About Cultural Heritage Partners

Marion Werkheiser is an attorney with Cultural Heritage Partners, which serves as the government affairs consultant to the Society for Historical Archaeology.

From the Society for Historical Archaeology’s Governmental Affairs Counsel

SHA Members’ Congressional Visits

Thanks to those of you who participated in Cultural Heritage Partners’ July webinar, “Making Our Voices Heard During August Recess.” An even bigger thanks to members who followed through and visited with members of Congress and their staffers, as well as members of state and local government! If you met with, called or had contact with your Representative or Senator in August, please share your results with Cultural Heritage Partners’ so we can keep track of results and any needed follow-up.

Congress Update

Possible Shutdown?

As tonight’s September 30 end-of-fiscal-year approaches, the House and Senate continue their arguing over the budget and Obamacare. A short-term spending bill (a continuing resolution, or CR) has to pass by midnight to avoid a government shutdown. The shutdown would affect a broad range of services, including forcing a closure of national parks and museums. Seemingly desperate to reach an agreement, Senate Republicans today floated the idea of a 1-week stopgap measure, which their Democrat colleagues seemed unwilling to support. Should a shutdown happen, it is likely to go no more than a few days. The longest shutdown in history lasted 21 days, from December 16, 1995 through January 5, 1996.

A related issue looming on the horizon is the debt: Congress will have to vote to raise the ceiling in mid-October, when Treasury estimates the U.S. will hit the permissible limit.


Taking most of members’ time until recently was deciding whether to authorize action against Syria, in light of Assad’s use of chemical weapons. After seeing low public and Congressional support, President Obama asked the Senate not to vote on air strikes, and is instead pursuing a diplomatic solution with Russia.

Inside Syria, the war is having a serious adverse effect on archaeology. As the New York Times reported in April, “the country’s archaeological heritage is imperiled by war, facing threats ranging from outright destruction by bombs and bullets to opportunistic digging by treasure hunters who take advantage of the power vacuum to prowl the country with spades and shovels.”

NPS Kicks Off Centennial Website

To celebrate its 100th anniversary coming up in 2016, the National Park Service is inviting the submission of ideas through its “Next Century For Parks” website. Designed to be the home of the parks community, the public is asked to share ideas, successes and solutions for America’s national parks, today and for the next one hundred years, through the new website. NPS is looking for big, creative ideas that can become signature centennial programs. The deadline for consideration is October 20, 2013. You can check out the site here.

Help the Society for Historical Archaeology make an impact on the Hill

Join us for a Webinar on Thursday, July 25.

Congress’ summer recess is fast approaching. What does that mean to SHA and to you? August is a great time to invite Representatives and Senators to visit local archaeological, historical and architectural sites, and to learn about the importance of cultural heritage education and preservation.  It is also a chance for us to advocate for funding for SHPO offices, curation efforts and Section 106.

Please join SHA’s government affairs counsel Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC on Thursday, July 25, at 1 pm EDT for a 30-minute webinar: “Making Our Voices Heard During August Recess.” Cultural Heritage Partners attorneys Marion Werkheiser and Eden Burgess will teach you how to reach out to local Congressional offices, prepare for visits, deliver SHA’s message, and make an impact that lasts. Join us and get empowered!

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:


Title: Making Our Voices Heard During August Recess
Date: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT [1 hour scheduled to allow for Q&A]

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Support the Historic Preservation Fund


DEADLINE EXTENDED: April 12th, 2013

Representatives Michael Turner (R-OH) and Rush Holt (D-NJ), co-chairs of the Historic Preservation Caucus, have drafted a letter requesting $55.91 million in historic preservation program funding (via the Historic Preservation Fund) for FY14. The State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs) need your help in garnering House support for this important funding request. This bipartisan letter will be circulated throughout the House of Representatives to members of both parties.

The APRIL 12 deadline for House members to submit the letter is fast approaching, so please contact your Representatives in the House right away and ask for their support!  Note that the best way to contact your Representatives is via email. You can find your Representatives’ names and websites here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

To make it easy for you, we have drafted a basic email for you to send to your Representatives. Just fill in the information specific to you, your company and your House members, and send!

If you need help or have questions, please email Marion Werkheiser at Cultural Heritage Partners.


Subject:          Request for support of $55.91 million in historic preservation program funding for FY14

Dear Representative __________,

I write on behalf of [organization name]. [Brief description of organization or of yourself, if writing on your own behalf. Include the state where organization is based or where you live]. [I/We] request that you support funding for historic preservation program funding for FY14 by signing the attached letter.

Representatives Michael Turner (R-OH) and Rush Holt (D-NJ), co-chairs of the Historic Preservation Caucus, drafted the letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee that requests $55.91 million in historic preservation program funding (via the Historic Preservation Fund) for FY14.

This bipartisan funding request asks for funding level with FY12 and slightly increased from the amount allocated to the HPF post-sequestration:

$46.925 million, State Historic Preservation Offices

$8.985 million, Tribal Historic Preservation Offices

[I/organization name] ask you to sign on to the letter to support the program, which funds State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs). As explained in the letter, SHPOs carry out the National Historic Preservation Act, which provides citizens the tools they need to revitalize, rehabilitate and protect the places that give meaning to America. SHPOs facilitate National Historic Preservation Action compliance and funding them at these levels will allow for better protection for historic archaeology sites. Additionally, in 2012, the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, administered by SHPOs, leveraged over $5.3B in private investment and created nearly 57,000 jobs.

Please note that the deadline for submitting the letter is April 12, 2013.

Please contact me with any questions regarding the historic preservation program or the funding request. [I/We] hope you will support this important program and sign the attached letter.

Kind regards,


[Signature block]

[Don't forget to attach or link to the letter]