ACHP Applauds National Building Museum’s 2014 Honor Awards
The National Building Museum has bestowed its 2014 Honor Award on Mrs. Laura Bush, former First Lady of the United States and honorary chair of Preserve America, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), in recognition of their efforts to preserve the nation’s architectural and built heritage. The awards were presented at the annual Honor Award gala on April 1 in Washington, D.C.
John L. Nau III, former chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), and president and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., was one of the two tribute speakers. Read Nau's remarks here. Michael Beschloss, presidential historian for NBC News and commentator for PBS NewsHour, was the other speaker. Read more here.
Section 106 Regulations Update
The ACHP has updated its plan to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Section 106 regulations consistent with the requirements of Executive Order 13563, "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review."
Read the update here.
Read the ACHP’s 2011 plan here.
FCC Requests Expedited Historic Preservation Review for Positive Train Control; ACHP Solicits Public Comments
The Federal Communications Commission would like to develop a tailored process for considering the effects of the construction of Positive Train Control (PTC) transmission facilities and their supporting structures by the railroads that must deploy the PTC. The FCC has Section 106 responsibilities regarding the implementation of PTC due to its licensing and registration of telecommunications facilities such as those to be used for PTC. The ACHP is requesting public comment by March 27. Read more.
White House Tribal Nations Conference Reports Now Available, Mention ACHP Work in Text
The 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference Progress Report is now available here. The report mentions the ACHP’s plan to support the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on page 49 and the Sacred Sites Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Energy, and Defense, and the ACHP on page 50.
The synopsis of the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference is also now available here. On pages 10-11, you will find information on the Protecting Natural, Cultural, and Sacred Resources: Management of Native Lands and Environments Panel. ACHP Member Leonard Forsman served as one of the Breakout Leaders, and Chairman Wayne Donaldson served as one of the panelists. The summary of the session provides important insights on issues of concern to tribal leaders.
ACHP Business Meeting News Roundup
MARCH 7--The ACHP met today in Washington, D.C. for its winter business meeting to present the Chairman’s Award, issue the Rightsizing Task Force’s final report to the public, entertain motions on involving all people in historic preservation and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, and discussing Section 106 issues, among others. Read more here.
ACHP Produces Rightsizing Report to Aid Localities in Managing Change
The ACHP's Rightsizing Task Force has published its report on the effects of rightsizing in legacy cities across America, offering policy ideas and recommendations for all levels of government. Read more. Read the press release.
C&O Canal Trust, C&O Canal National Historical Park Receive ACHP Chairman's Award for Canal Quarters Program
Today at the ACHP's winter business meeting, the Chairman's Award went to an innovative program that restores and reuses historic lockkeepers' houses along the famed C&O Canal. Read more.
Submit Comments for the ACHP's Report to Congress on Historic Post Offices
The public is invited to submit comments to the ACHP in order to inform its report to Congress on the United State Postal Service's disposal of historic facilities. Congress tasked the ACHP in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 to develop this report on appropriate steps to ensure that the United States Postal Service (USPS) complies with the provisions of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act regarding its planned disposals. Read more.
ACHP Offers Internships
Click to read more about internships for the summer at the ACHP!
BLM, NCSHPO, and ACHP Extend Deadline for Revising Protocols
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, and the ACHP executed an amendment to BLM's national programmatic agreement (PA) to allow the BLM state offices additional time to revise their state protocol agreements with State Historic Preservation Officers. The amendment, signed Feb. 8, 2014, extends the deadline for revising those agreements by one calendar year, or until Feb. 9, 2015. Originally scheduled for revision by Feb. 9, 2014, these state-specific protocols implement the PA on a state-by-state basis and tailor how the BLM and SHPO interact in the Section 106 process. To see the amendment, click here.
California and Nevada Sign BLM Protocols
The California State Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) successfully executed a revised Protocol with the State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs) from California and Nevada on February 10, 2014. Both state SHPOs are party to the agreement because the California BLM administers land in CA and NV. The Protocol guides the way in which the BLM will consult with the SHPOs, including creating a list of exemptions when BLM does not need to consult and establishing new reporting requirements for the BLM website. To see the full document with appendices and reference materials, click here. California BLM is the second state to revise its BLM-SHPO Protocol to reflect the changes made in the BLM's National Programmatic Agreement (nPA), which was updated in 2012. (See article below for information on Alaska's Protocol.)
