House Panel Authorizes Federal Preservation Programs

On June 11, 2008, the House Natural Resources Committee by voice vote cleared legislation (H.R. 3981) to permanently authorize both the Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures historic preservation programs. The bill as adopted would cap the authorization for the Save America’s Treasure’s program at $50 million and the Preserve America program at $25 million.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources approved companion legislation (S. 2292) in May. Both bills would formally codify the two grant programs that started through Presidential Executive Orders.

The two programs encourage heritage tourism and public-private partnerships in historic and cultural preservation. Preserve America fosters reuse and interpretation of cultural resources. The Save America’s Treasures grant program funds “bricks and mortar” improvements to historic structures and assets by providing competitive grants to encourage sustainable historic resource management through heritage tourism.