenberg, New Jersey
Slade Gorton, Washington Tom Harkin, Iowa
Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland
Connie Mack, Florida Harry Reid, Nevada
Conrad Burns, Montana Bob Kerrey, Nebraska
Richard C. Shelby, Alabama Herb Kohl, Wisconsin
James M. Jeffords, Vermont Patty Murray, Washington
Judd Gregg, New Hampshire
Robert F. Bennett, Utah

Interior Subcommittee

Gorton, chair
Stevens Byrd
Cochran Johnston
Domenici Leahy
Hatfield Bumpers
Burns Hollings
Bennett Reid
Mack Murray

House Appropriations Committee

Republicans (32) Democrats (24)

Robert Livingston, Louisiana, David R. Obey, Wisconsin,
Chair Ranking Member
Joseph M. McDade, Penn. Sidney R. Yates, Illinois
John T. Myers, Indiana Louis Stokes, Ohio
C.W. Bill Young, Florida Tom Bevill, Alabama
Ralph Regula, Ohio John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania
Jerry Lewis, California Charles Wilson, Texas
John Edward Porter, Illinois Norm Dicks, Washington
Harold Rogers, Kentucky Martin Olav Sabo, Minnesota
Joe Skeen, New Mexico Julian Dixon, California
Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Vic Fazio, California
Tom DeLay, Texas W.G. "Bill" Hefner, North Carolina
Jim Kolbe, Arizona Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland
Barbara F. Vucanovich, Nevada Richard J. Durbin, Illinois
Jim Ross Lightfoot, Iowa Ronald D. Coleman, Texas
Ron Packard, California Alan B. Mollohan, West Virginia
Sonny Callahan, Alabama Jim Chapman, Texas
James T. Walsh, New York Marcy Kaptur, Ohio
Charles H. Taylor, North Car. David E. Skaggs, Colorado
David L. Hobson, Ohio Nancy Pelosi, California
Ernest Jim Istook, Jr., Okla. Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana
Henry Bonilla, Texas Thomas M. Foglietta, Pennsylvania
Joe Knollenberg, Michigan Esteban E. Torres, California
Dan Miller, Florida Nita M. Lowey, New York
Jay Dickey, Arkansas Ray Thornton, Arkansas
Jack Kingston, Georgia
Frank Riggs, California
Rodney Frelinghuysen, New Jersey
Roger Wicker, Mississippi
Michael P. Forbes, New York
George Nethercutt, Washington
Jim Bunn, Oregon
Mark W. Neumann, Wisconsin

Interior Subcommittee

Regula, Chair
McDade Yates
Kolbe Dicks
Skeen Bevill
Vucanovich Skaggs
Taylor (N.C.)


Please cross-post or duplicate this message as appropriate. For
additional information, contact:

Society for American Archaeology
900 Second Street NE #12
Washington DC 20002-3557

Telephone: 202/789-8200
Fax: 202/789-0284
Email: ralphj@mercury.interpath.net

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