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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Transportation; U.S. General Services Administration; National Endowment for the Humanities; President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities; Institute of Museum and Library Services; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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President Obama joins preservationists across the country today in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Read more here.

ACHP Celebrates 50th Anniversary at Events

Read about how ACHP members and staff have celebrated the 50th anniversary of the NHPA and the founding of the ACHP!

Latinos in Heritage Conservation to Host Reunion in November

Latinos in Heritage Conservation (LHC) is an organization of preservation professionals, scholars, and community advocates and activists established in 2014 to promote historic preservation in Latina/o communities throughout the United States. Last month, LHC published a guest article by ACHP Vice Chairman Teresa Leger de Fernandez who spoke of the urgent need to revisit national historic preservation policies and programs so as to better reflect the nation’s racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity. It is precisely that reason why LHC came into existence, as the organization aims to “move the needle” within the larger preservation movement in order to ensure a more complete American narrative, and to sustain the living cultural heritage of the country’s diverse Latina/o communities. Read more about Reunión 2016 in Houston next month.

Agencies Call for Tribal Input on Consultation on Infrastructure Projects

On September 9, in a joint statement the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Department of Justice and Department of the Interior committed to engage in government-to-government consultations with Indian tribes on what the federal government should do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure project reviews and decisions. The consultations would also address whether new legislation should be proposed to Congress to promote protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights when these projects are undertaken.

The announcement followed a decision the same day by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that denied a motion filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that would have temporarily enjoined construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). DAPL is a proposed 1,168-mile oil pipeline that would stretch from the Bakken fields of North Dakota to Pakota, Illinois, and cross properties of religious and cultural significance to the Standing Rock Sioux and other Indian tribes. Construction of DAPL requires federal permits and approvals, most notably from the Corps.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) became involved in the case after receiving expressions of concern from tribes and other stakeholders about the Corps’ compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Section 106 requires federal agencies to consider the effects on historic properties of projects the agencies carry out, permit, license, approve, or financially assist. The ACHP concluded that the Corps’ efforts to comply with Section 106 were deficient. The Corps disagreed and issued the necessary permits and approvals.

While the court decision is being appealed, the Corps and the Departments of Justice and the Interior sent a formal invitation on September 23 to tribal leaders to launch a series of consultation sessions to address the broader issues of tribal engagement in infrastructure reviews. The ACHP will be fully engaged in these sessions.

The ACHP's ongoing work with the development of policy recommendations to improve the national historic preservation program on its 50th anniversary will also benefit from the input received through the consultations.

Preservation Skill Building at PastForward Conference

If you're limited on time and can't attend the full PastForward Conference (November 15-18 in Houston), then come for just one day. The Preservation Leadership Trainings (PLT) Intensives on Nov. 16 are day-long, highly-focused, skill-building sessions that are a value-add for the preservation professional¾providing you with a specific set of skills to bring back to your organization and community, elevating your on the ground efforts. This year's topics include climate change, historic real estate finance, law, and placemaking. Add to your conference schedule or sign up for a PLT Intensive only. Be sure to stop by the ACHP booth while you are looking around the exhibition floor. Read more here: https://savingplaces.org/conference#.V_P2leUrJMw

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

Our friends have numerous resources for learning more about Hispanic Heritage Month. Please see www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov. As well, the ACHP offers our Citizen’s Guide to Section 106 in Spanish.

Expand Your Preservation Leadership Skills!

Preservation50 and American Express are excited to announce the launch of ARCUS: a community of support for emerging leaders of the historic preservation movement’s next 50 years. ARCUS is a leadership development program offering easy access, low cost, cutting edge courses, materials, and networking opportunities to individuals who seek to become effective leaders in the cultural heritage and historic preservation movement. This opportunity is for both ambitious individuals at the early stages of their preservation leadership AND current mid- to upper-level leaders who recognize they need to improve certain aspects of their leadership talents to continue to be successful. Read more on how to apply here.

First Lady Designates Two Stewards

First Lady Michelle Obama recently designated two volunteer organizations in Texas and Washington as Preserve America Stewards. This brings the nationwide total to 58 recognized Stewards. Read more about them here.

