AIA News

May 10, 2019

AIA Signs Multi-Organizational Letter In Support of Increased funding for the BLM

by AIA

The AIA, along with 90 other organizations, have signed a letter to urge Congress to increase funding for vital accounts within the Bureau of Land Management, including for cultural resources management and for the National Conservation Lands.

Letters were sent to both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Interior Appropriations Committees on May 10, 2019 (The Honorable Betty McCollum Chair Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations U.S. House of Representatives & The Honorable David Joyce Ranking Member Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations U.S. House of Representatives, and The Honorable Lisa Murkowski Chairman Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations U.S. Senate & The Honorable Tom Udall, Ranking Member Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations U.S. Senate). The body of the letters read as follows:

     As you prepare the FY2020 Interior Appropriations bill, we write to encourage increased funding for key accounts within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), including at least $20 million for cultural resources management and at least $45 million for the National Conservation Lands.

     The BLM manages the largest, most diverse, and most scientifically important body of cultural, historical, and paleontological resources of any federal land management agency. Yet only about 10 percent of BLM lands have been surveyed for heritage resources. We urge Congress to provide at least $20 million—an increase of approximately $3 million—for the BLM’s cultural resources management account to help BLM fulfill its statutory requirements to inventory and protect cultural resources, manage paleontological resources, and improve government-to-government consultation with Indian tribes. This modest increase in funding would also support ongoing collaboration with state historic preservation officers in the West to standardize and integrate cultural resources data for BLM lands through a National Cultural Resources Information System. This effort will protect important cultural resources while also streamlining land-use planning and permitting by making better cultural resource data available earlier in the planning and project development process.

     The BLM also needs increased funding for management of its system of National Conservation Lands, which is made up of nationally significant places designated by Congress or the President for their outstanding historic, cultural, ecological, and scientific values. The National Conservation Lands encompass more than 36 million acres, including more than 50 national monuments, national conservation areas (NCAs) and similarly designated areas on BLM lands, compared with 32 just ten years ago. Despite this increase, funding has not kept pace to properly manage these important places. With this in mind, we recommend at least $45 million in FY2020—an increase of approximately $5 million—in base funding for the National Conservation Lands. Additional funding should be directed toward ensuring each unit of the National Conservation Lands is appropriately staffed with land managers, law enforcement, and cultural resources experts, as well as inventory and monitoring of cultural resources that contribute to the special designation of these places. We also recommend robust funding for National Scenic and Historic Trails, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, and wilderness areas that are part of the National Conservation Lands and funded through other areas of the BLM’s budget.

     Our nation’s public lands contain remarkable and irreplaceable ecological, historical and cultural resources that reflect thousands of years of human connection to our lands. We thank you for your consideration of increased funding for proper stewardship of these resources in the FY2020 Interior Appropriations bill.


National Trust for Historic Preservation

American Alliance of Museums

American Anthropological Association

American Cultural Resources Association

American Society of Landscape Architects

Ancient Forest International

Archaeological Institute of America

Center for Digital Antiquity

Coalition for American Heritage

Conservation Lands Foundation


National Alliance of Preservation Commissions

National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers

Partnership for the National Trails System

Rainbow Heritage Network

Scenic America

Society for American Archaeology

Society of Architectural Historians

Society for Historical Archaeology

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

The Archaeological Conservancy

The Wilderness Society


World Monuments Fund


Archaeology Southwest

Arizona Conservation Partners

Arizona Heritage Alliance

Arizona Preservation Foundation

Cienega Watershed Partnership

Friends of Agua Fria National Monument

Friends of Arizona Joshua Tree Forest

Friends of Ironwood Forest

Friends of the San Pedro River

Grand Canyon Trust

Save Our Ancient Redrocks (SOAR)

Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation


Amargosa Conservancy

California Native Plant Society

California Wilderness Coalition

Californians for Western Wilderness

Fort Ord Recreation Trails Friends

Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

Friends of Juniper Flats

Friends of the Desert Mountains

Friends of the Inyo

Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Middle California Broadband

Lost Coast Interpretive Association

Mattole Restoration Council

Mojave Desert Land Trust

Native American Land Conservancy

Nature for All

The SummerTree Institute



Conejos Clean Water

Dolores River Boating Advocates

Western Slope Conservation Center


Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum


Birds of Prey NCA Partnership

Western Watersheds Project


Illinois Archaeological Survey


Association of Iowa Archaeologists

Crawford County Historic Preservation Commission

Midwest Ethnohorticulture


Preservation Maryland


Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument

Montana Wilderness Association


Friends of Basin & Range

Friends of Gold Butte

Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Friends of Red Rock Canyon

Friends of Sloan Canyon

Get Outdoors Nevada

New Mexico

New Mexico Archaeological Council

New York

Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology


Heritage Ohio, Inc.


Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area

Friends of the Owyhee

Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses

Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center

Oregon Natural Desert Association

Soda Mountain Wilderness Council

Rhode Island

Providence Preservation Society


Council of Texas Archaeologists


Amazing Earthfest

Conserve Southwest Utah

Friends of Cedar Mesa

Grand Staircase Escalante Partners

Preservation Utah

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Utah Diné Bikéyah

Utah Rock Art Research Association

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