From Preservation Action
At the end of July, a statement from from the White House was quietly released (in fact so quiet, most of us completely missed it) in which the the President expressed his support for the CLEAR Act, H.R. 3534. In his “Statement of Administration Policy,” which includes support for several oil spill prevention and off-shore drilling measures, the very last paragraph states that “The Administration strongly supports funding for land and water conservation and historic preservation projects that prioritize the needs of the Nation based on competitive process.”
While it is still unclear just how much of a priority historic preservation is to the Administration, this is a good starting point, and one we can use to bolster our arguments to the Senate for inclusion in their version of the CLEAR Act. For the president to understand the economic benefits of historic preservation that speak directly to “the needs of the Nation” during this difficult time is a huge boon to our campaign for full funding of the HPF.
The administration has not previously shown open support of historic preservation; demonstrated most clearly by the FY 2011 budget cuts to eliminate funding for Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America, and greatly reduce funding for National Heritage Areas. Preservation Action and our members need to continue working hard to make sure our voice is heard and kept on the executive radar. The best ways to act are continuing to provide feedback to the America’s Great Outdoors initiative, contact your Senators and ask them to support HPF in the energy bill, S. 3663, and to help broaden our network by reaching out and finding new members for Preservation Action.