ACHP Issues Guidance On Using Section 304 of the NHPA to Protect Sensitive Information About Historic Properties

The ACHP has issued a “Frequently Asked Questions” guidance document on protecting sensitive information about historic properties under Section 304 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Federal agency officials, SHPOs, THPOs, Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and other stakeholders in the Section 106 process often ask ACHP staff how sensitive information about historic properties can be protected from public disclosure. This new guidance, available online here: builds upon the successful Section 304 Webinar the ACHP offers about how Section 304 works to protect such information and thereby prevent harm to historic properties. In developing this guidance, the ACHP coordinated closely with the NPS’ Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places program to ensure these FAQs identify the most commonly asked questions and provide helpful guidance to Section 106 practitioners as well as members of the public regarding what information may be withheld from disclosure, under what circumstances, and for what reasons.

African American Civil Rights Grants

The National Park Service has announced a new grant program aimed at preserving sites of importance to the African American struggle for civil rights in the 20th century. The grants are being funded by the Historic Preservation Fund, and $7.75 million is available. Potential projects include survey and documentation, interpretation and education, oral histories, brick and mortar preservation, and more. Historically Black Colleges and Universities can apply for the grants in partnership with states, territories, federally-recognized tribes, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian organizations, or local governments. Applications are due October 14, 2016. Learn more about the African American Civil Rights Grants here.

ACHP Chairman's Award Presented to Cold War Adaptive Reuse Project

Washington, DC-ACHP Chairman Milford Wayne Donaldson presented the Chairman's Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation July 13 at a ceremony at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. The award went to the U.S. Department of Energy and its Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, East Tennessee Preservation Alliance, and Dover Development for their work in the restoration and reuse of the Alexander Inn-Guest House, a site where famous players in the development of the atomic bomb at Oak Ridge's DOE facility, stayed. The former inn is now an assisted living facility. Read about the award here.View a Power Point presentation about the award here.

ACHP Meets in DC

The ACHP met for its summer business July 13-14 in Washington, D.C. Highlights of the meeting included the council members adopting resolutions to advise Congress and the President on four pieces of current legislation regarding historic property designation; emphasizing the members' focus on youth and encouraging agencies and others to support programs to engage young people in historic preservation experiences and careers; and setting forth internal regulations for guiding the ACHP's work in supporting building a more inclusive historic preservation program and tribal historic preservation regulations. Chairman Milford Wayne Donaldson swore in three newly appointed members at the business meeting: Terry Guen, Dorothy Lippert, and Jordan Tannenbaum.

First Lady Designates Four New Communities

The Preserve America program now can boast 904 designated communities with today's announcement of First Lady Michelle Obama's latest letters to the honorees. Read more about Redwood City, CA; Shelby Township, MI; Warwick, RI; and Tyler, TX.

Preserve America Communities Make Smithsonian's 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2016 List

Smithsonian Magazine recently released its annual "20 Best Small Towns to Visit" list, and in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the 2016 list focuses on towns near national parks. Of the 20 towns named, six have previously been designated as Preserve America communities. The designation recognizes communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, utilize historic resources for economic development and neighborhood revitalization, and encourage heritage tourism and historic education.

The Smithsonian Magazine list features the Preserve America Communities of Seward, Alaska, near Kenai Fjords National Park; Hot Springs, Arkansas, the site of Hot Springs National Park; Dahlonega, Georgia, at the head of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail; Ocean Springs, Mississippi, near the Gulf Islands National Seashore; Jacksonville, Oregon, near Crater Lake National Park; and Alpine, Texas, near Big Bend National Park.

All six of the designated towns have storied histories, from Hot Springs, where evidence suggests Native Americans lived for 10,000 years prior to European colonization, to Seward, which was founded in 1903. The Preserve America Communities have utilized their connection to national parks to showcase unique aspects of their cultural heritage to visitors, while continuing to celebrate the industries as varied as mining, arts, and transportation that originally allowed the towns to thrive. These Preserve America Communities are certainly worth a visit!

Two New Preserve America Stewards Named

First Lady Michelle Obama signed letters naming the Friends of Burial Hill and the Friends of Lakewold Preserve America Stewards. This brings the nationwide total of Stewards to 56. Read more here.

Making Archaeology Public Showcases Videos of NHPA Successes

The passage of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in 1966 fundamentally changed American archaeology. The NHPA requires that federal agencies be good stewards of historic places–including archaeological sites–that are under an agency’s control. The Act also requires agencies to consider the possible effects of all projects they carry out, fund, or approve on archaeological sites and other historic places.

