Wrapping up the 113th Congress: How Did Preservation Fare?

Posted on: December 18th, 2014 by Shaw Sprague No Comments

 

Full reporting provided by National Trust Government Relations Staff

capitol

View of the Capitol from Lincoln's Cottage. | Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation

Having arrived at the end of an even-numbered year, we find ourselves at the close of another legislative session of Congress. A time marked by change, renewal, and opportunity, but also a time for policy wonks to reflect on the previous two years and take stock of the progress made and setbacks encountered on Capitol Hill. We have made important strides in preservation advocacy, but a great deal of work awaits in the new year, including advocating for the federal historic tax credit, increasing funding for the Historic Preservation Fund, preventing a weakening of our historic preservation laws, and safeguarding our public lands. ... Read More →

The National Defense Authorization Act and Public Lands

Posted on: December 16th, 2014 by Denise Ryan 1 Comment

 

Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey, was constructed in 1932-1933 in the Art Deco style. | Courtesy of Duncan Kendell

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park will be expanded to include Hinchliffe Stadium, in Paterson, New Jersey. The stadium was constructed in 1932-1933. | Courtesy of Duncan Kendell

On December 12, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act which includes more than 60 provisions relating to public lands and natural resources. This is the first time Congress has taken action on public lands since 2009, when it designated Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, and River Raisin National Battlefield Park and passed more than 150 other public lands provisions. New legislation to designate additional parks has been introduced since then, but has been on hold because some members of Congress objected to increasing the number of new parks. That hold was recently broken by adding these measures to a “must-pass” defense authorization bill—a bill that has passed every year for the last 50 years. Now the bill is on its way to the president’s desk, and he is expected to sign it into law soon.... Read More →

New Law Provides California Native American Tribes More Input in Development

Posted on: December 11th, 2014 by Special Contributor 1 Comment

 

Last year, thieves stole carvings from Volcanic Tableland, an unprotected site sacred to the Paiute people. In his opinion piece, Mike Gatto, who authored the bill, expresses concern over this and other examples of neglecting to protect California history. | Credit:  The Greater Southwestern Exploration Company via Flickr via Creative Commons

Last year, thieves stole carvings from Volcanic Tableland, an unprotected site sacred to the Paiute people. In his opinion piece, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who authored the bill, expresses concern over this and other examples of neglecting to protect California history. | Credit:
The Greater Southwestern Exploration Company via Flickr via Creative Commons

By Sarah Kozal

This past September, Governor Brown of California signed Assembly Bill 52, an amendment to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that gives Native American tribes a stronger role in the protection of their cultural resources. The bill (AB-52), authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, creates a new category of protected cultural resources. It also establishes tribal consultation rights for the first time under CEQA. Gatto says that the bill was prompted by his desire to preserve California’s history and the need to increase protection of tribal cultural resources from development projects. Proposed mining projects, landfills, and energy and infrastructure projects frequently put sacred sites at risk.... Read More →