Monday, February 8, 2010

NAGPRA grant funding cut

NAGPRA suffers surprising proposed budget cut
By Rob Capriccioso

Story Published: Feb 7, 2010

Story Updated: Feb 5, 2010

WASHINGTON – One area of the Obama administration’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget sticks out like a sore thumb. While most Indian-focused programs are remaining steady or are set to make increases, the National Park Service has proposed to dramatically reduce the amount available for NAGPRA grants.


Despite the tribal appreciation of the program, the Park Service only requested $1,750,000 for it in 2011. That’s a decrease of $581,000 or 25 percent of the level Congress appropriated for the program in 2010.

The dramatically curtailed request comes at a time soon after the Park Service reported the actual number of grant applications has more than doubled since fiscal year 2008.

The national review committee that oversees NAGPRA-related issues has long been concerned the grants program should not be shortchanged – and it has seen a need to increase, not reduce, its funding. The committee recommended in its 2008 report to Congress that the grant amount be increased to $4.1 million.

So, it is all the more puzzling to tribal officials why the Park Service is trying to cut the program via its reduced budget proposal.

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