Mrs. Laura Bush, honorary chair of the Preserve America initiative, led a national Preserve America Summit October 18-20, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, marking the 40th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Summit participants explored opportunities to build on past achievements to enhance the national historic preservation program for the future. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation was a partner and served as Summit coordinator.
Key elements of the Summit included historic preservation discussions in 11 topic areas, a youth summit, and plenary sessions with remarks by Mrs. Bush and preservation and policy leaders. Announcement of Preserve America Grants and Communities, Corporate Achievement in Preservation Awards, and social functions highlighting New Orleans heritage were also featured.
In August 2007, the ACHP issued recommendations based on the issues raised at the Summit. The 13 recommendations focused on actions the federal government should take to enhance the effectiveness of the national historic preservation program as it moved toward 2016, the 50th anniversary of the NHPA.
The ACHP created an implementation strategy and chaired a Summit implementation steering committee to monitor progress by federal agencies and their partners in implementing the recommendations of the Preserve America Summit.