The Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures Act
Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the Congress that would permanently authorize two complementary historic preservation grant programs—Preserve America (established by the Bush Administration), and Save America’s Treasures (established by the Clinton Administration). The “Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures Act” was introduced in the House of Representatives on October 29, and referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources. The Senate version, introduced on October 30, has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The Senate bill (S. 2262) is co-sponsored by Senator Pete Domenici (NM) and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY). In the Senate, so far Senators Richard Burr (NC) and Jeff Bingaman (NM) have joined their colleagues as co-sponsors.
The House bill (H.R. 3981) was introduced by Representatives Brad Miller (NC) and Mike Turner (OH), co-chairs of the Congressional Historic Preservation Caucus. A “dear colleague” letter seeking House support was circulated by Reps. Miller and Turner, who are continuing to invite Members of Congress to join them in co-sponsoring the bill. As of November 26, 2007, there were 24 additional co-sponsors: Reps. Abercrombie (HI), Blumenauer (OR), Bordallo (Guam), Boyda (KS), Brown (SC), Chandler (KY), Cole (OK), Farr (CA), Forbes (VA), Sandlin (SD), Higgins (NY), Langevin (RI), Maloney (NY), McCollum (MN), Mitchell (AZ), Mollohan (WV), Moran (VA), Nadler (NY), Price (NC), Pryce (OH), Reyes (TX), Reynolds (NY), Schakowsky (IL), and Slaughter (NY).
The legislation is supported by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. Both programs support historic and cultural preservation and encourage public-private partnerships. Preserve America Grants provide funding to local communities, State Historic Preservation Offices, and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices to support preservation through heritage tourism, education, and related planning and promotion. Save America’s Treasures Grants help fund critical preservation work on significant threatened or endangered historic properties and collections, and require clear public benefits from those investments.
An announcement event on October 31, 2007 featured Mrs. Laura Bush, First Lady and Honorary Chair of both Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures, and included Sens. Clinton and Domenici, Reps. Miller and Turner, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, ACHP Chairman John Nau, and National Trust President Richard Moe. More information about the event and copies of the bills can be found at www.preserveamerica.gov.