National Park Service FY ’12 Budget

On February 14, President Obama submitted to Congress his proposed fiscal year 2012 budget for the National Park Service. History-related programs were particularly hard hit with the proposed elimination of two preservation programs (Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America) and a 50 percent cut in Heritage Partnership programs.

The National Park Service (NPS) would receive $2.9 billion in FY ‘12. This represents a $137.8 million increase over the FY 2010 level.

Funding for historical and preservation-related programs at the Park Service are summarized below. Please note below that for comparison purposes, the FY 10 enacted/2011 continuing resolution funding level will be included in parentheses after the administration’s proposed FY ’12 number.

Historic Preservation Fund–$61 million ($79.5 million) -$18.5 million. The Fund includes:

  • Historic Preservation Grants–$61 million ($54.5 million) This includes $6.5 million in new funding from the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.
  • Save America’s Treasures program–eliminated ($25 million) -$25 million: 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–$51.6 million ($68.4 million) -$16.8 million. This account includes:

  • Heritage Partnership programs–$8 million ($16.8 million) -8.8 million. These funds finance grants to local non-profit groups in support of historical and cultural recognition, preservation and tourism activities.
  • Preserve America program—eliminated ($4.6 million) -$4.6 million: This program provides small grants to local communities in support of heritage tourism, education and historic preservation planning activities.

American Battlefield Grants Program–$10 million ($9 million) +$1 million. The budget includes $10 million for the American Battlefield Protection Grants, which require a dollar-for-dollar match with non-Federal funds to help State and local governments and nonprofit organization partnerships to purchase and protect threatened Civil War and other battlefields.