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President’s 2008 Budget Proposes Increases for Historic Preservation

February 21, 2007, WASHINGTON, D.C.—President George W. Bush’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2008, which begins October 1, 2007, includes $63.7 million for Historic Preservation Fund programs and increases funding levels for other existing preservation programs and initiatives. 

The FY 2008 budget request includes $5 million in new funding to establish a national inventory of historic properties, as recommended by historic preservation experts at the October 2006 Preserve America Summit in New Orleans presided over by First Lady Laura Bush, honorary chair of the Preserve America initiative. Of the $5 million requested, $4 million will provide competitive matching grants to states, tribes, local governments, and federal land managing agencies for inventory development. The remaining $1 million will be provided under the National Register Programs for the National Park Service to develop data format requirements and protocols, in coordination with State Historic Preservation Officers. It is expected that this will be the first step in a multi-year effort.

The budget also proposes $10 million for the Preserve America grant program, up from $5 million in the 2006 enacted budget. The grant program does not fund bricks-and-mortar projects, but rather complements the Save America’s Treasures grant program by helping local communities develop sustainable resource management strategies and sound business practices for the continued preservation and use of heritage assets. Save America’s Treasures is also funded at $10 million for preservation of nationally significant sites, structures, and artifacts. Both programs must be matched by non-federal funds, and individual projects are only eligible for one grant.

The proposed FY 2008 budget includes a request of $39,657,826 million for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF finances 60 percent of programmatic matching grants—in aid to states and certified local governments, as well as grants to Indian tribes—and is vital to the success of the national preservation program established by the National Historic Preservation Act. President Bush’s 2008 budget request, the same amount as in 2007, is for the HPF grants to states, territories, and tribes to preserve historically and culturally significant sites. The funds are divided between State Historic Preservation Officers at $35,716,676 million and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers at $3,941,150 million.

The President’s proposed budget funds the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) at $5.348 million, an increase of more than $230,000 from the FY 2007 budget request. Part of this increase will be used by the ACHP to expand its efforts to improve federal-Native American consultation and its Native
American program.

Other gains for historic preservation include $1.5 million for American Battlefield grants and $10 million for heritage areas, an increase of $2.6 million from the 2007 President’s Budget. 


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