Alaska SHPO and BLM Sign Revised Protocol
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Alaska announced this week that Judy Bittner, Alaska State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), and Bud Cribley, BLM-Alaska's State Director, signed a new Protocol for Managing Cultural Resources on Land Administered by the Bureau of Land Management in Alaska. This is an outgrowth of the BLM’s National Programmatic Agreement (nPA), revised in 2012, that called for the BLM-SHPO Protocols to be updated to reflect the changes in the nPA. The Protocol spells out how BLM’s offices in Alaska will work with the SHPO, cooperating on preservation planning and public outreach efforts, sharing information, reporting requirements, and consulting on Section 106 undertakings. The agreement also allows BLM, in certain limited instances, to proceed in undertakings without further SHPO consultation. These include routine building, trail, and road maintenance; activities in extensively disturbed locations; and permitting activities such as hunting guides, where land disturbance is not anticipated. Click here for the Protocol.
New Mexico Court Affirms Mount Taylor as a Cultural Property
The Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico affirmed as lawful the decision of the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee to recognize approximately 380,000 acres of public land on Mount Taylor as a registered cultural property under the New Mexico Cultural Properties Act. The cultural property was nominated for this designation by the Pueblos of Acoma, Laguna, and Zuni, the Hopi Tribe, and the Navajo Nation. The court did, however, exclude approximately 19,000 acres, the Cebolleta Land Grant Common Lands, because the Court found that these are not “state lands” for purposes of the Cultural Properties Act, and, therefore, may not be include in such a cultural property designation.
Since Mount Taylor has already been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places by the Forest Service in a consensus determination of eligibility with the New Mexico State Historic Preservation Office, this court decision strengthens the protections and considerations under Section 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act that the historic property is afforded when new undertakings on federal and state lands (a common occurrence in this patchwork ownership area) are proposed. Read a copy of the article here.
ACHP Launches New Web Section
Involving All People in Preservation will showcase different professions and people who make up the cadre of historic preservationists across the country. Tune in for new Q&A stories frequently. Read more.
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.
IRS Issues Guidance on Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit
On December 30, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued much-needed guidance on partnerships and the historic rehabilitation tax credit. The ACHP had urged the IRS to take this action in order to address recent uncertainty within the development community regarding the role of partnerships in the financing of historic tax credit projects. Read more.
ACHP and FEMA Streamline Section 106 for Disaster Recovery
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with input from the ACHP, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, and the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, has developed a Prototype Programmatic Agreement (PPA) to assist FEMA in fulfilling its Section 106 responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for disaster recovery programs. The PPA creates a national model for FEMA to use in developing statewide programmatic agreements. The PPA was made available on December 17, 2013 to State Historic Preservation Officers and State emergency management agencies for use. Please click here for additional information.
ACHP Comments to U.S. House Oversight Committee on D.C. Height Act
In 2012, Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, requested that the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and the District of Columbia (Office of Planning, DCOP) jointly conduct a study “to examine the extent to which the Height of Buildings Act of 1910 continues to serve federal and local interests, and how changes to the law could affect the future of the city.”
Given the ACHP’s statutory role of advising the President and the Congress on historic preservation matters, staff participated in the discussions conducted jointly by the NCPC and the DCOP regarding possible modifications to the Height of Buildings Act (Height Act) (DC ST § 6-601). Earlier this week, the ACHP provided comments to the Committee, which were developed with input from its members. Read more.
Gateway West Transmission Line Programmatic Agreement Sets New Standard for the BLM
The ACHP and the Bureau of Land Management have worked on a successful Programmatic Agreement for a 1,000-mile-long project for energy transmission in the West. Read more.
National History Teacher of the Year Named
Jill Szymanski, an elementary school teacher from Wilmington, Delaware, was awarded the National History Teacher of the Year honor. Read more.
Read the Press Release from the event here.
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.
