Sending Office: McEachin, A. Donald
Sent By:
Blair.Wriston@mail.house.gov

Help Save America’s Hallowed Ground

 Support Funding for the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program

Deadline:
COB Friday, March 22, 2019

Cosigners (21): Abraham; S. Bishop; Clay; Cook; Connolly; DeSaulnier; Fitzpatrick; Fortenberry;
Gallego; Hastings; Hunter; T. Kelly; Kind; Luetkemeyer; Luria; Moore; H. Norton; S. Peters; Raskin; Tonko; Vela

Dear Colleague:

America’s preserved Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War battlefields are living monuments to the courage and sacrifice of those who served during these formative
conflicts in our nation’s history. These beautiful and timeless landscapes are outdoor classrooms that inspire our young and draw millions of tourists each year.

Unfortunately, many of these battlefields remain unprotected. In fact, according to the National Park Service, our nation has already lost the historic character of approximately
50 Civil War battlefields and more than 300 of the 677 nationally significant battlefields and associated sites from the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.

One of the most effective tools for saving these hallowed battlegrounds is a competitive matching grants program administered by the National Park Service’s Battlefield
Land Acquisition Grant Program, administered by the American Battlefield Protection Program. To date, this program that encourages state, local and private investment in battlefield preservation has been used to save more than 32,000 acres nationwide. Every
federal dollar that is appropriated is matched at least 1-to-1.

We hope you will join us in urging the Appropriations Committee to fund the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant Program at its authorized level of $10 million in the FY
2020 Interior Appropriations bill, equal to the FY 2016 and FY2017 enacted appropriated levels, as well as the amount included in the FY 2018 and FY 2019 appropriations bills. By providing this funding for these grants, the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant
Program will be able to continue serving as an excellent example of sensible, cost-effective battlefield preservation.

The program was first authorized in 2002, when President George W. Bush signed into law the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act and was expanded to include Revolutionary
War and War of 1812 battlefields in December 2014, when President Barack Obama signed into law the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 113-291). The program is authorized for up to $10 million a year through 2021.

If you have any questions or would like to become a signatory of this letter, please contact Blair Wriston (Rep. McEachin) at extension 5-6365 or
Blair.Wriston@mail.house.gov or Patrick Hester (Rep. Stefanik) at extension 5-4611 or
Patrick.Hester@mail.house.gov or Natalie Valentine (Rep Scott) at extension 5-8351 or
Natalie.Valentine@mail.house.gov by close of business Friday, March 22, 2019.

Sincerely,

 

A. Donald McEachin

Member of Congress

 

Elise M. Stefanik

Member of Congress

 

Robert C. “Bobby” Scott

Member of Congress

 

March XX, 2019

 

 

The Honorable Betty McCollum

Chairman

Subcommittee on Interior, Environment &

Related Agencies

B-308 Rayburn HOB

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable David Joyce

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Interior, Environment &

Related Agencies

1106 Longworth HOB

Washington, D.C.

Dear Chairman McCollum and Ranking Member Joyce:

As you draft the FY 2020 Interior Appropriations bill, we respectfully request that you fund the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant Program, administered by the American
Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), at its fully authorized level of $10 million. The program is financed from the National Park Service Land Acquisition and State Assistance account and administered by the National Park Service as a competitive matching
grants program.

Preservation of America’s battlefields is the preservation of our nation’s history. Once these grounds are lost, we will have lost the opportunity to preserve them. When
preserved, these lands serve as outdoor classrooms to educate both current and future generations of Americans about some of the most pivotal moments in our nation’s history.

The Civil War Sites Advisory Commission recommended in 1993 that Congress establish a matching grant program to save priority Civil War battlefields outside National Park
Service boundaries. Over the past two decades, the sense of urgency to preserve these sites has only grown as some of the most historically significant battlefields in the nation remain unprotected. Recognizing that additional battlefields from our nation’s
history were also at risk, the program was expanded to include the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields in December 2014.

Since FY 1999, the program has been used to save more than 32,000 acres of hallowed ground in 20 states. The battlefields that have benefited from the program are among
the most renowned in American history, including: Antietam, Maryland; Bentonville, North Carolina; Chancellorsville, Virginia; Corinth, Mississippi; Franklin, Tennessee; Harpers Ferry, West Virginia; Perryville, Kentucky; Prairie Grove, Arkansas; Kettle Creek,
Georgia; Sacketts Harbor, New York and Princeton, New Jersey. The program enjoys wide bipartisan support, and Congress has supported full funding for the program for the past four fiscal years.

Key to the success of the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant Program has been its 1-to-1 matching grants formula, which encourages state, local, and nonprofit investment
in battlefield preservation. Preserved battlefields are economic drivers for communities, bringing in tourism dollars that are extremely important to the economies of these communities.

This funding is critical to saving key, threatened American battlefield sites and preserving our history for future generations. As such, we respectfully request that the
Appropriations Committee and the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee include $10 million for the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant Program in FY 2020. Thank you in advance for your consideration of funding for this important program.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations

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