In May 2019, the House Appropriations Committee approved the 2020 Interior Appropriations Bill, which demonstrated strong support for preservation from the committee (on which Washington Representatives Derek Kilmer, Jaime Herrera Beutler, and Dan Newhouse all serve). This is one of the main issues we advocate for each March when we travel to Washington, DC, for Lobby Day.

The Interior Appropriations bill includes:

  • Increased support to the National Park Service and the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF)—a $19 million increase over 2019 levels
  • Increased support to State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (which includes the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and many Washington tribes)
  • Increased support for the African American Civil Rights Movement and the Save America’s Treasures grant programs
  • Increased support of the Heritage Partnership program, which supports National Heritage Areas (like Washington’s own new Maritime National Heritage Area and Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area)
  • Establishment of a new grant program to recognize and preserve sites associated with civil rights for all Americans
  • Strong objections to the National Park Services’ proposed rule changes to the National Register of Historic Places

This represents a strong commitment to historic preservation, especially considering the extreme cuts to preservation programs proposed in the administration’s budget. A draft of the Senate 2020 Interior Appropriations bill is expected this summer. Stay tuned!

Source: Preservation Action