We at the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) are frequently asked, “What can I do to help?” The most obvious answer is by becoming a member and donating to our fundraising campaigns. Many of you have done just that – and your enthusiasm and generosity have helped us save nearly 25,000 acres nationwide.
But you can help in other ways as well – by donating a few moments of your time!
This past summer, a bipartisan group of preservation leaders in the U.S. House and Senate introduced the “Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2007.” This landmark legislation reauthorizes the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program, the primary tool that CWPT and other battlefield preservation groups use to acquire historically significant battlefield land.
The program provides federal matching grants that have helped protect more than 14,000 acres of hallowed ground throughout the nation – historic shrines such as Antietam, Champion Hill, Chancellorsville, Franklin, Manassas, Perryville and Prairie Grove. Without this program, many lands associated with these famous battlefields would have fallen to the backhoe and bulldozer in the past decade.
As is the case with many federal programs, the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program needs to be reauthorized every few years. Passage of the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act (H.R. 2933 in the House and S. 1921 in the Senate) will guarantee that this extremely valuable preservation tool will continue to be available to protect endangered battlefield land through 2013.
Get involved in the effort to pass the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act. Take a few moments to contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor the bill. You can call, write or email them – whichever you prefer (although calls and letters are always the most effective). If you are a member of a Civil War roundtable or battlefield friends group, consider setting up a meeting with your local congressional office.
To make your involvement as quick and easy as possible, CWPT has set up a special website about the program at www.battlefieldactivist.com. This website has everything you need – sample phone scripts, sample letters, and information on contacting your elected officials in Washington. It also contains a list of 22 Senators and 61 Representatives who have already embraced this important legislation.
Find your Legislator:
Sample Phone Script:
List of Supporters:
If it turns out your Senators or Representative have already agreed to cosponsor the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act, please send them a quick thank you (we provide sample text for that as well). All too often, our elected officials only hear from the public when they do something wrong – please thank them for doing something so right.
If you have any questions, please reply to this email or call CWPT at 1-800-298-7878 ext. 220. In many cases, legislators won’t cosponsor bills unless they hear from their constituents – so make sure your voice is heard!
Thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support!
p.s. Jim wrote later to add "The bill reauthorizes the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program for another 5 years (FY2008 - FY2013). This program is the most often used federal program for battlefield preservation available today. Because of the importance of the program, we created a special website to get people more involved, www.battlefieldactivist.com."
From Civil War Preservation Trust
Donors have received this email; I did not find the text up on their website yet.