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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Transportation; U.S. General Services Administration; National Endowment for the Humanities; President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities; Institute of Museum and Library Services; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Communities Make Smithsonian's 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2016 List

Smithsonian Magazine recently released its annual "20 Best Small Towns to Visit" list, and in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the 2016 list focuses on towns near national parks. Of the 20 towns named, six have previously been designated as Preserve America communities. The designation recognizes communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, utilize historic resources for economic development and neighborhood revitalization, and encourage heritage tourism and historic education.

The Smithsonian Magazine list features the Preserve America Communities of Seward, Alaska, near Kenai Fjords National Park; Hot Springs, Arkansas, the site of Hot Springs National Park; Dahlonega, Georgia, at the head of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail; Ocean Springs, Mississippi, near the Gulf Islands National Seashore; Jacksonville, Oregon, near Crater Lake National Park; and Alpine, Texas, near Big Bend National Park.

All six of the designated towns have storied histories, from Hot Springs, where evidence suggests Native Americans lived for 10,000 years prior to European colonization, to Seward, which was founded in 1903. The Preserve America Communities have utilized their connection to national parks to showcase unique aspects of their cultural heritage to visitors, while continuing to celebrate the industries as varied as mining, arts, and transportation that originally allowed the towns to thrive. These Preserve America Communities are certainly worth a visit!

June is National Caribbean American Heritage Month

The ACHP joins in celebrating the 10th anniversary of Caribbean American Heritage Month in 2016, which recognizes the contributions Caribbean Americans have made to history and culture in the United States. The Caribbean American community has been active in historic preservation, and you can read about the successful efforts to protect and preserve the UNESCO World Heritage Site and surrounding environs at the San Juan National Historical Site in Puerto Rico in the ACHP’s Section 106 Success Stories series. Several Caribbean American neighborhoods have also been designated as Preserve America Communities, which recognizes their efforts to promote historical awareness and ongoing community revitalization using historic assets. You can read about Preserve America Communities in Miami, Tampa, Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, Frederiksted in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Two New Preserve America Stewards Named

First Lady Michelle Obama signed letters naming the Friends of Burial Hill and the Friends of Lakewold Preserve America Stewards. This brings the nationwide total of Stewards to 56. Read more here.

Celebrate LGBTQ Heritage in June!

Join our friends at the National Park Service in supporting their theme study of LGBTQ heritage. Read about how to get involved with the initiative here and honor diversity in the national historic preservation program.

Hip, Happening, Historic Preservation Gets Spotlight at 50 Years

The National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC) published its spring members magazine focused on the National Historic Preservation Act at 50 years old. A member observer on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the NAPC is an expert voice for local preservation issues and serves a critical role in encouraging people to get involved in their communities to preserve their heritage. Make sure to read the article ACHP Director of the Office of Preservation Initiatives Ron Anzalone wrote in the Alliance Review detailing the NHPA’s founding and what has transpired in the federal historic preservation program over the last 50 years. He also discusses what the next 50 years may look like and how the public can get involved. Be sure to plan to attend the NAPC’s annual forum, July 27-31 in historic Mobile, Alabama.

ACHP and Seminole Tribe of Florida Sign Historic Agreement

The ACHP and the Seminole Tribe of Florida have entered into an agreement for federal projects on tribal lands to be reviewed under the tribe’s Cultural Resource Ordinance rather than the ACHP’s regulations. The signing ceremony took place during the ACHP’s business meeting March 24, 2015, in Tampa, Florida, the Seminole Tribe’s ancestral homelands. Section 101(d)(5) of the National Historic Preservation Act authorizes the ACHP to enter into agreements with Indian tribes for undertakings on tribal lands to be reviewed under tribal regulations rather than the ACHP’s regulations. This historic agreement affords the Seminole Tribe the ability to exercise sovereignty and self-determination regarding its cultural heritage on its lands. The Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office runs a state-of-the-art preservation program and is well positioned to assume these responsibilities. This is the second such agreement the ACHP has entered into. The first was with the Narragansett Indian Tribe in Rhode Island.

ACHP Meets in Tampa

Members of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation met in Tampa, Florida, March 23-24 for their spring business meeting. Members toured historic Ybor City and West Tampa and met with Latino and Hispanic leaders to hear first-hand about preservation challenges in the city’s Latin quarters. They also conducted business such as adopting a strategic plan addressing youth involvement in historic preservation across the federal government, and support for several bills pending in Congress. Read more here.

Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center Historic Gardens Wins Chairman’s Award

The ACHP bestowed its Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation March 8 on a project at the Dayton, Ohio, Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Its historic Grotto and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark District, is being brought back to its former renown by a dedicated team of volunteers, veterans, and other partners. Read more here. Read the Section 106 Success Story about this project here. View a photo presentation of the award-winning Grotto project.

New Preserve America Stewards Announced

The White House recently designated four new Preserve America Stewards. They include the Weir Farm National Historic Site (CT); Jack Jouett House Historic Site (KY); Friends of Oberlin Village (NC); and Moravian Historical Society (PA). Read more.

Department of the Interior to Initiate Process for Canceling Lease in the Badger-Two Medicine Area

In a court filing dated November 23, 2015, the Department of the Interior (DOI) indicated its decision to initiate the process for the cancellation of the lease that includes the Badger-Two Medicine Area. The DOI noted that it has reached the tentative conclusions that the lease was issued without proper compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and that, therefore, the lease can be voided.

Earlier this fall, as part of a review under Section 106 of the NHPA, the ACHP sent its formal comments to the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture regarding the proposed release from suspension of a Permit to Drill by Solenex LLC in the lease area. See those ACHP comments here. The court filing acknowledged those comments from the ACHP and their recommendations that the Permit to Drill be revoked, that the lease be cancelled, and that the agencies ensure that future mineral development in the area does not occur.

Making Archaeology Public Showcases Videos of NHPA Successes

The passage of the National Historic Preservation Act (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.

The library of videos on the site will continue to grow throughout 2016, so please check back for additions. You may share these videos freely with any audience for non-commercial purposes. Enjoy!

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: conservacion@achp.gov.

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: conservacion@achp.gov.

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 systemview 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.

Guidance on Agreement DocumentsMemoranda 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 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.

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

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.

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.

Preserve America Grants Effectiveness Report Released

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has released a report to Congress on the preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of Preserve America Grants over the last four years. Read more.

Summit Progress Reports

Agencies have reported their continuous progress on the recommendations issued from the Preserve America Summit for enhancing and advancing the historic preservation program in the United States and abroad. Summit progress.

Archived News

Updated June 20, 2016

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