National Preservation Leaders Call on the White House and Congress to Provide Full and Dedicated Funding for Land and Water Conservation Fund and Historic Preservation Fund

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) will enable the acquisition of an additional 285 acres to augment the Gaines’ Mill Battlefield, part of Richmond National Battlefield Park, a collection of more than than 30 American Civil War sites around Richmond, Virginia. Secretary Jewell appeared with local and state representatives at Gaines’ Mill Battlefield in Mechanicsburg, Va. to celebrate the announcement and highlight the importance of LWCF in protecting America’s heritage in Virginia and nationwide.

The following are statements from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.

Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., Vice President, Government Relations and Policy, National Trust for Historic Preservation:
“We are pleased by Secretary Jewell’s commitment to the long term protection of our nation’s important Civil War battlefields and her strong support for LWCF. Many of America’s most significant historic and cultural landscapes have been permanently protected through LWCF, including Gettysburg National Military Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado. In Virginia, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park and Petersburg National Battlefield are just some of the special places that have been preserved using LWCF funds.

“Now it is time Congress made good on its promise to the American people to provide full and permanent funding for LWCF and the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), both of which are funded by offshore drilling revenues. As the principal source of funding for the nation’s historic preservation programs, a fully funded HPF is essential to the careful stewardship of our nation’s diverse heritage, creating jobs and fueling the economy.”

Elizabeth Hughes, President of the Board, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers:
“Any legislative proposal to provide full and dedicated funding for LWCF should do the same for the Historic Preservation Fund. It is annually authorized at $150 million, yet like LWCF, it has been chronically underfunded. America has many stories to tell and citizens recognize that the historic places close to home such as local courthouses, community centers, former industrial sites and main streets are all part of our nation’s shared heritage and should be utilized and valued.

“The Historic Preservation Fund provides vital matching grants to states, tribes, and local governments who work with communities to implement programs that protect our nation’s irreplaceable heritage and spur economic development. Now is the time for Congress to act and fulfill its responsibility to ensure our nation’s historic built environment will continue to exist and enrich the experience of current and future generations.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was established by Congress in 1965. The Act designated that a portion of receipts from offshore oil and gas leases be placed into a fund annually to support state and local conservation, as well as federal protection of parks, forest and wildlife areas. It provides matching grants to states and local governments for the acquisition and development of outdoor recreation areas and facilities and funding for shared federal land acquisition and conservation strategies.

Established by Congress in 1976, the HPF provides essential funding for implementing the nation’s historic preservation programs, including administering the federal historic tax credit program, reviewing National Register of Historic Places nominations and conducing reviews of federal projects to evaluate their impact on historic properties. HPF is also funded by a portion of receipts from offshore oil and gas leases. HPF funding is distributed by formula to state historic preservation offices (SHPOs) and tribal historic preservation offices (THPOs).

The National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) is the non-profit professional association of State Historic Preservation Officers who carry out the national historic preservation program as delegates of the Secretary of the Interior.



The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places., @SavingPlaces