Advocacy and government relations are central to achieving ACRA's goals. We communicate with legislators and agencies to ensure that the voice of the CRM industry is heard. ACRA understands that in order to strengthen our field, these individuals and organizations must understand the scope of our business and the impact of the CRM industry on the economy as a whole.
Official ACRA Correspondence
Eventually, we will post copies of official ACRA correspondence on additional subpages. We hope that doing so might provide our members, and the public, with a better understanding of ACRAs activities promoting and supporting the CRM industry and cultural resources.
ACRA Continues Advocacy Efforts
Congressional Leaders and Federal Agency Officials Contacted
ACRA continues to send letters on a range of issues to congressional leaders and federal agency officials. Depending on the issue, we will either send our own letter, sign on to one prepared by another organization, or send a joint letter (most frequently with the Society for Historical Archaeology who also work with CHP). Since the beginning of 2014 the following have been sent:
8/1/14: Joint letter with SHA to Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources concerning the Outer Continental Shelf revenues which are used for the National Historic Preservation Fund.
7/25/14: Joint letter with SHA to Senate Committee on Finance on a provision (proposed by Senator Patrick J. Toomey) in the Preserving America’s Transit and Highways Act (PATH) of 2014 that would exempt infrastructure destroyed during a “declared emergency” from Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and environmental reviews as long as the projects are rebuilt in the same footprint. We pointed out that the provision “sets a dangerous precedent of eliminating consideration of historic preservation and other environmental considerations from Federal actions, even though successful programs and processes are in place that both comply with historic preservation and environmental laws and support emergency delivery of Federal assistance” this provision is typical of the current approach being employed to in attempts to weaken environmental oversight of Federal projects.
5/29/14: Letter of thanks to Michael Connor, Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior, for his advocacy of full funding for the Historic Preservation Fund and his specific use of ACRA’s industry metrics data in his remarks at the Secretary of the Interior’s Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony
5/20/14: Letter to Stephanie Toothman of the National Park Service expressing concerns about proposals from the NPS to include Landscapes as a property type and Landscape Architecture as an area of significance in an amended National Historic Preservation Act.
5/18/14: Letter to the House Committee on Rules expressing opposition to the proposed provision in the Military LAND Act to permit federal agencies to unilaterally take properties off the National Register for “reasons of national security”. We also signed onto an informational statement on this issue with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, Preservation Action, National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, Society for American Archaeology, American Cultural Resources Association, Society for Historical Archaeology and US/ICOMOS.
5/15/14: Joint letter with SHA to the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works on changes to Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act proposed in “MAP-21 Reauthorization Act,” Section 1303. Proposed substitution of Section 4(f) provisions by those of NEPA would diminish the preservation mandate of Section 4(f) in terms of impacts to historic sites.
2/3/14: Comments to the Federal Communications Commission on proposed rulemaking for the siting of wireless facilities. ACRA expressed opposition to proposed exemptions for modifications to existing towers.
Past Advocacy Updates
- On April 25, 2013, The ACRA president sent written testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations in support of the proposed appropriation for the Historic Preservation Fund 2014. A number of employees from ACRA-member firms contacted their representatives to urge them to sign the "Dear Colleague" letter expressing support for the fund. We are pleased that the House version had more than 90 signers, and the Senate had 19. Read ACRA's Testimony here.
On April 1, 2013, The ACRA president sent comments to the National Park Service (NPS) on their draft revisions to National Park Service Bulletin 83: Traditional Cultural Properties. ACRA asked the NPS to give more consideration to how to deal with Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs) within the Section 106 process, in addition to their focus on the process of getting TCPs listed in the National Register. Read the full letter to the NPS here.
At the request of Rep. Mike Turner, cochair of the Historic Preservation Caucus, on March 6, 2013, ACRA and the SRI Foundation sent a joint letter of support for the Rehabilitation of Historic Schools Act of 2013. Read the full letter here.
ACRA sent a letter on November 17, 2012, to Dr. Stephanie Toothman, associate director of cultural resources for the National Park Service, asking for a schedule for publication of the proposed deaccessioning regulation in 36 CFR Part 79, Curation of Federally-Owned and Administered Archeological Collections in the Federal Register.´The proposed regulation was drafted by staff of the Departmental Consulting Archaeologist in collaboration with an interagency working group between 2005 and 2007, but remains unpublished. ACRA is interested in this regulation, and we expect that it will have a significant impact on our firms and on our clients. It is important that ACRA comment on this regulation once it is published. On November 29, 2012, Dr. Toothman responded to President Majewski, thanking ACRA for asking for an update on this issue. She asked NPS Chief Archeologist Dr. Stanley C. Bond, Jr., to prepare a status report. She noted that they may be a slight delay, as NPS staff assigned to the deaccessioning issue are currently deployed to hurricane-recovery efforts. Watch this page for updates. Read the full letter to Dr. Toothman here.
ACRA sent comments to the Advisory Council on the Policy Statement for Archaeology and Heritage Tourism. Read the full letter to the Advisory Council here.
Letters to SHPO and THPO requesting recognition of ACRA as a leader in CRM.
Government Talking Points
ACRA has, for our own efforts on the Hill, prepared action items, talking points, and contact lists focused on advocating for the CRM industry and cultural resources protection in general. For more information, look under Advocacy and ACRA Spotlight on the home page.
Every year, ACRA organizes a CRM day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. This page provides information on the next CRM day, and an archive of previous CRM days.
As a tool to track ACRA's advocacy efforts in the past, this subpage will be updated to provide historical information on ACRA's advocacy efforts by year.