On October 30, President Obama signed into law the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies fiscal year (FY) 2010 appropriations bill (H.R. 2996) (H. Rept. 111-316) which provides $2.2 billion for the operation of the National Park Service (NPS). This represents a $130 million increase over the FY 2009 level.
Funding for historical and preservation-related programs at the Park Service is summarized below. Please note below that for comparison purposes, the FY ’09 appropriation will be included in parentheses after the FY 2010 budget number.
Historic Preservation Fund–$79.5 million ($69.5 million) +$10 million. The Fund includes:
- State Historic Preservation Offices-–$46.5 ($42.5 million) +$4 million
- Tribal Grants–$8 million ($7 million) +$1 million
- Save America’s Treasures program–$25 million ($20 million) +$5 million: Of this amount, $14,800,000 is for competitive grants and the remaining $10.2 million in funds are allocated to congressionally earmarked projects. These funds are used to make small one-time grants for specific local historic preservation projects to preserve a building or artifact which might otherwise be lost.
National Recreation and Preservation–$68.4 million ($59.6 million) +$8.8 million. This account includes:
Heritage Partnership programs–$17.8 million ($15.7 million) +$2.1 million. Of this amount $16.8 million is for grants. These funds finance grants to local non-profit groups in support of historical and cultural recognition, preservation and tourism activities. The increase is to allow funding for the expanded number of heritage partnership areas authorized by Congress in recent years. In addition, the bill will provide at least $150,000 to the new areas without approved plans.
Preserve America program—$4.6 million (zero funding) +$4.6 million: This program provides small grants to local communities in support of heritage tourism, education and historic preservation planning activities. This program received no funding in FY 2009.
Cultural Programs–$25 million ($22.6 million) +$2.4 million
Japanese American Confinement Sites—the bill includes funding across for the preservation of sites associated with the confinement of Japanese Americans during World War II. The Committee included $3,000,000 for the Japanese American Site Grants program, and $350,000 for land acquisition.
$9 million for Civil War battlefield preservation grants.
$1 million is allocated towards the establishment of a pilot program for the teaching of American history and civics in the National Parks. The conferees directed the Park Service to work cooperatively with the Department of Education in developing curriculum and facilitate the process of bringing nationally renowned scholars to historically significant Park units to instruct students and teachers at the sites where important historical events occurred.
Sesquicentennial Civil War Planning—In anticipation of the upcoming Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the House and Senate conferees encouraged the National Park Service, in collaboration with the Civil War Preservation Trust and other organizations, to update the content of its website and the information available at its Civil War Parks and to employ modern technology and adaptive and interactive media to present this information to the public.
The bill provides $15 million for the Park Partnership Project Grants program. It is a matching grant program that allows the Park Service to fund merit-based signature projects and programs throughout the park system. It allows the NPS to leverage, from non-federal sources, no less than 50 percent of the total cost of each project. The program was launched during the Bush administration to help celebrate the Park Service’s centennial in 2016. Congress did not provide any funding for the program in FY 2009.