House Appropriations Boosts National Park Service Funding

On June 7, the House Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal year (FY) 2008 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies bill that provides $27.6 billion in funding for the programs under its jurisdiction. This is a $1.2 billion increase over FY 2007 funding levels and $1.9 billion over the Bush administration’s request.

The bill provides $102 million for Historic Preservation programs at the National Park Service, a $30 million increase over FY 2007 funding levels, and $20 million more than the President’s request.

Historic Preservation Fund Key Programs
FY 2008 House Appropriations Committee Recommendation (v. FY 2007 Enacted)
In Thousands of Dollars

$20,000 for the Save America’s Treasures program (+11,926),
$10,000 for the Preserve America program (+5,074
$45,000 for State Historic Preservation Offices (+9,283)

The bill also includes $20 million for Heritage Partnership programs, an increase of nearly $7 million over FY 2007. The Committee declined to provide $4 million requested by the Administration to begin a ten-year program to inventory all historic assets throughout the United States.

Overall, the National Park Service would receive $2 billion for the core operations of the national parks as part of the 10-year Parks Centennial Initiative. This is an increase of $199 million above the amount provided in FY 2007. The NPS would also receive an additional $50 million of appropriated funds to be matched with private funds as part of the “Centennial Challenge” effort.

The Interior bill may move to the House floor for a vote next week. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet begun action on its version of the bill.