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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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ACHP Offices Closed For Inauguration Week

Due to the presidential inauguration activities, the National Building Museum, which houses the ACHP, will be closed to the public and tenants January 16-22. January 16 and January 20 are federal holidays. But on January 17-19, the ACHP staff will be conducting business, although not physically in the office. Most ACHP staff telework and can be reached by e-mail or on their direct phone lines. For a staff directory, please click here. Normal operations will resume on January 23.

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.

ACHP Celebrates Native American Heritage Awareness Month

President Obama's recent Proclamation on Native American Heritage Awareness month states: "During National Native American Heritage Month, we pledge to maintain the meaningful partnerships we have with tribal nations, and we renew our commitment to our nation-to-nation relationships as we seek to give all our children the future they deserve." Over the past year and half, the ACHP's Office of Native American Affairs has developed a Native Youth Program to introduce historic preservation to tribal and Native Hawaiian youth, both as a career choice and to educate them on opportunities to preserve sites important to them. Read more information on the ACHP Native Youth Program. And our work to support tribes and Native Hawaiians is outlined here. Read the President's Proclamation of Native American Heritage Awareness Month.

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 January 12, 2017

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