ACHP 2024 Section 3 Report to the President

Section 3 of EO 13287 requires that agencies with real property management responsibilities report every three years on progress in the identification, protection, and use of historic properties in federal ownership and make this report also available to the ACHP and the Secretary of the Interior. The ACHP then incorporates and synthesizes the data into a report on the state of the federal government’s historic properties and their contribution to local economic development that is submitted to the President starting in 2006 and every three years thereafter.


An independent federal agency, the ACHP promotes the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our nation’s diverse historic resources and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. It also provides a forum for influencing federal activities, programs, and policies that affect historic properties. The ACHP promotes historic preservation to foster the understanding of the nation’s heritage and the contribution that historic preservation can make to contemporary communities and their economic and social well-being.


ACHP MEMBERS Hon. Sara C. Bronin, Chair Jordan E. Tannenbaum, Vice Chairman John H. Frey, General Public Carmen A. Jordan-Cox, PhD, General Public

Secretary of Agriculture Secretary of Defense Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary of Housing

2 4

Chair Bronin’s Message

Executive Summary

and Urban Development Secretary of the Interior

CHAPTER 1 Introduction, Progress Report, and 2024 Themes CHAPTER 2 Identifying Historic Properties CHAPTER 3 Protecting Historic Properties CHAPTER 4 Using Historic Properties CHAPTER 5 Findings and Recommendations

Kristopher B. King, Expert Frank G. Matero, Expert Monica Rhodes, Expert Charles L. “Sonny” Ward III, Expert Hon. Reno Keoni Franklin, Indian Tribe Member Hon. John C. Carney, Governor of Delaware Hon. Randall L. Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama Architect of the Capitol

Secretary of Transportation Secretary of Veterans Affairs Chair, Council on Environmental Quality Administrator, General Services Administration Chair, National Trust for Historic Preservation President, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers Board Chair, National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers








ACHP OBSERVERS Chair, ACHP Foundation Chair, National Alliance of Preservation Commissions

Chair, National Preservation Partners Network Director, Preserve America Youth Summit

Front Cover Photos Top: The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, an NHL in lower Manhattan, has recently undergone repairs to remediate water infiltration and restore exterior features. The federal building remains a popular outlease location for events and other public access opportunities. (Carol M. Highsmith Photography, Inc./GSA). Bottom right: Interior of the James A. Farley Building, which houses the Moynihan Train Hall, in Midtown Manhattan (Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, LLC). Bottom Center: Hands- on window glazing training during initial Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps program orientation at Halfway Ranger Station Historic District, Minnesota. (USFS) Bottom left: Bears Ears National Monument in Utah is jointly administered between the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and five federally recognized Tribes. (Bob Wick/BLM) Opposite Page The San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico is a major tourist attraction and one of 19 designated World Heritage Sites in the Carribbean, as of 2023. (ACHP)

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Chair Bronin’s Message

February 15, 2024

collaboration, and training to accelerate these efforts. In addition, the report demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to upholding its trust responsibility with Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiians–including a new ACHP policy involving burial sites, human remains, and funerary objects, and recent examples showing how meaningful consultation can improve outcomes. And finally, this report tracks progress to develop a diverse and well-trained preservation workforce, including through internships, workforce and trades training, and innovative opportunities like the ACHP-U.S. Forest Service “Cultural Heritage in the Forest” program, geared toward students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Overall, we hope to communicate a message of hope that the federal government is working to balance the important goal of preserving and protecting our nation’s history with other economic, environmental, and cultural goals. Every individual who contributes to this work–and the many ACHP and agency staff who contributed to this report–deserve our deep gratitude. Together, we can ensure that preservation itself endures as an American value, a source of pride, and a community benefit for many more decades to come.

On behalf of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), I am pleased to present the agency’s seventh triennial report on stewardship achievements of federal agencies in managing historic properties, prepared pursuant to Executive Order 13287, “Preserve America.” It has been nearly 60 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which created the ACHP and holds federal agencies to high standards as they identify, protect, and use historic properties. And it has been 20 years since President George W. Bush signed the “Preserve America” Executive Order recommitting the federal government

to demonstrating leadership in preserving places important to our nation’s heritage. Throughout these decades, the federal historic preservation program has benefited from strong, bipartisan support for the places and stories we share as Americans. We hope this report inspires confidence in the efforts being made at the federal level to both preserve our historic properties and ensure that they meaningfully contribute to the people who live and work around them. To that end, this report highlights how federal actors–including the ACHP itself–are working to strengthen local economies and communities through strategic approaches both to specific cultural resources and to broader historic preservation policy. Among other things, this report details efforts to improve historic preservation reviews that serve to both protect the places Americans value and facilitate access to infrastructure and investments. It highlights the ways the ACHP has worked with federal agencies to fast-track electric vehicle charging infrastructure, military and veterans housing, transmission lines, and large-scale forest restoration. This report also considers how federal agencies are making our historic places more resilient to natural hazards and better integrating them into climate mitigation efforts. The ACHP’s newly adopted policy on climate change and historic preservation encourages shifts in agency practices,

