The NATHPO Chair has served as an observer on the ACHP, meaning he or she was not a voting member, since the association was founded in 1998. With the President’s signing of the National Park Service Centennial Act into law on December 16, 2016, NATHPO now enjoys equal status on the ACHP with the other 23 members of the ACHP. Its counterpart organization, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, became a voting member of the ACHP in 1980.
NATHPO’s mission is to support the preservation, maintenance, and revitalization of the culture and traditions of Native peoples of the U.S. The association monitors federal and state government activities on issues that affect all tribes, including the federal government’s identification, evaluation, and management of tribal historic properties.
Ledford is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Makah Tribe in Neah Bay, WA. She also serves on the Washington State Governor’s Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, and has been executive director of the Makah Cultural and Research Center since 1995.
Interagency Group Releases Sacred Sites Training Video
An interagency working group released an online training video designed to help federal agencies meet their legal responsibilities in protecting places of sacred significance to Indian tribes and accommodating access to them.
The video is one of the products issued as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the ACHP entered into in 2012 with the Departments of Defense, the Interior, Agriculture, and Energy. The MOU is designed to improve the protection of and access to sacred sites through interagency coordination and collaboration.
The signatories developed the video in conjunction with experts from across the federal government, Indian Country, academia, and tribal advocacy groups. The course is designed for use by federal, state, and tribal governments, as well as members of the public interested in learning about sacred sites protection.
The ACHP believes the training video will help contribute to a better understanding of sacred places, their protection and preservation, and their importance to tribal cultures. The working group has also developed a policy review of all laws, regulations, and policies related to sacred sites, as well as an information paper on sacred sites for non-federal stakeholders. More work products are expected in the future.
Interagency Group Releases Major Report on Tribal Consultation
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) commends the Departments of the Interior, Justice, and the Army on the January 18 release of a comprehensive report outlining ways to improve the role of Indian tribes in federal planning processes.
The interagency work group, which ACHP staff and Members also participated in, was set up last fall following criticism and protests from tribes and other members of the public over whether the Army Corps of Engineers and other planning agencies were obtaining adequate input from tribes on infrastructure projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline. The group held several tribal consultation meetings over the course of the fall that examined steps the federal government might take to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure project reviews and decisions.
The report, entitled Improving Tribal Consultation and Tribal Involvement in Federal Infrastructure Decisions, includes summaries of tribal comments from the consultation sessions, as well as recommendations for how federal agencies can improve tribal consultation.
The ACHP believes the report is a major accomplishment that provides a blueprint for constructive action and opportunities to advance the ACHP's longstanding policies of effective tribal consultation in the Section 106 process.
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires federal agencies to identify and assess the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. The ACHP has said in recent comments filed with the Corps that “Appendix C,” the process it uses to comply with Section 106, falls short of the NHPA requirements. In the report issued this week, the Corps pledged to update Appendix C in 2017 in response to input received from tribes.
The agencies also committed in the report to incorporating its findings into work covered by the Memorandum of Understanding on Interagency Collaboration and Coordination for the Protection of Indian Sacred Sites.
The ACHP was a participant in the work group. Vice Chair Leonard Forsman and Office of Native American Affairs Director Valerie Hauser attended the consultation meetings, and Hauser and Native American Program Specialist D. Rae Gould helped analyze tribal comments and draft the report.
The report can be viewed at https://www.bia.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/document/idc2-060030.pdf
Native Youth Newsletter Now Available!
The Interagency Working Group on Native Youth in Historic Preservation is pleased to announce its first newsletter. The ACHP established the working group to bring together federal agencies with historic preservation expertise to work collaboratively to introduce Native youth to the field and explore ways to expand existing resources and create new opportunities. Read the newsletter here.
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.
TrustLive Sessions Online
The ACHP participated in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s PastForward conference in November. Watch former Vice Chairman Teresa Leger de Fernandez and others in an exciting panel discussion of Preservation Voices. To watch more of the conference videos, simply click on the second link below and choose the session you would like to view.
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.
Update: Army Corps Decision on Dakota Access Pipeline
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on December 4 that it decided not to grant an easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross the Missouri River on Corps land until a fuller analysis of alternatives is completed. The Corps indicated this decision is based in part on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations and its interest in greater public and tribal participation in infrastructure project reviews such as this.
The Corps has not indicated whether it intends to reopen or conduct any further review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) related to this action. At present, the Corps has determined it has fulfilled its obligations under Section 106 for the pipeline project. As reflected in its correspondence with the Corps (see here), the ACHP has questioned the sufficiency of the Corps’ review for the entire 1,172-mile pipeline under Section 106. The lawsuit filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others regarding the Corps’ environmental review of the pipeline project, including its compliance with Section 106, remains under consideration in federal court.
An interagency work group is currently reviewing the outcome of several recent tribal consultation meetings held by the Corps, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior that examined steps the federal government might take to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure project reviews and decisions. ACHP staff is participating in the work group’s analysis of the meetings and development of further actions.
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.
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.
Agreement Reached for Four-State, 728-Mile Transmission Line
The proposed TransWest Express Transmission Line would move energy from Wyoming through Colorado and Utah, ending in southern Nevada, and provide power for up to 1.8 million homes in the Southwest each year. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been consulting with more than 80 parties since 2012 in order to take effects on historic properties from this lengthy transmission line into account. On October 18, 2016, the ACHP signed the Programmatic Agreement (PA) that resulted from the consultation, completing the execution of the agreement.
The PA effectively addresses direct, indirect, and cumulative effects on historic properties. Building on the methodologies for assessing indirect effects done on previous transmission projects, this agreement reflects the most up-to-date thinking about addressing visual effects in landscape-scale projects (see Appendix C).
