Show Your Support for the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program

Federal Funding for PreservationPlease take a moment to tell your U.S. Senators and Representatives about your enthusiasm and support for the federal Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program.  It is important to remind Congress about the benefits of a program that has help save more than 19,500 acres of hallowed ground nationwide.

Thank you for speaking out on behalf of America’s endangered Civil War battlefields.

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I Support the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program

Dear [Decision Maker],

As a supporter of Civil War battlefield preservation, I write to respectfully request you support funding for the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program. This matching grants program is administered by the American Battlefield Protection Program, an arm of the National Park Service.

The key to the program's success is in its matching grants formula that encourages investment from nonprofit groups and private donors such as myself. Since its creation, the program has saved more than 19,500 acres of hallowed ground in 20 states. The program is only used to target hallowed ground outside NPS boundaries, thus not contributing to the federal land burden or the NPS maintenance backlog. The program requires a one-to-one federal/nonfederal match; however, on most occasions the federal dollars are leveraged at least three-to-one. It should also be noted that these grants preserves historic sites by working only with willing sellers to acquire properties at fair market value.

Battlefield preservation is preservation of our shared American history. These are lands consecrated with the blood of brave soldiers who fought and died defending American beliefs and making our country what it is today. These lands, when preserved, are living monuments not just to the men in blue and gray who fought there but to all of America's veterans who have honorably served in the military. They also serve as outdoor classrooms to educate current and future generations of Americans about this defining moment in our nation's history. Once these hallowed grounds are lost, there will never again be an opportunity to preserve them.

While it would be worth protecting battlefields for the historic value alone, this program also has economic value. According to a recent study, battlefield tourists stay twice as long and spend twice as much as average tourists during their stay. This is beneficial for numerous small towns throughout America whose restaurants, shops, and lodging facilities are supported by historic tourism. Annually, $192.3 billion can be attributed to travelers identified as heritage tourists.

I sincerely hope that you will support funding for this important program and help preserve our history for future generations while we still can. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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