Expert Panel to Explore Improvements to the Nation’s Preservation Program Structure
The Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) have announced the creation of a new expert panel to evaluate the current federal historic preservation program and make recommendations toward its continuous improvement. Ten experts and stakeholders in the field of historic preservation have been selected by the co-chairs of the Preserve America Steering Committee—Deputy Secretary of the Interior P. Lynn Scarlett and ACHP Chairman John L. Nau, III—as an independent review panel.
The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) created the national historic preservation infrastructure. The NHPA established a partnership between the federal government and state, tribal and local governments that is supported by federal funding and technical assistance for preservation activities. Building upon this foundation, the federal government has developed additional policies, legislation and programs that promote preservation. Most recently, in 2003, President Bush signed Executive Order 13287 “Preserve America” which reaffirmed the importance of federal stewardship and the need to partner with non-federal parties to promote productive use of historic properties.
A national Preserve America Summit took place on the 40th anniversary of the Act in New Orleans and concluded with 13 recommendations for increasing the effectiveness and benefits from the national preservation system. Among them was the charge to the ACHP and DOI to “explore improvements in the program structure of the federal preservation program through creation of an independent review panel.”
While all federal agencies have historic preservation responsibilities under the NHPA, DOI and the ACHP are the agencies that bear the primary responsibility for preservation for the federal government. Each has specific duties regarding administration of core programs, such as the National Register of Historic Places, the Historic Preservation Fund, historic preservation tax credits and the Section 106 historic preservation review process.
“Our accomplishments in historic preservation over the past century are vast and varied,” Scarlett said. “They range from creation of a whole national park system, to education programs, to extensive inventories, to partnerships with states to evaluate historic sites. This expert panel will now examine how we can build upon these successes and meet historic preservation needs of the 21st century.”
The 10 expert panelists will gather in Washington, D.C., on May 8 for their first meeting and report their findings sometime this fall.
“We have an outstanding group of leading experts representing academia, federal, state and city governments, Indian tribes, the private sector and the non-profit community. We are fortunate they have volunteered to serve in this vital capacity to improve the protection and sustainable use of our national heritage resources,” Nau said.
The expert panel includes individuals from different perspectives who agree to represent their own viewpoints and interests. The members of the panel are the following:
Susan Barnes, president and chief executive officer, the Landmark Group of Companies, and ACHP vice chair
Philip Grone, a director at Cisco Systems,* former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Installations and Environment, Department of Defense
Daniel P. Jordan, president, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, and trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
Frank G. Matero, professor of architecture, chair of the graduate program in historic preservation at the Graduate School of Fine Arts, and director of the Architectural Conservation Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania
Richard Moe, president, National Trust for Historic Preservation
David Morgan, former Kentucky State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO)
Brian Patterson, council member of the Oneida Indian Nation, and chairman of the United South and Eastern Tribes
Joseph P. Riley, Jr., mayor, Charleston, S.C.
Jay D. Vogt, South Dakota SHPO, and president of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers
Douglas P. Wheeler, partner, Hogan & Hartson
For more information on Preserve America, see www.preserveamerica.gov.
*Mr. Grone is participating in his personal capacity and not as a representative of Cisco Systems.