horizontal banner with Preserve America logo and images of a historic downtown, farm, courthouse, and mountain

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.

The seal of the President of the United StatesAdvisory Council on Historic Preservation logoU.S. Department of Agriculture logoU.S. Department of Commerce seal
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development logoU.S. Department of the Interior seal



ACHP Meets in DC; New Member Sworn In

The ACHP met for spring business March 23 at the Capitol Visitor Center Auditorium in Washington, D.C. U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman of California swore in newly appointed council member Reno Keoni Franklin, who is chairman of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians in northern California. Also at the council table as a voting member was the vice chairman of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers Alvin Windy Boy of the Chippewa Cree of Montana. NATHPO's new status was codified in December 2016.

ACHP members discussed progress of the new Administration transition, including a meeting Chairman Wayne Donaldson had with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. The two agencies share the majority of the duties in advancing the national historic preservation program. Council members also adopted changes to the ACHP operating procedures in light of the pending full-time chairman whose position has been authorized as of December 2016. Members discussed the ideas surrounding infrastructure and Administration goals, the historic preservation tax credit, broadband deployment, and youth engagement and job training.

Announcing the ACHP’s Recommendations for the Future of the National Historic Preservation Program

The ACHP is proud to make available its report The National Historic Preservation Program at 50: Priorities and Recommendations for the Future which discusses a variety of issues and offers constructive actions for ensuring success. Read the report here.

ACHP Announces Spring Business Meeting

The ACHP will meet for its next business meeting March 22-23 in Washington, D.C. See the agendas for the topics to be covered.

Apply Now for a New Joint Award for Preservation Excellence

The ACHP is happy to announce the creation of a new joint award with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The ACHP/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation will honor historic preservation efforts with affordable housing and community revitalization successes. Agencies, developers, and organizations are encouraged to nominate projects or activities that advance the goals of historic preservation while providing affordable housing and/or expanded economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income families and individuals.

Preference will be given to projects and activities that do the following:

  • Promote the use of historic buildings for affordable housing, community development, and/or expanded economic opportunities
  • Include HUD funds or financing
  • Meet preservation guidelines
  • Contribute to local community revitalization efforts

This is an annual award. Nominations for the 2017 cycle are due by11:59 p.m. PDT on March 27, 2017.

View nomination and application details here.

Read the Latest Forum Journal Publication on the NHPA 50th Anniversary!

Preservation Leadership Forum invites you to read the latest Forum Journal, Fifty Years of Heritage So Rich: The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). In this issue, we seek to represent the breadth the NHPA and the programs it initiated, examining its many accomplishments as well as its unfulfilled potential. The Journal is a benefit for Forum members, but is available for full access for a limited time. The ACHP is pleased to point out an article written by our Director of Preservation Initiatives Ron Anzalone in the Forum Journal.

ACHP Chairman Highlights Benefits of Historic Tax Credit in Letter to Congress

As Congress weighs various proposals for tax reform, ACHP Chairman Milford Wayne Donaldson has asked the House Ways and Means Committee to consider the past success and future potential of the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit. Read his letter here.

Since 1976, more than 41,000 projects throughout the U.S. have benefited from the tax credit, generating $78.3 billion in investment and creating nearly 2.4 million jobs. The credit also pays for itself, with the $23.1 billion cost of the program offset by the $28.1 billion in tax receipts generated by projects receiving the credit.

One tax reform plan under consideration in Congress calls for elimination of most special-interest deductions and credits. In his letter to the chairman and ranking member of the committee, Donaldson noted that the 20 percent historic tax credit does not support a specific industry or locality, but it encourages the renovation of underutilized commercial properties for a wide range of uses in communities throughout the country.

NPS Announces More Than $7.5 Million in Grants to Preserve African American Civil Rights Movement Sites

Jan. 12 – We salute the National Park Service who today announced funding for 39 projects in more than 20 states that will preserve and highlight the sites and stories associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the African American experience. “Through the African American Civil Rights Grant Program, we’re helping our public and private partners tell unique and powerful stories of the African American struggle for equality in the 20th Century,” National Park Service Acting Director Michael Reynolds said. Read the press release here.

Chicano Park in San Diego Among New NHLs

Jan. 11-Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today announced the designation of 24 new National Historic Landmarks across the country. Read the press release. Newly designated Chicano Park was one of the ACHP’s Section 106 Success Stories featuring a smart collaboration among local artists, the California Department of Transportation, and Federal Highway Administration to restore a place famous in the struggle for Chicano civil rights. Read the story.

President Obama Announces Intent to Appoint New Member

On Dec. 21, the President announced his intention to appoint Reno Keoni Franklin as the new Native American/Native Hawaiian member of the ACHP. Read the press release here. Read the White House announcement here.

First Lady Designates Pompano Beach as Preserve America Community

First Lady Michelle Obama sent a letter to the leaders of Pompano Beach, Florida, this week announcing it as the 906th Preserve America Community. Read more about how the community is preserving its heritage.


Preserve America Designation for Orange Mound Celebrated in Memphis

Hundreds of advocates, community leaders, schoolchildren, and other members of the public gathered at Mount Pisgah Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in southeast Memphis Dec. 16 to celebrate the designation of Orange Mound as the 905th Preserve America Community.

