- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A quartet of significant Civil War battlefields are getting some protective help - $2.2 million worth, and none of that coming from tax payer funds. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis has announced the new grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to help preserve land at Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania, and the Manassas, North Anna, and Rappahannock Station battlefields in Virginia.

The 50-year-old fund uses revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, the federal agency says. It counts multiple conservation, environmental and recreational groups among its supporters. The fund is not without its political underpinnings. With a burgeoning federal debt, some Republican lawmakers would like to see the fund’s monies cut by up to 90 percent. The Obama administration, on the other hand, want the annual $300 million budget upped to $900 million. Yes, it’s complicated. See information on the fund here

The Civil War sites, though, have their money.

“The land saved by these grants is otherwise at risk of disappearing under buildings, parking lots, and highways. If the land is lost, along with it goes the educational opportunity of standing in the place where so many lives where sacrificed,” Mr. Jarvis says.

“Acquisition of these battlefields through the Fund will enable all Americans to better understand how military conflicts have impacted important social and political changes throughout our nation’s history.”

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