Introduction to Update on Prominent Section 106 Cases: June 2000
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires Federal agencies to consider historic preservation values when planning their activities. In the Section 106 process, a Federal agency must identify affected historic properties, evaluate the proposed actionís effects, and then explore ways to avoid or mitigate those effects.
The Federal agency conducts this process in consultation with State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and other parties with an interest in the issues.
Each year thousands of Federal actions undergo Section 106 review. The vast majority of cases are routine and resolved at the State or tribal level, without involvement of the Council. However, a considerable number of cases present issues or challenges that warrant the attention of the Council. They may present complex preservation issues, substantial public controversy, precedent-setting situations, or simply significant impacts on important historic properties. The specific Criteria for Council Involvement in reviewing Section 106 cases are set forth in Appendix A of the Council's regulations.
This report provides basic information on a small but representative cross-section of the variety and complexity of Federal activities in which the Council is currently involved. Many of the cases involve impacts to properties of traditional religious and cultural significance to Indian tribes. Others illustrate impacts to types of resources found in communities throughout the country, including historic schools, hotels, and bridges.
Likewise, this report highlights the wide variety of Federal activities that trigger the Section 106 preview process. Whether the Federal government is funding a new highway, leasing or disposing of Federal property, or approving private industry to operate on public land, its activities can impact historic properties.
This report illustrates the ways the Federal Government influences what happens to historic properties in communities throughout the Nation. It also highlights the importance of informed citizens to be alert to potential conflicts between Federal actions and historic preservation goals, and the necessity for public participation to achieve the best possible preservation solution.
The Councilís Web site also offers a useful library of information about the Council and the Section 106 review process.
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