Historic Preservation Provides Great Benefits for Nation’s Communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Leading national experts discussed how historic preservation tools can assist economic, educational and cultural renewal in the nation’s communities at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation annual conference on Sept. 19, 2013. The panel included ACHP Vice Chairman Clement A. Price and was titled “Preserving African American Historic Places: Breathing New Life into Our Communities.” Please read more about the informative session.
ACHP Chairman and Vice Chairman Re-appointed
President Barack Obama has announced the appointment to a second term on the ACHP for Chairman Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA and Vice Chairman Clement Price, PhD. Read more.
Unified Federal Review Site Launch
The ACHP in coordination with the Council on Environmental Quality, Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency announce the launch of the Unified Federal Review Web site.
The Unified Federal Review was established on January 29, 2013, when President Obama signed into law the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 which amended the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Recovery Act by adding Section 429. This section directs the President to “establish an expedited and unified interagency review process to ensure compliance with environmental and historic requirements under federal law relating to disaster recovery projects, in order to expedite the recovery process, consistent with applicable law.” The goal of the Unified Federal Review is to improve decision making to allow for more predictable outcomes from disaster recovery projects based on past experiences and knowledge as related to environmental and historic preservation reviews.
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
ACHP Applauds Publication of Latino Theme Study
The National Park Service knows that Latino history is American history. American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study is a publication of the National Park System Advisory Board for the National Park Service. This theme study is for students and teachers, researchers, preservation professionals, local, state and federal government officials, and for the general public. In other words, it's for you. Read more.
Full Length History of St. Elizabeths Hospital Now Available
This new e-book from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) draws from primary documents held at the National Archives and an extensive oral history project. It includes numerous historic photographs and anecdotes about the important National Historic Landmark in Southeast Washington, D.C. GSA’s development of a full history of St. Elizabeths was required in the Programmatic Agreement (PA, Stipulation III.D.2.d.(c)(1), (Lines 773-775).) (December 8, 2008). As part of public outreach, interpretation and education, the PA stated, “GSA will produce a comprehensive catalog/monograph, complete with illustrations and text […].” Also in accordance with the PA, construction of the new U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters is complete; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and GSA will host a ribbon-cutting event on July 29, 2013. Click here to learn more about GSA’s ongoing compliance efforts.
New Preserve America Communities Named
First Lady Michelle Obama recently named three new Preserve America Communities, bringing the nationwide total to 890. Read more.
Preserve America Stewards Named
First Lady Michelle Obama named two new Preserve America Stewards, bringing the nationwide total to 40. Read more.
ACHP Works to Build a More Inclusive Preservation Program
The agency is offering this Web site to become a portal for groups, projects, and initiatives that support building a more inclusive preservation program for all people across the United States.
Presidential Memorandum Modernizes Infrastructure Review; ACHP Assisted with Policy
On May 17, 2013, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum entitled “Modernizing Federal Infrastructure Review and Permitting Regulations, Policies, and Procedures” which encourages the development of innovative mitigation tools to improve environmental outcomes, development of more targeted and relevant environmental reviews, provision of more opportunities for public input, and improvement in collaboration with state, local, and tribal governments. This permitting modernization effort is an important component of the President’s larger effort to grow the economy, accelerate job creation, and improve U.S. competitiveness by building a 21st Century infrastructure. This effort will be guided by a Steering Committee established under Executive Order 13604, “Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects,” which established goals for improving federal environmental permitting and review decisions. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is a member of this Steering Committee and has developed an agency plan as required by that Executive Order which can be viewed here. For more information on the Presidential Memorandum read more here.
35th Anniversary Report on Federal Tax Incentives for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings
Our friends at the National Park Service have released a report on the 35th anniversary of the first certified rehabilitation project,certified in 1977, under the historic tax credit program. The report features statistics, case studies, and other information on the program over the last 35 years.
The report discusses the successes of the program, both in terms of the historic buildings that have been rehabilitated throughout the nation, in communities both large and small, as well as how the program has contributed to community revitalization, job creation and other economic benefits, the reuse of such vacant or underutilized building types as manufacturing buildings and schools, energy conservation and sustainability, innovative reuse projects, disaster relief, and revitalizing Main Street. Read more.
