Earlier this week, Congress passed two bills relating to historic preservation and Washington State with which the Washington Trust has been involved. These two acts are on their way to the president's desk, but the hard work has been done!
1. Historic Preservation Fund
The National Park Service Centennial Act, in addition to supporting a second century of promoting and protecting the natural, historic, and cultural resources of our National Parks, included the re-authorization of the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF provides key funding enabling state historic preservation offices to implement mandated preservation responsibilities (including our own Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation
). Additional funding from the HPF goes to tribal historic preservation offices, grant programs associated with Civil Rights-era resources and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Save America’s Treasures.
With passage of the National Park Service Centennial Act, the HPF is re-authorized for seven years.
2. Kennewick Man
As part of the Water Resources Development Act, Kennewick Man, also known as the Ancient One, will be repatriated to the tribes in the next three months. Kennewick Man’s remains, which are currently located at the Burke Museum in Seattle, were discovered in 1996 and date back 8400-9000 years. While scientists initially claimed Kennewick man was of European descent, recent genetic evidence concluded that modern Native American tribes are actually the Ancient One's closest living relatives.
The remains will be transferred from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, which will in turn repatriate them to the appropriate tribes.
Special thanks are due to Representative Dan Newhouse, Senator Maria Cantwell, and Senator Patty Murray for their leadership and steadfast support to ensure Kennewick Man’s return home and continued funding through the Historic Preservation Fund!