The proposed federal budget for 2011 contains cuts in funding to three federal programs that support historic preservation and the protection of historic resources: Save America's Treasures, Preserve America, and National Heritage Areas. This is a national issue with very local impact. Olana received a $250,000 grant from Save America's Treasures in 2003, and the program is a potential source of funding for Hudson's own National Historic Landmark, the Plumb-Bronson House. And we live, after all, in a National Heritage Area: the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.
The National Trust has launched a campaign in response to the proposed budget cuts, and here's the word about its effectiveness from Emily Wadhams, Vice President for Public Policy at the Trust: "Our message is being heard by Congress and initial feedback from the Hill has been positive. Over 100 members of the House of Representatives signed a ‘dear colleague’ letter last month that included a request for funding Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America at the FY 2010 levels. Although we are hopeful funding will be restored, we must be cognizant that the budgetary environment remains extremely difficult, and we need to continue to speak out on this issue to ensure funding for these programs at FY 2010 levels. We hope you’ll consider participating this week in our current action ‘Make a Call For America’s Treasures.'"
If you want to join the effort, here are the local phone numbers for our senators and our congressman:
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (518) 431-0120
Senator Charles Schumer (518) 431-4070
Congressman Scott Murphy (518) 828-3109
Let our representatives know that you care about America's historic resources and that the historic preservation projects create jobs, generate economic development, and encourage heritage tourism.