MAY 04, 2018

Effort to Reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund Heats Up

Without congressional action, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) will sunset at the end of the current fiscal year, September 30th. As that deadline approaches supporters are expanding their efforts to reauthorize this critical program.

The LWCF was established in 1964 as a bipartisan program to preserve iconic landscapes, recreational opportunities, cultural heritage, and historic sites. Like the Historic Preservation Fund, the LWCF is funded through offshore oil and gas lease revenue and does not use taxpayer funds. The LWCF has supported an estimated 42,000 projects across the country and invested $550 million in cultural and historical parks that are managed by the National Parks Service. The LWCF has helped save sites like the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, the Women's Rights National Historical Park, and Fort Monroe National Monument, just to name a few.

The program was last reauthorized for 3 years in 2015. Legislation introduced in the House and Senate would permanently reauthorize the program (H.R 502, S. 896). Both bills have strong bipartisan support. In addition, S. 569 introduced in the Senate would permanently reauthorize the program and provide full funding. Learn more about the impact of the LWCF in your state and urge your members of Congress to protect the LWCF.
Senate HPF Dear Colleague Letter Receives Support from 29 Senators
The Senate FY19 Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) Dear Colleague Letter was sent to the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee last week. The letter, led by Sen. Kristen Gillibrand and Sen. Bill Cassidy received support from 29 Senators, far surpassing last year's total of 16 Senators. The House HPF Dear Colleague Letter was sent to the House Appropriations Committee last month and received support from 117 Representatives, 20 more than last year's letter. Overall we received support from 146 members of Congress, showing strong bipartisan support for the Historic Preservation Fund!

The letter requested $110.5 million in funding for the Historic Preservation Fund for FY19. Including, the following funding levels:
  • $55 million for State Historic Preservation Offices
  • $15 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices
  • $15 million for the Civil Rights competitive grants initiative
  • $15 million for the Save America's Treasures grant program
  • $5 million for grants to revitalize historic properties of national, State, and local significance. 
  • $5 million for competitive grants for Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • $500,000 for grants to underserved communities
Thank you to everyone that reached out to their Senators, urging them to sign-on to this important letter. We'd especially also like to thank Sen. Kristen Gillibrand and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and their offices for their leadership on this letter.

Below are the Senators that signed-on to the HPF Dear Colleague letter. Did your Senator sign-on? Be sure to thank them for their critical support.

Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)

Preservation Action Continues to Recognize Champions of the Historic Tax Credit
Preservation Action alongside the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Historic Tax Credit Coalition met with congressional offices this week to recognize members for their efforts to retain the Historic Tax Credit during last year's tax reform efforts. Several members of Congress' outspoken support of the Historic Tax Credit was key in the credit bring retained. Thanks to these efforts the Historic Tax Credit continues to revitalize communities across the country. We were pleased to recognize many of these members at our Champion's of the Historic Tax Credit reception during Advocacy Week in March and are excited to continue that effort.

Bruce MacDougal, Preservation Action, Shaw Sprague, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Mike Phillips, National Trust Community Investment Corporation with Hallie Pence from Rep. Tom Garrett's office.

Bruce MacDougal, Preservation Action, Shaw Sprague, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Mike Phillips, National Trust Community Investment Corporation with Gavin Proffitt from Rep. Bob Goodlatte's office.
Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) tours the Coffelt-Lamareoux housing project in Phoenix, AZ
May is
National Historic Preservation Month! Tours, special programs and events celebrating all things preservation, will be happening across the country throughout May. Let us know what your city or state is doing to celebrate Preservation Month!
Preservation Month Site Visits
National Historic Preservation Month is a great time to reach out to your members of Congress and their staff, and invite them to tour a historic tax credit project or join a Preservation Month event. Preservation Action is working to leverage Preservation Month as a great opportunity for members of Congress to visit historic tax credit projects and other historic sites in their district/state. The co-chairs of the Historic Preservation Caucus, Representatives  Mike Turner (R-OH) and  Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), along with Preservation Action, sent a  letter to House members recognizing Preservation Month and encouraging site visits while in district. The House and Senate will be on an in-district period May 28 - June 1,  July 2-6 and the month of August. One thing we heard time and time again from congressional staff during Advocacy Week was site visits help to show members of Congress the tangible impact of programs like the Historic Tax Credit and Historic Preservation Fund.

Preservation Action will host an Preservation Month Hill briefing on May 21st to educate staff on the historic preservation program and encourage members of Congress and their staff to celebrate Preservation Month.
Contact Rob Naylor with Preservation Action at if you need assistance facilitating a site visit. Be sure to share stories and photos from your site visits with us on  Facebook and   Twitter!

Preservation Action
1307 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
p. 202-463-0970  f. 202-463-1299

Preservation Action is the only national  non-profit dedicated exclusively to lobbying for the best preservation policies at the federal level. We seek to make historic preservation a national priority by advocating to all branches of government through a grassroots constituency empowered with information and training.