With Your Coffee {Monday Edition}

Hackett’s Orchard in South Hero, VT

And, it’s back! With Your Coffee took a break {a coffee break…ha, ha, ha}, but now that fall is in full swing, it’s time to focus on work and writing again and sharing the news. What better way to start than on a Monday?

On that note, hello! How are you? How have you been? Been reading lots lately? The weather has been gorgeous in Vermont and we’re in a stretch of good weekends. Apple picking, foliage, hot coffee, hot chocolate, chili, good stuff. Here are few stories from around the internet, some recent and some I’ve been saving to share.

Coffee cheers!

IMPORTANT Preservation Legislation – WE NEED YOUR HELP

Do you follow Preservation Action for updates on preservation policy? It’s a good idea to do so, because as you know, legislation can make all the difference for preservation funding and government action. While much of preservation happens at the local level, the federal level carries much influence as well. A recent update that is worth your time:

MILITARY LAND ACT WOULD AMEND NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT (and not in a good way) 

The summary and suggestion from Preservation Action (see their press release and an update):

Thursday, May 8, 2014, the House Natural Resources Committee will mark up H.R. 3687, the Military LAND Act.

This bill would amend the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 to allow federal agencies to block and rescind the listing of federal properties on the National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmarks, and on the World Heritage List for national security reasons.

Maureen Sullivan of the Department of Defense and Stephanie Toothman of the National Park Service both testified in opposition to the bill on April 29, 2014.

Preservation Action, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation wrote the Public Lands and Environment Subcommittee Chair and Ranking Member outlining preservationists’ concerns and opposition to the bill.

Stop Congress from taking steps to undermine historic preservation. Please write members of the House Natural Resources Committee and ask them to oppose this harmful bill.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Now is the time to contact legislators whether via a letter, email or phone call. Preservation is powerful when people speak up. The U.S. Military owns vast tracts of historic properties across the nation. As an example, the Army owns over 20,000 buildings considered eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. And that is only one military branch.

WHAT SHOULD YOU WRITE? Preservation Action suggests this letter (copy & paste, and email – it’s that easy!)

May 7, 2014

Dear (Representative or Senator Name):

I am deeply concerned with H.R. 3687, the Military LAND Act. This bill would amend the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 to allow federal agencies to block and rescind the listing of federal properties on the National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmarks, and on the World Heritage List for national security reasons. H.R. 3687 wrongly raises alarm that designation of historic sites weakens the authority of federal agencies to protect our national security. There is nothing that imposes any legal constraint on federal agencies to protect the interests of national security.

In addition, the bill creates a new requirement of Congressional review that could unfairly politicize the process of evaluating historic significance which has existed without issue for the past nearly 50 years.

The NHPA provides the direction and tools to protect our historic resources and, importantly, sets up a clear process of consideration of our historic heritage. Federal, state, and local governments use the NHPA to identify, preserve and protect our historical, architectural, archeological and cultural resources. The National Register of Historic Places is currently comprised of more than 88,000 listings. Listing a property or determining the eligibility of a property for the National Register does not limit a federal agencies authority.

Please do not undermine our nation’s historic preservation. I ask you to oppose H.R. 3687 and any provisions that would weaken the NHPA.

Regards,

(Your Name)

I wrote my senator. Will you?

Historic Preservation FY12 Budget – HELP!

An important message from the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

Take Action on Funding for Historic Preservation!  Ask your Representative to Support the Historic Preservation Fund!

Right now Congress is making important decisions about the Fiscal Year 2012 budget, and your Representative needs to hear that funding for historic preservation matters in your community. You can help make the case for preservation!

Ask your Representative to sign on to the Dear Colleague letter sponsored by Congressional Historic Preservation Caucus co-chairs Michael Turner and Russ Carnahan that requests $70 million for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and ask that they also submit a programmatic request to fund the HPF at that amount for FY12.

The preservation community realizes that during tough economic times we all need to tighten our belts and therefore the FY12 funding request for the HPF is 10% less than the total funding these programs received in FY08. We also recognize a long overdue increase for funding to State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO’s) and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPO’s) and support the administration’s budget request for increase to these programs. The breakdown of our $70 million request for the Historic Preservation Fund includes:

  • * $50 million for the SHPO’s
  • * $11 million for THPO’s
  • * $9 million for grant programs like Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America

The deadline for this action is Tuesday, May 17th, so please contact your Representative TODAY. Check here for a list of signatories who have already committed to the Dear Colleague letter, and for questions or additional information contact policy@nthp.org.

PLEASE HELP! Programs, jobs, historic resources — so much depends on this Historic Preservation Fund budget. All you have to do is sign the letter. You don’t even have to write the letter or look up the appropriate representative. It will take seconds.

SIGN THE LETTER HERE.

Spread the word. Ask your colleagues and friends to sign. Thank you!