NCSHPO Submits Letter to DOI/NPS on SHPO Funding Needs

This week NCSHPO expressed in a letter to Assistant Secretary Shannon Estenoz of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks at the U.S. Department of Interior and Chuck Sams, Director of the National Park Service. The letter outlined NCSHPOs support of additional funding for SHPOs under the Historic Preservation Fund. Of utmost importance is an increase to the SHPO appropriation for both FY 2025 and FY 2026.

Broadly, challenges with spending levels continue to permeate Congress, which resulted in flat funding for SHPOs for FY24. Further, as a result of the changes to the HPF apportionment formula – for 23 states that equates to flat funding two years running. In reality, flat funding ultimately results to a cut when factoring rising costs and unrelenting inflation. This is of course on top of years of chronic underfunding.

This time of year, federal agencies are already contemplating the next funding cycle – meaning details of the FY 2026 budget numbers are typically already in discussion. Therefore, it is imperative that we highlight the current state of affairs of SHPO offices and understand the need for increased SHPO funding for FY 2025 and FY 2026.

Particularly noteworthy, is that the Administrations recent infrastructure investments have exponentially increased federal project reviews for SHPOs, which have increased 42.7%. This places tremendous pressure on SHPO offices, many of which were already facing significant capacity issues. By not increasing funds to offset the rise in reviews, Congress must take action to ensure they are fulfilling their funding responsibilities to supporting all 59 State Historic Preservation Offices in our nation.

Read the letter