The House of Representatives is considering whether to debate legislation that will support cultural resource management – your elected representatives need to hear from you!

For more than 40 years, the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) has provided critical funding to state and Tribal historic preservation offices, enabling them to work with CRM firms to facilitate Section 106 and other preservation reviews. Each year, $150 million is deposited into the Fund from offshore oil and gas royalties. Unfortunately, the HPF expired at the end of September. Unless Congress acts to renew it, over time the Fund will dry up, leaving S/THPOs without much-needed resources.

Thankfully, a bipartisan group of House members has introduced legislation, the Historic Preservation Fund Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3350), that would reauthorize the HPF for ten years and increase its annual amount from $150 to $250 million, annually. Enacting this legislation will ensure that preservation offices from coast to coast have the resources needed to facilitate preservation reviews.

In order to advance the bill, members of Congress need to hear from their constituents that it’s a top priority. Please take a moment to send a message to your House representatives to ask them to cosponsor H.R. 3350. A sample letter is below.

Not sure who represents you in Congress? Click on U.S. House of Representatives and enter your zip code. You can send your message directly from your representative’s website!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for speaking up for CRM!

Sample Letter

Dear Representative:

As a constituent and a cultural resources management professional, I am writing to urge you to cosponsor H.R. 3350, the bipartisan Historic Preservation Fund Reauthorization Act.

Since its establishment in the 1970s, the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) has supported the rescue and rehabilitation of historic sites, revitalized communities, and created opportunities for economic growth. The Fund helps the National Park Service administer heritage programs such as the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic Tax Credit Program. It also supports State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (S/THPOs), which are tasked with the inventory of America’s historic resources and facilitating Section 106 reviews of federally supported projects.

Over the last four decades, the HPF has made possible the survey of millions of acres and identification of numerous cultural resources, resulting in over 95,000 listings on the National Register of Historic Places, provided millions of dollars for the rehabilitation of historic buildings, and leveraged more than $162 billion in private investment through the Historic Tax Credit. Not a single dollar of HPF funding comes from federal taxpayers; funding for the HPF comes from offshore oil leases.

Demand for HPF funds is constantly on the rise as SHPO responsibilities have increased, new THPO offices are established, and competitive grant programs are created and expanded. Yet the Fund’s annual authorization of $150 million has remained the same since the 1970s. Further, the HPF expired at the end of September, denying certainty to state and tribal preservation offices about the long-term availability of funding. With passage of a major infrastructure bill in 2021 meaning more projects in the pipeline, a lack of adequate funding for the HPF will make it difficult for preservation offices to support management of our cultural resources, heritage preservation, and community development.

The Historic Preservation Fund Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3350), introduced by Reps. Mike Turner (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), would reauthorize the HPF for ten years and increase its annual authorization from $150 to $250 million.

Enacting this legislation will significantly enhance protection of our nation’s historic resources, ensuring that they remain vibrant for our communities well into the future. That’s why I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 3350.