ACHP Policy Statements

As part of its mission to promote the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our nation’s diverse historic resources, the ACHP has issued a number of policy statements on historic preservation issues. These policy statements are designed to help federal agencies, states, tribes, and other parties meet their responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act and maximize the preservation of historic resources. 

The ACHP develops policy statements to provide guidance on key preservation issues.
  1. The ACHP voted at its March 22, 2018, business meeting to approve a policy statement on the management or disposition of controversial commemorative works, such as memorials, statues, markers, or other landscape features honoring divisive historical figures or events. The guiding principles set forth in the policy statement are designed to assist federal, state, and local government entities facing decisions about the management of these resources.
  2. In 1992, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) was amended to establish tribal historic preservation programs and grants to these tribes1. Section 101(d)(2) of the act provides for federally recognized Indian tribes to apply to the Department of the Interior (DOI) to assume any or all of the functions of a State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) on their tribal lands.
  3. The ACHP seeks to promote an approach to resource management and conflict resolution on Federally owned public lands that achieves balance between natural and cultural values. ACHP affirms the importance of responsible Federal stewardship of historic properties located within natural areas.
  4. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation adopted an Affordable Housing Policy after two years of task force meetings and information gathering. The final policy came following extensive negotiation among task force members including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which will take the lead in implementing the plan.
  5. The ACHP voted unanimously to adopt its new “Policy Statement Regarding Treatment of Burial Sites, Human Remains, and Funerary Objects” in 2007. The policy offers leadership in resolving how to treat burial sites, human remains, and funerary objects in a respectful and sensitive manner.
  6. It is the policy of the ACHP to foster public understanding and appreciation of archaeological resources through heritage education programs and, where appropriate, heritage tourism initiatives while encouraging their conservation for future generations in a spirit of stewardship.
  7. The history of the United States is enhanced by the many cultures and peoples that make up this nation. These cultures and peoples bring together diverse languages, ceremonies, practices, rites, and stories that add to our nation’s vibrancy and strength, engender our compassion, and define our collective history.
  8. The ACHP issued its Policy Statement on Historic Preservation and Community Revitalization in 2016 following its study on rightsizing of legacy cities.
  9. In December 2012, the Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture and Energy and the ACHP (signatories) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding interagency coordination and collaboration for the protection of Indian sacred sites.
  10. The basis for the ACHP’s policy regarding its role, responsibilities, and relationships with individual Indian tribes derives from the Constitution, treaties, statutes, executive orders, regulations, and court decisions. It specifically ensures the ACHP’s compliance with and recognition of its tribal consultation responsibilities under certain authorities.