Orange Mound holds the distinction of being the first subdivision in the U.S. designed specifically for African Americans. Attendees of the designation ceremony were treated to a reenactment of the story of Orange Mound's origins, as well as stirring music and dance performances by local ensembles from the Blues City Cultural Center and Melrose High School. U.S. Representative Steve Cohen and ACHP Member Jordan Tannenbaum also addressed the audience, with the crowd applauding Tannenbaum's acknowledgment of the community's success in 2015 in celebrating its 125th anniversary.

The ceremony closed with Tannenbaum reading the official Preserve America designation letter from First Lady Michelle Obama, and the presentation of a replica of the official designation sign for the community.

Orange Mound was named after the Osage orange shrubs that lined the grounds of the Deadrick Plantation, from which the lands that formed the community were deeded in 1870. The land was purchased by Izey Eugene Meacham, who in turn sold plots to local African Americans.

President Signs Bill Authorizing ACHP Full-Time Chairman and Reauthorizes Historic Preservation Fund

On Dec. 16, President Barack Obama signed the National Park Service Centennial Act into law. It is Public Law 114-289 https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4680/text
The bill contained amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act that the ACHP had been pursuing for several years. These include the conversion of the ACHP chairman to a full-time position, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and the addition of the General Chairman of National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (NATHPO) as a voting member of the ACHP. The ACHP chairman provisions would take effect on Jan. 20, 2017, commencing a four-year term for that position. The current chairman will serve until the full-time chairman is appointed and confirmed. The NATHPO provision takes effect now. Read more here. Read FAQs about the legislation here.

Congress Passes Water Infrastructure Bill With Provisions Backed by the ACHP

On December 10, the Senate passed the revised House version of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. The measure now goes to the President for signature.

Several provisions supported by the ACHP in a recent letter to Congress were included: a review of the Army Corps of Engineers’ tribal consultation policy; the creation of a public interest criterion for assessing Corps properties; and the addressing of cultural resources in a new Indian dam safety program. The ACHP believes all three provisions will enhance the Corps’ consideration of cultural resources, particularly those of interest to Indian tribes.

The tribal consultation provision requires the Corps to review its policies, regulations, and guidance related to consulting with Indian tribes on water resources development projects or other activities that require the approval of, or the issuance of a permit by, the Corps and that may have an impact on tribal cultural or natural resources. The result of this review will be a report to Congress. Given past controversies regarding the adequacy of the Corps’ consultation with Indian tribes on cultural and natural resource issues, the review called for in the provision could be an important step toward more effective tribal consultation on future projects.

The public interest criterion provision makes an important change to the criteria used by the Corps in determining which of its properties—including dams, flood control structures, levees and reservoirs—are not needed to fulfill its missions and is a candidate for disposal. The provision adds a criterion addressing the economic, cultural, historic, or recreational significance of properties. This addition will help to ensure that broader, public interest issues–including historical significance – are considered during the Corps’ evaluation of the properties it manages.

The dam safety provision authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Corps, to carry out a program to address the safety of federal dams in Indian Country. The provision requires, among other things, that the Corps take into account risks to natural and cultural resources when addressing the deferred maintenance needs of Indian dams.

Chairman’s Award Goes to Painted Bluff Project

ACHP Chairman Milford Wayne Donaldson presented the Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation at an evening reception Nov. 30 to partners who worked on the graffiti removal and camouflage project at Painted Bluff in Alabama. A historic site with pictographs dating back 600 years, Painted Bluff had become a graffiti magnet, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, University of Tennessee, Stratum Unlimited, University of Alabama, Southeastern Climbers Coalition, and 15 federally recognized Indian tribes worked together to restore the character of the bluff. Read more about the award here. View a slide presentation here.

ACHP Meets in DC for Fall Business

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation met Dec. 1 in Washington, D.C. for its fall business meeting. New member Luis Hoyos was sworn in, and member Leonard Forsman was sworn in as the new vice chairman of the ACHP. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Forsman’s home state of Washington administered the oath to him and talked about the importance of historic preservation.

Council members passed several action items including a report and recommendations regarding the ACHP’s public policy initiative for the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and the future of the federal preservation program. They also endorsed a diversity statement regarding internal ACHP business including staff and council member diversity and inclusiveness. Additionally, they supported sections of House and Senate bills regarding the Water Resources Development Act pertaining to historic properties and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Council members discussed the upcoming transition of presidential administrations and how priorities need to be set for preservation initiatives that will be of interest to the new Administration. The next business meeting will be March 22-23 in Washington, D.C.


ACHP Announces Community Revitalization Policy Statement

After years of research and study into the needs of communities across the U.S. who are struggling to revive their economies and historic assets, the ACHP has issued a policy statement aimed at helping to provide ideas and principles for successful community revitalization. Read more about how to help your community.

First Lady Designates New Preserve America Community

First Lady Michelle Obama sent a letter to the community leaders of Orange Mound, a neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee, announcing it is the newest Preserve America Community. The total now is 905 designated communities. Read more about Orange Mound.

President Announces Intent to Appoint New Vice Chairman

President Barack Obama announced his intention to appoint current ACHP Native American Member Leonard Forsman as vice chairman of the ACHP. Forsman serves as chairman of the Suquamish Tribe in Washington. Read more here.


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!

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.

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.

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 March 16, 2017

Return to Top