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Leger Fernández Passes Amendment to Permanently Authorize the Historic Preservation Fund in INVEST in America Act

July 1, 2021

 

WASHINGTON - Today, the House of Representatives passed the INVEST in America Act, in which Congresswoman Leger Fernández secured nearly $20 million in federal resources for transportation and infrastructure projects in Santa Fe, San Juan, Roosevelt, Taos, Rio Arriba, and McKinley Counties.   

The congresswoman also secured an amendment to permanently authorize the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and double its authorization of appropriations level to $300 million for each fiscal year. 

“As a young girl, my parents instilled in me the importance of preserving our language and culture as a necessary ingredient to understanding and preserving our herencia - our heritage. The same applies for our beautiful country. Understanding the complexities of our history is a gift we must protect and cherish,” said Leger Fernández. “I’m glad my colleagues in the House agree and voted to include my amendment to authorize increased funding for the Historic Preservation Fund in the INVEST in America Act so we may continue to expand our support for cultural and historic projects across the country.”

The HPF funds several grant programs that support preservation projects across the country, including those related to Tribal preservation, equal rights movements, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 

“My sincere appreciation to Congresswoman Leger Fernández for spearheading this amendment and seeing its realization. The authorization level of the HPF has not increased since its establishment in 1976,  and since that time, it has never been fully appropriated. Tribal Historic Preservation Offices and State Historic Preservation Offices are the backbone of implementing the National Historic Preservation Act, and funding has fallen far short of the ever increasing demand. For the Pueblo of Zuni, and many other Tribes,  the Tribal Historic Preservation Offices are a central element of cultural preservation and protecting ancestral sites, sacred places and traditional cultural properties upon which the Zuni stewardship responsibility to the ancestors is based. Permanent authorization at a higher level will begin to assist the Pueblo of Zuni in realizing their preservation goals, and I sincerely appreciate the Congresswoman’s understanding of the importance of this work,” said Kurt E. Dongoske, National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, Board of Directors. 

The amendment is supported by the below organizations: 

  • National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP)
  • National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO)
  • National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (NATHPO)
  • American Cultural Resources Association (ACRA)
  • American Anthropological Association 
  • Society for American Archaeology
  • Preservation Action
  • The National Preservation Partners Network (NPPN)
  • Arizona Preservation Foundation
  • Arizona Downtown Alliance
  • Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Pala Band of Mission Indians

Congresswoman Leger Fernandez was appointed by President Obama to serve as Vice Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

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Issues:Congress