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Home arrowNews arrow Movement in Congress on Historic Preservation Fund Reauthorization

Movement in Congress on Historic Preservation Fund Reauthorization

On February 11, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a hearing on the National Historic Preservation Amendments Act (H.R. 2817), a bill that would reauthorize the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF provides vital funding support to the partnership between federal, state, tribal, and local governments working to preserve historic properties. While the Subcommittee did not take formal action, statements and questions from its members suggested general bipartisan support for reauthorizing the HPF.

The National Park Service testified in support of the bill, as did the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. In advance of the hearing, the ACHP submitted written testimony for the record urging the Subcommittee to support the bill.

The ACHP recommended that the Subcommittee consider amending the bill to provide permanent authorization for the HPF rather than the 10-year reauthorization called for in the bill. The ACHP also urged the Subcommittee to consider two other amendments to the NHPA that would enhance the effectiveness of the ACHP as well as the national preservation program – conversion of the current part-time status of its chair to full-time and extension of voting membership on the ACHP to the General Chairman of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (NATHPO). These recommendations represent positions previously adopted by the ACHP membership.

The HPF has a remaining balance of $3 billion that can be drawn upon in the short term, but reauthorization of the revenue stream into the fund is critical for the federal preservation program’s long-term viability.