More than 100 diverse organizations, including Preservation Maryland, have signed onto a letter, spearheaded by The National Parks Conservation Association, urging Congress to pass the Cultural Resource Challenge Act of 2024 (H.R. 7936). This legislation, when enacted, will ensure cultural resource and historic preservation programs managed by the National Park Service (NPS) receive the funding they desperately need. 

Assateague Island National Seashore c/o NPS

As we approach America’s 250th anniversary, this funding is essential for enhancing cultural resource management, addressing staffing shortages, and ensuring the resilience of our historic sites. H.R. 7936, the Cultural Resource Challenge Act of 2024, would provide $250 million for the Cultural Resource Stewardship budget of NPS, enabling the agency to fill critical staff vacancies, reduce the backlog of cultural resource assessments, and update interpretation at cultural and historic resource sites to enhance the visitor experience.

All of our national parks interpret, manage, and preserve historic and cultural resources, the common touchstones of our shared national heritage. Unfortunately, long-standing budgetary shortfalls and inadequate staffing levels have degraded the ability of NPS to fulfill their mission of protecting our history and connecting our heritage to the public in ways that are accurate, inclusive, and inspiring.

We urge Congress to support the interpretation, management, and preservation of our history for today and for generations to come by passing H.R. 7936.