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$9 million allocated for battlefield protection

Congressional conferees have agreed to the largest ever, single-year allocation of $9 million for the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program. It is included in the 2010 Fiscal Year Interior Appropriations Act Conference Report. The conference report is scheduled for a final vote in the House and Senate this week.

Since its creation in 1999, the Preservation Program has, through matching grants, been used to protect more than 15,000 acres at 60 battlefields in 14 states. Civil War Preservation Trust President James Lighthizer applauded the action, saying, it comes at a critical time when 30 acres of battlefield land is being lost each day to development.

The Preservation Program targets important and unprotected Civil War battlefields not already under National Park Service jurisdiction. Among the sites saved by this program are historic properties at Antietam and South Mountain, Md., Champion Hill, Miss., Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg and Manassas, Va., Chattanooga and Fort Donelson, Tenn. and Harpers Ferry, W.V.

Grants from the program are competitively awarded by the American Battlefield Protection Program, an arm of the Park Service.

By Linda Wheeler  |  October 29, 2009; 2:06 AM ET
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