President’s Budget Supports Historic Preservation
In this era of austerity, the President’s budget for 2014 delivered to Capitol Hill brings welcome news to the field of historic preservation. It includes $56 million from the Historic Preservation Fund for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, a continuation of prior funding levels, and adds $3 million for a new competitive grant program for the survey and nomination of properties to the National Register and as National Historic Landmarks associated with underrepresented communities.
The President’s FY 2014 budget also includes a significant increase for the ACHP. The overall request is $6,531,000. This represents a $432,772 or 7 percent increase over the FY 2012 level, restoring the 10 percent cut for the ACHP in FY 2013 and returning authorized staffing to the FY 2012 level. The funds are being sought to bolster the ACHP’s critical role in the Section 106 process.
While the President’s budget is only the beginning of the appropriations process, the Administration’s continued support for historic preservation is a positive first step.
Program Comment Issued for the Department of Energy
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) issued a Program Comment to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to extend the duration of agreements based on the DOE prototype Programmatic Agreement (PA) for its Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), State Energy Program (SEP), and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). The ACHP membership voted in favor of issuing the Program Comment via an unassembled vote that concluded on March 11, 2013. Read more 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.
ACHP Participates in Broadband Infrastructure Working Group
The ACHP is participating as a member of the interagency Working Group, co-chaired by the Department of Homeland Security and the General Services Administration, to implement the requirements of Executive Order 13616, “Accelerating Broadband Infrastructure Deployment.” The E.O., issued in June 14, 2012, is intended to facilitate wired and wireless broadband infrastructure deployment on Federal lands, buildings, and right of way, federally assisted highways, and Tribal lands, particularly in underserved communities. Based upon the E.O., the acceleration of broadband is essential to the Nation’s global competitiveness in the 21st century, driving job creation, promoting innovation, and expanding markets for American businesses, and affords public safety agencies the opportunity for greater levels of effectiveness and interoperability. Because of the breadth and scope of broadband on diverse resources controlled and managed by the Federal government, the ACHP would like to share this initiative with our constituents.
In accordance with the E.O., an Interim Report was released by the Working Group on March 15, 2013, outlining the actions and recommendations that agencies should implement to meet the goals of the E.O. One of the recommendations included in this Interim Report under “Environmental Compliance” is “to improve Section 106 compliance by developing and implementing alternate procedures under Section 800.14 of the ACHP’s, regulations, “Protection of Historic Properties” (36 CFR Part 800).” In order to implement this recommendation, the ACHP will collaborate with federal agencies, State Historic Preservation Officers, Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, Indian tribes, and other preservation organizations in coming weeks to explore which program alternatives should be pursued to accelerate the deployment of broadband.
ACHP Endorses Plan to Support U.N. Declaration
At its Winter Business Meeting, ACHP members voted to endorse a plan supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, becoming the first federal agency to do this. Read more.
Important New Tribal Consultation Tool Launched by HUD
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently launched its Tribal Directory Assessment Tool, an online resource for identifying which Indian tribes have an interest in each state or county in the United States. The tool, originally developed for HUD’s grant recipients, is available for all Section 106 practitioners to use at http://egis.hud.gov/tdat/Tribal.aspx. Read more.
ACHP Guidance on Reasonable and Good Faith Efforts
Read the policy issued by ACHP.
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.
Section 3 Report to the President Now Available
The 2012 Report to the President on the federal government's stewardship of its historic properties is now available.Download the report.
Preserve America E-Newsletter Available
Read the latest e-newsletter with stories of new designations and activities Preserve America Communities can host for heritage tourism, and much more.
Citizen’s Guide to Section 106 New Edition Now Available
The ACHP is proud to announce it has updated and reissued Protecting Historic Properties: A Citizen’s Guide to Section 106. The Citizen’s Guide is a useful tool for learning how to protect historic places in your community.
Web-based Archaeology Guidance Now Available
D.C.—The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has developed
new archaeology guidance to assist federal agencies in meeting their
responsibilities under Section 106 of the National Historic
Preservation Act. The guidance is available at: www.achp.gov/archguide. Read more.
ACHP News Archive
Section 106 Archaeology Guidance
ACHP Guidance on Program Comments as a Program Alternative
Register for the ACHP's Section 106 Course
Economic Issues in Historic Preservation