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Home arrowNews arrowAugust 25, 2011

ACHP Meets in Seattle

Traditional Cultural Landscapes Forum, Seattle, Washington, Daybreak Star Cultural CenterThe Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) held its summer business meeting Aug. 9-11, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. This was the first out-of-DC business meeting since 2008. Members examined pressing issues in historic preservation with particular significance to the Pacific Northwest, including sustainability and emerging trends regarding large-scale cultural landscapes with particular reference to interaction with Indian tribes.

At the business meeting, ACHP Chairman Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, administered the oath of office to the three newest presidentially appointed council members: Dr. Clement A. Price as vice chairman; Ms. Terry Guen as expert member; and Dr. Dorothy Lippert as expert member.

Donaldson also presented the Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation for the B Reactor Preservation Project to the Department of Energy, Richland (Washington) Operations Office and its local partners. Read more on the award.

Council members voted on and passed unanimously motions to convey their positions and concerns regarding the Transportation Reauthorization legislation, endorse the concept of improvements to the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, accept the plan for carrying out Executive Order 13563 reviewing the regulations implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and encourage those ACHP members who are on the Real Property Advisory Committee to advocate for the appropriate involvement of the ACHP on this committee. The Federal Agency Programs Committee agreed that there was an important role for the ACHP to play in promoting the early consideration of historic preservation goals and values in determining those properties that should be considered for excessing. Regarding the E.O. 13563, the ACHP has posted its plan for completing the review of the Section 106 regulations on its Web site as well as comments received from the public.

The ACHP’s Sustainability Task Force met on Aug. 9. After a series of presentations that highlighted local efforts in sustainability and historic preservation, participants toured a portion of the Seattle 2030 District, the city’s new high-performance building district. The Seattle 2030 District recently was chosen as one of the first community partners in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. They saw examples of the creative use of historic buildings both to reduce energy consumption and build sustainable neighborhoods. The continuing goal of the Sustainability Task Force is to look for how federal policies and programs can support these types of local initiatives. (For more insight into Seattle’s place in sustainability and historic preservation, see the opinion article by Chairman Donaldson.)

Council members also participated in a forum about large-scale traditional cultural landscapes. Members and leaders from several Indian tribes participated in the forum, which took place at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center. Members heard of the concerns tribes are having regarding government projects, appropriate consultation, and Section 106. The discussion was important in identifying a number of issues. One issue raised was that effective tribal consultation is critical to the traditional cultural property process. Additionally, conversations made it clear that the ACHP and National Park Service should explore ways to facilitate tribes’ abilities to raise awareness about the sensitivity of cultural landscapes. At times, it may be necessary to look outside the generally followed Section 106 process. The ACHP will be developing steps to address the issues raised at the forum.



Posted September 5, 2011

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