For the first time, the federal Historic Preservation Caucus co-chairs coordinated a Dear Colleague letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director, Peter Orszag, requesting funding for the nation’s core historic preservation programs in the President’s fiscal year 2011 Budget, due for release in early February. The letter requested $50 million for State Historic Preservation Offices, $5 million for a digitization/survey competitive grant program for SHPOs, $20 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, $30 million for Save Americas Treasures and $10 million for Preserve America. Twenty-eight members of the House Historic Preservation Caucus signed-on, including Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes.
The Historic Preservation Caucus brings together members of Congress who understand the value of America’s historic places as definers of our national character. Its members support and encourage the preservation and thoughtful economic development in their states, districts, and Indian reservations as a matter of national policy.
The Caucus, chaired by Representatives Russ Carnahan (D-MO) and Michael Turner (R-OH) now numbers 166 — up from a 120 high-member-mark at the end of the last Congress. The growth of the Historic Preservation Caucus is an excellent opportunity for grassroots advocates. These members of Congress have stepped up to say they support us. Three members of the Maryland Congressional delegation have joined the Caucus including Representatives Elijah Cummings, John Sarbanes, and Chris Van Hollen.