The BLM's outreach to the many interested parties in the four-state area is also of note. The agency invited 53 Indian tribes to participate in consultation, including two tribes whose reservation boundaries were crossed by the preferred alignment. Sidebar discussions between the project proponent, TransWest Express LLC, and the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation led to a joint press release about the proactive hiring of qualified tribal members for construction jobs, a job fair prior to the start of construction, and a career fair for high school students highlighting energy-related jobs. Prior to the ACHP's signature, 34 parties signed the PA, including four Indian tribes, indicating unusually broad consensus about the agreement. View the full Programmatic Agreement here.
New Report on Climate Change Highlights Efforts in Historic Preservation
A new White House report highlights the damage that climate change can cause to historic properties and neighborhoods, cultural institutions, tribal sites, and other heritage assets. The impacts from climate change “can irrevocably change a community’s sense of place and erode community identity and stability,” according to Opportunities to Enhance the Nation’s Resilience to Climate Change. The report goes on to note the federal government is exploring ways to support communities seeking to relocate in the face of rising sea levels, and that the National Park Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency have published guidance regarding cultural resources and climate change. The report was prepared by the interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, of which the ACHP is a member.
Section 106 and the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: General Information and Guidance
The ACHP adopted a plan to support the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Declaration) on March 1, 2013. In the plan, the ACHP commits to raising awareness about the Declaration in the historic preservation community and incorporating the principles and aspirations of the Declaration into ACHP initiatives and programs. As part of the effort to raise awareness, the ACHP also committed to developing guidance on the intersection of the process under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106) and the Declaration. Read more.
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.
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 Project offers free videos to students, educators, and more
As part of an effort to increase public awareness of knowledge gained through archaeology carried out as a requirement of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the Making Archaeology Public Project is releasing a series of videos throughout 2016. The videos are free to students, educators, or anyone interested in archaeology to use for non-commercial purposes.
The passage of the 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. Enjoy!
Section 106 E-Newsletters
The ACHP is sending out news related to Section 106 best practices, trends, ACHP staff, courses, and other items of interest. Read the latest edition of Section 106 News here.
Sign up to receive the e-newsletter in your own inbox by emailing your request to email@example.com.
PA for Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Now In Effect
ACHP Chairman Milford Wayne Donaldson, along with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) State Director Jerome E. Perez, and California State Historic Preservation Officer Julianne Polanco signed a Programmatic Agreement for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan in early February. This agreement marks a significant step forward in the BLM's efforts to incorporate historic preservation values in its planning efforts. Read more.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
The ACHP’s Recommendations on Tribal-Federal Relationships
The ACHP announces its new Recommendations for Improving Tribal-Federal Relationships.
These recommendations were developed in response to issues raised by both Indian tribes and federal agency officials in Section 106 reviews and in two regional summits co-hosted by the ACHP. The purpose is to encourage Section 106 participants to work together outside of individual project reviews to develop meaningful partnerships. The recommendations should be helpful for federal agencies, Indian tribes, State Historic Preservation Officers, and applicants.
The ACHP's Guidance on Preservation Conditions is Now Available!
The ACHP announces its new "Guidance on the Use of Real Property Restrictions or Conditions in the Section 106 Process to Avoid Adverse Effects," now on our Web site. It is best viewed from Google Chrome or Firefox.
Federal agencies transfer real property out of federal ownership in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons. When transferring historic properties out of federal control, they often use preservation conditions to accompany these transfers. Sometimes referred to as covenants or easements, preservation conditions are restrictions and conditions on transfers of federal real property, put in place prior to transfer and written in such a way that they are adequate and legally enforceable to ensure the long-term preservation of a historic property's significance. The guidance seeks to help property managing agencies develop sound conditions to support a no adverse effect finding for Section 106 property transfer undertakings. It should also educate historic preservation stakeholders and the public who are often engaged in the development of such conditions and amendments to them. The concepts in the guidance should be useful for permitting and assistance agencies as well. (Read more.)
New Applicant Guidance for Unified Federal Review for Disaster Recovery
The ACHP, in coordination with the inter-agency Steering Group comprised of the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Council on Environmental Quality, is pleased to announce the release of the Unified Federal Environmental and Historic Preservation Review Guide for Federal Disaster Recovery Assistance Applicants (Applicant Guide). The issuance of this Applicant Guide is an important step in the implementation of the Unified Federal Review (UFR) Process, established in July 2014 through an interagency Memorandum of Understanding. Read more.
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 system; view 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.
Memoranda 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 Showcases Agreement Documents
In hundreds of cases throughout the country, the ACHP participates in consultation on the development of Section 106 agreement documents that evidence federal agency commitments to resolving adverse effects on historic properties that might result from their actions. Read more about these documents and agency transparency.
ACHP Announces Release of Section 106 Applicant Toolkit
Read the ACHP’s press release about the Section 106 Applicant Toolkit. This Toolkit provides helpful tips and advice for applicants navigating the Section 106 process to make better informed decisions to improve outcomes in the review process and avoid unnecessary delays. It includes an overview of the Section 106 requirements and step by step guidance on consulting with states and Indian tribes, engaging stakeholders, and avoiding inadvertent activities that may adversely affect historic properties. Explore the toolkit here.
ACHP and CEQ Release Handbook on Coordination of Important Federal Processes
Today, the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the ACHP released a handbook designed to help coordinate required review processes under the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The handbook stands to significantly improve the coordination of environmental reviews across the government. This handbook provides practical advice to practitioners and stakeholders to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal agencies’ environmental review.
Read the press release.
Read the handbook.
Read more from CEQ and the ACHP about this important guidance.