WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced more than $2.05 million to preserve six historic battlefields in Virginia. These grants were awarded through the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is one of more than a dozen programs operated by NPS that provide states and local communities with technical assistance, recognition, and funding to help preserve their own history and create close-to-home recreation opportunities.
“Virginia is home to some of our nation’s most significant history,” said the Senators. “These funds will help local conservation groups and localities protect these important sites for future generations.”
Earlier this year, President Trump’s FY 2019 budget proposed to significantly cut funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), reducing the program by more than 95 percent from the $400 million level previously appropriated by Congress. The budget also proposed eliminating American Battlefield Protection Program acquisition grants, which are funded from LWCF—a cut of $10 million. The LWCF has long served as the primary tool for acquiring key sites or otherwise expanding historic and cultural parks managed by the NPS. In total, the proposed budget requested just $8.1 million for federal land acquisition programs across the Department of the Interior.
Sens. Warner and Kaine have worked to preserve and protect Virginia’s historic battlefield sites. They successfully passed legislation to add more than 7,000 acres to the Petersburg National Battlefield through the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. Last week, Sen. Warner worked with colleagues and the Trump Administration to introduce bipartisan, consensus legislation to address the $12 billion maintenance backlog at NPS operated sites, including more than a $1 billion in Virginia alone. When Kaine first joined the Senate, he introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) that was signed into law in 2014 to reauthorize and expand the American Battlefield Protection Program. As Governor, Kaine worked across the aisle to preserve more than 400,000 acres of open space in Virginia.
The following historic battlefields will receive funding from the Department of the Interior:
- Second Manassas Battlefield will receive $519,515 in federal funding.
- Opequon Battlefield will receive $910,500 in federal funding.
- New Market Battlefield will receive $143,248 in federal funding.
- New Market Heights Battlefield will receive $193,722 in federal funding.
- Rappahannock Station II will receive $240,306.25 in federal funding.
- Trevilian Station Battlefield will receive $47,751 in federal funding.