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Home arrowNews arrowJuly 19, 2014

ACHP Meets in Philadelphia for Summer Business

The ACHP summer business meeting in Philadelphia on July 17 featured a session with many State Historic Preservation Officers. The colorful posters on the stage are the logos designed for the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act that will be marked in 2016.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation received a greeting from President Barack Obama the day before its summer business meeting July 17 in Philadelphia, and Chairman Wayne Donaldson read it to council members at the meeting. The meeting also included members' supporting full funding of the Historic Preservation Fund and a conversation with 12 State Historic Preservation Officers, among other business.

Council members and staff met for two days of business, also in cooperation with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) and the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions who were hosting their own summer conferences in Philadelphia.

The President's message commented on the importance of historic preservation in America, and council members were happy to receive the recognition.

Council members discussed the plans for building a more inclusive historic preservation program. A four-part strategy includes an Executive Order, a Presidential Heritage Awards program, a youth initiative, and a focus on federal agencies' existing programs to support an inclusive workforce and focus on cultural sensitivities. Council members also discussed the ACHP's recent participation in a June 19 event on Capitol Hill with members and staff of the Congressional Black Caucus and plans for a series of listening sessions with the Asian American audience.

Notable in action items included the council members' unanimous votes on involving council members working with the Office of Native American Affairs to develop recommendations to the Department of State regarding the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) as a model for other nations. As well, council members' supported encouraging the Administration to seek full funding for the Historic Preservation Fund at its authorized level in the President's budget for FY 2016 and beyond. The ACHP also passed a motion supporting the Senate's passage of H.R. 1033 (American Battlefield Protection Program Amendments Act).

The ACHP business meeting included the board of NCSHPO participating for the first time in an ACHP business meeting. The 12 SHPOs addressed council members about various issues affecting state historic preservation programs included details about digitization of SHPO records and GIS mapping. As well, they discussed the meeting of SHPOs and Federal Preservation Officers which helped break down barriers in their work. The SHPOs also stressed their desire for more training on ACHP programs and guidance as well as their need for more funding and technology.

Council members saw designs for the Preservation50 logos to mark the nationwide celebration of the NHPA's anniversary. Part of that celebration is a collection of Section 106 Success Stories and a call for more story ideas. Also, two new Preserve America Communities were recently designated by First Lady Michelle Obama: Albany, New York and Collierville, Tennessee.


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