Interior Appropriations Conference Committee Results

Wed, 20 Sep 1995 17:14:31 -0400

The following message is provided by ACRA to the historic preservation
community. This is the last message we will be sending out on legislation
until the National Historic Preservation Act comes up for reconfirmation
later this fall. We would like to thank those of you who have borne in
silence our unsolicited e-mail on the critical situation in Washington this
spring and summer. We would especially like to thank those from outside the
United States who suffered in silence even though you will not be affected by
the legislative shennanigans. To those few people who sent us e-mail
registering your dismay about using the Internet for political purposes, we
can only apologize and say that we are exploring ways to cut down our
presence while maintaining our effectiveness.

We are extremely grateful for those anonymous, and not so anonymous, people
who made the phone calls and faxes, wrote the letters, and met with your
members of Congress. You helped make the difference. You also showed, for
perhaps the first time, that historic preservation is a force to be reckoned
with on a national scale. It will not be so easy in the future for members
of Congress to write off historic preservation because no one really seems to
care. Historic preservation is no longer the domain of exclusive clubs.

Tom Wheaton
Executive Director - ACRA
Check out our Web site at:


Interior Conference Results
Prepared by Loretta Neumann, CEHP Incorporated

Good News! The House-Senate Appropriations Conference Committee met
yesterday and worked out differences in the fiscal year 1996 funding bill for
the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies. While they opted for
the lower amounts in almost every case, we truly believe that cultural
resource programs faired well, all things considered.

Thanks in large part to the monumental work done by ACRA and the archaeology
and historic preservation community, the Advisory Council on Historic
Preservation was saved and the Historic Preservation Fund avoided additional,
major cuts. We were also able to get some of the proposed cuts in the Forest
Service heritage funding restored (see itemized list below).

At this point, we don't envision any additional pleas for your lobbying help.
The bill is expected to go back to the House and Senate floors for final
votes later this week or next week. Major environmental issues, such as
mining reform and the Tongas timber sales, must be resolved to avoid a
threatened Presidential veto. In the meantime, everyone who made a phone
call, wrote a letter, sent a fax, or e-mailed a message to their Members of
Congress deserves a big pat on the back.

Following are some of the results for historic preservation/cultural
resources programs:

The House had allocated $34.434 million for the Historic Preservation Fund
for grants to states and tribes and historically black colleges, and $3.5 for
the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Senate had $32.712 for
grants states/tribes/black colleges and $5.6 for the Trust. The Conference
accepted the Senate amount for grants to the states/tribes/black colleges and
the House number for the National Trust. The conference report language
includes instructions that the Trust find other sources of funding within 3

The House included $3.063 million for the Council while the Senate had $2.5
million. The conferees agreed to accept the Senate funding level and issued
report language directing agencies to reimburse the Advisory Council on
Historic Preservation for its services. Fortunately, no language eliminating
the Council was included!

The House had $14 million for the heritage program of the Forest Service
while the Senate cut that to $13.130. The conferees split the difference,
providing $13.565 million for heritage resources.

The House had allocated $99.5 million of both the National Endowment for the
Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Senate increased
both to $110 million. The conference members agreed to $99.5 million for NEA
and $110 million for NEH.

Thanks again to everyone who pitched in and helped.