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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get my property listed in the National Register?

What are some sources of funding for the preservation of my historic property?

What does the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation do?

What is the role of ACHP members and staff?

What is Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act?

Who is my State Historic Preservation Officer, and what does he or she do?

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How can I get my property listed in the National Register?

Contact the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) of the State in which the property is located. SHPOs administer the national historic preservation program at the State level, review National Register of Historic Places nominations, and maintain data on historic properties that have been identified for but not yet nominated to the National Register.

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What are some sources of funding for the preservation of my historic property?

All States and many Indian tribes and local governments have historic
preservation programs that support private preservation efforts and offer incentives for preservation. Your State Historic Preservation Officer or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer can provide you with more information.

In addition, non-profit organizations may be able to advise you about funding opportunities, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

While our agency is not involved in making grants or loans, we have created an online guide for our Web visitors that outlines the range of historic preservation funding options that are currently available. Named "Sources of Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation Projects," the guide is available at www.achp.gov/funding.html.

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What does the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation do?

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, an independent Federal agency established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), is the only entity with the legal responsibility to balance historic preservation concerns with Federal project requirements. As directed by NHPA, ACHP:

  • advises the President and Congress on historic preservation matters;
  • administers the public review and consultation process for Federal undertakings established by Section 106 of NHPA; and
  • works to improve Federal policies, programs, planning, and decisions when they affect the Nation's historic and cultural resources.

See "What is Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act?" below for more information on the Section 106 review process. See "What is the role of ACHP members and staff?" below for information on ACHP's structure.

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What is the role of ACHP members and staff?

ACHP has both a governing body whose membership is established by the National Historic Preservation Act, and a professional staff that supports it.

Members set general policy, initiate or approve programs and activities, and exercise oversight on the execution of policies, programs, and activities. They participate in specific programs and activities in groups and as the full membership, and meet in full session four times a year.

Milford Wayne Donaldson is chairman of the 23-member ACHP. Members include four historic preservation experts, four citizen members, a Native American, a governor, a mayor, and four federal agency heads, all appointed by the President. The Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, the Architect of the Capitol, the president of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, general chairman of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, and the chairman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation complete ACHP.

A professional staff, which supports the ACHP's daily operations, is headquartered in Washington, DC. Headed by an executive director, offices include Preservation Initiatives; Federal Agency Programs; Communications, Education, and Outreach; and Administration.

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What is Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act?

Section 106 of NHPA requires each Federal agency to identify and assess the effects of its actions on historic resources. The responsible Federal agency must consult with appropriate State and local officials, Indian tribes, applicants for Federal assistance, and members of the public and consider their views and concerns about historic preservation issues when making final project decisions.

Effects are most often resolved by mutual agreement, usually among the affected State's State Historic Preservation Officer or the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, the Federal agency, and any other involved parties. ACHP may participate in controversial or precedent-setting situations.

Section 106 applies when two thresholds are met: there is a Federal or federally licensed action, including grants, licenses, and permits, and that action has the potential to affect properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Under Section 106's implementing regulations, "Protection of Historic Properties" (36 CFR Part 800), ACHP is tasked with overseeing the Section 106 review process; working with Federal agencies on programmatic solutions for integrating their missions and historic preservation needs; being the primary Federal policy advisor to the President and Congress; and providing training, guidance, and public information to make the Section 106 review process operate efficiently and with full opportunity for citizen involvement.

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Who is my State Historic Preservation Officer, and what does he or she do?

Designated by the governor of their respective State or territory, State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs) carry out the national historic preservation program as delegates of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). SHPOs:

  • locate and record historic properties;
  • nominate significant historic properties to the National Register;
  • foster historic preservation programs at the local government level and the creation of preservation ordinances;
  • provide matching funds for preservation projects;
  • comment upon preservation projects under consideration for the federal rehabilitation tax credit;
  • review all federal projects for impact on historic properties under Section 106 of NHPA and the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and
  • provide technical assistance on restoration and other preservation activities to Federal agencies, State and local governments, and the private sector.

Federal agencies seek the views of the appropriate SHPO when identifying historic properties and assessing effects of an undertaking on historic properties. Agencies also consult with SHPOs when developing Memoranda of Agreement.

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Updated April 26, 2018

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