On Friday, April 3rd, Congressman Russ Carnahan (MO), along with 30 of his House colleagues, sent a letter to the House Interior and the Environment Appropriations Subcommittee urging them to provide adequate funding for the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). Specifically, the letter requests that $800,000 be appropriated for HALS under the National Park Service’s (NPS) fiscal year 2010 budget.
ASLA embarked on a major advocacy effort to urge Members of Congress to support HALS by signing onto the letter. ASLA advocates used the Advocacy Network to send 496 messages urging their legislators to sign onto the HALS letter. ASLA advocates had a strong showing in Northern California, Washington State, North Carolina, Georgia, and Massachusetts.
Many past supporters of HALS continued their support this year, including representatives Allyson Schwartz (PA), Earl Blumenauer (OR), Jim McDermott (WA) and Chairmen Barney Frank (MA) Henry Waxman (CA), and Howard Berman (CA). New supporters of HALS are representatives William Delahunt (MA), Paul Tonko (NY), Lois Capps (CA), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA), Mary Jo Kilroy (OH), Michael Capuano (MA), Dan Maffei (NY), and Brad Miller (NC), and Chris Van Hollen (MD).
The requested $800,000 for HALS would help NPS secure core staff, including landscape architects, historians, and geographic information systems (GIS) specialists, as well as allow the program to provide technical assistance and small seed grants to local groups. With this support, citizens nationwide can initiate and complete HALS projects and help document nationally significant landscapes.