The Georgia House budget for SFY 2010 cuts $279,195 from the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The cut, which appears to have been based on erroneous information, would gut the state's archaeological program, resulting in:
- Substantial delay of federal stimulus projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as well as other federally funded or permitted development projects that must be reviewed and processed by HPD under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as Amended;
- Elimination of three positions, including the state archaeologist;
- Elimination of ongoing legally-required surveys for projects on DNR lands that would then have to be contracted out at an estimated cost of $1,090,000/year;
- Elimination of funding for storage of the state's priceless (and publicly-owned) artifact collections recovered from state lands;
- Elimination of Federally-mandated American Indian consultations;
- Elimination of technical assistance to state agencies and citizens. Last year the program provided technical assistance to over 500 communities across Georgia.
Please call Senator Jack Hill of Reidsville (404-656-5038), Senator Chip Rogers of Woodstock (404-463-1378), Senator Tommie Williams of Lyons (404-656-0089), Senator Ross Tolleson of Perry (404-656-0081), Representative Ben Harbin of Evans (404-463-2247), Representative Jerry Keen of St. Simon's Island (404-656-5052), and Representative Mark Burkhalter of Johns Creek (404-656-5072).
Call your own representative and senator as well. Ask them to restore full funding of $279,195 to the Archaeology Protection and Education Budget.