Thus, over the past 50 years, hundreds of thousands of archaeological sites have been found, recorded, and, in many cases, preserved in place. Where sites could not be left in place because of the need for highways, energy, housing, or other modern development, many sites were scientifically excavated and analyzed. The results of these analyses preserve the information and knowledge we have gained for future generations.

Archaeology carried out to meet the requirements of the NHPA has created a vast collection of information about life in the past and yields amazing stories about our American experience. The videos on the Making Archaeology Public website were created by volunteer groups of archaeologists across the country in order to share some of these stories.

The library of videos on the site will continue to grow throughout 2016, so please check back for additions. You may share these videos freely with any audience for non-commercial purposes. Enjoy!

New Spanish Version Available for Citizen’s Guide

The ACHP is pleased to offer one of our most popular publications—the Citizen’s Guide to Section 106 Review—now in Spanish. We hope it will be useful for people who are more comfortable reading in Spanish. Feel free to contact the ACHP via our Spanish email address if you have inquiries: conservacion@achp.gov.

El ACHP se complace en ofrecer una de nuestras publicaciones más populares – la Guía del Ciudadano Sobre la Revisión de Proyectos Conforme a la Sección 106 – ahora en español. Esperamos que sea útil para las personas que les resulta más cómodo leer en español. Si tiene preguntas, no dude en contactar al ACHP, en español, a través de esta dirección de correo electrónico: conservacion@achp.gov.

ACHP Electronic Section 106 System Now Available to All Federal Agencies

The ACHP is pleased to announce the availability of its voluntary Electronic Section 106 Documentation Submittal System (e106) for use by any federal agency (or officially delegated non-federal entity) when notifying the ACHP of a finding of adverse effect, inviting the ACHP to be a consulting party to resolve adverse effects, or proposing to develop a Programmatic Agreement for complex or multiple undertakings.

The e106 system is designed to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of the Section 106 review process by providing federal agencies with an electronic submittal system that serves to expedite a critical step in Section 106 review and encourage complete and accurate submissions that can be shared with others. Read the announcement regarding the availability of this systemview the format form and instructions.

While federal agencies can continue to send hard copy documentation to the ACHP via regular mail, or electronically as a pdf, all agencies are encouraged to utilize e106 in their submissions to the ACHP.

National Historic Preservation Act Has Moved!

As you may have heard, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) has a new home in the United States Code (U.S. Code), the official compilation of federal statutes. While the NHPA was previously codified at title 16 of the U.S. Code, effective December 19, 2014, it was moved to title 54. Please find the law codifying the NHPA in title 54 here. The provisions of the newly codified NHPA may be found starting at section 300101. Read more.

The ACHP's Guidance on Agreement Documents is Now Available!

The ACHP is pleased to announce the availability of its new "Guidance on Agreement Documents" (GAD) now on our Web site at http://www.achp.gov/agreementdocguidance.html. It is best viewed from Google Chrome or Firefox.

Guidance on Agreement DocumentsMemoranda of Agreement and Programmatic Agreements play a critical role in documenting a federal agency's commitment to carry out and conclude its responsibilities under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). GAD will assist all consulting parties—federal agencies, states, Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, applicants, local governments, and other stakeholders–to draft clear, concise, and complete Section 106 MOAs and PAs. Use of this guidance can also help minimize disputes regarding agreed upon measures down the line and save time that is better spent seeking creative and innovative ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse effects to historic properties. Read more.

ACHP Publishes Measuring Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation

A report by Washington, D.C.-based PlaceEconomics is now available here. Read more about the study and the importance that historic preservation makes in your community.

Brownsville, Texas, uses Preserve America Money to Spark Downtown Development

At one of Texas’s most famous border towns, Brownsville has turned its once vacant and abandoned Downtown into a visitor’s mecca. Using its expansive supply of historic resources that just needed a little boost, the city now has four times the visitorship compared to a decade ago. Preserve America Grant funding of $132,870 helped spark the work to make downtown Brownsville a successful cultural tourist destination. Read more

Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation Study Released

A 2011 study commissioned by the ACHP, with funding assistance from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, identifies and analyzes methods for measuring the economic impacts of historic preservation. The report focuses on such economic indicators as jobs and household income, property values, heritage tourism, sustainable development, and downtown revitalization, and recommends ways to improve our understanding of how preservation activity supports economic vitality.
Read the full report here.
Read a brief compilation of related facts and figures here.

Preserve America Grants Effectiveness Report Released

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has released a report to Congress on the preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of Preserve America Grants over the last four years. Read more.

Archived News

Updated October 19, 2016

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