The Honorable Sara C. Bronin Chair Advisory Council on Historic Preservation


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Executive Summary

executive branch actions where relevant to the federal historic preservation framework. Collectively, federal efforts to protect and use historic properties strengthen communities and contribute to a stronger economy through heritage tourism and job creation. A list of all responding agencies and their history of Section 3 reporting can be found in the Appendix to the report. This 2024 report chronicles how the federal government is identifying, protecting, and using historic properties, highlighting many examples throughout of best practices, successes, and challenges met by agencies regarding the themes of climate change, equity, infrastructure, and job creation. The report concludes with six key findings: 1. Faced with the challenges of resiliency and preparedness to climate change, the federal government is seeking collaborative approaches to the identification and protection of historic properties that incorporate equity and the input and participation of parties with special expertise in the historic, cultural, and natural resources affected. 2. Federal agencies are using program alternatives to constructively plan for property management activities and improve the efficiency of Section 106 project reviews while contributing to comprehensive historic property management strategies on federal lands. 3. Partnerships can leverage limited federal resources and provide important benefits to federal agencies in the identification, protection, and use of historic properties while enabling important educational and job training opportunities and the promotion of a diverse workforce. 4. Active collaboration and timely involvement with Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations in property management activities, climate preparedness, and infrastructure planning enhances outcomes and remains critically important. 5. Increases in remote work and telework as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have led federal decision makers to evaluate their office space needs and seek opportunities for adapting underutilized space, including historic buildings and facilities. 6. Virtual meeting applications, tours, education programs, and programming have assisted in expanding federal agency outreach for heritage tourism and public engagement with historic places. Fulfilling its statutory role to assist federal agencies in strengthening their historic preservation programs, the ACHP offers its recommendations to foster the efficient, sustainable, and equitable advancement of historic preservation in the federal government. Beyond this report, the ACHP will continue to assist federal agencies in implementing these recommendations so their future actions are based on a full awareness that historic properties are important public assets that warrant consideration across the spectrum of federal planning, management, and construction activities.

AS OWNER AND STEWARD of a vast array of historic properties, the federal government plays a centrally important role in advancing the American preservation ethic. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) has assembled this report–the seventh of its kind in 20 years–to highlight federal agency efforts to identify, protect, and use historic properties in their care, and to inspire the expansion of such efforts. The successes and opportunities outlined in this report demonstrate how federal historic preservation activities have advanced climate adaptation and sustainability initiatives; critical infrastructure to the American people; the federal government’s trust responsibility with Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiians; environmental justice; and a diverse and well- trained preservation workforce. Information in this report is derived primarily from 26 federal agency progress reports submitted to the ACHP and the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to Section 3 of the “Preserve America” Executive Order (EO) 13287. Agency reports focused on progress made in identifying, protecting, and using historic properties in federal ownership since 2021, the last year for which the triennial report was issued. Federal agencies continue to creatively rehabilitate and reuse historic properties as well as partner with communities to steward these resources for future generations. Additionally, this report highlights

The James A. Farley Building was designed by McKim, Mead & White and opened in 1912, becoming New York City’s main United States Postal Service branch. Following a restoration project that began in 2019, the space now connects seamlessly to the brand new Moynihan Train Hall. (Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, LLC)


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CHAPTER 1 Introduction, Progress Report, and 2024 Themes

The “Preserve America” Executive Order The “Preserve America” Executive Order 13287, issued in 2003, affirms the stewardship responsibilities of all federal agencies for historic properties, the responsibilities for which began with the Antiquities Act of 1906. They were expanded in the Historic Sites Act of 1935 and were significantly expanded in 1966 in the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and its subsequent amendments. Section 3 of EO 13287 requires federal agencies to report every three years to the ACHP and the Secretary of the Interior on their progress in identifying, protecting, and using for economic benefit the historic properties they own. The ACHP is an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of the nation’s diverse historic resources and advises the President and Congress on historic preservation policy. In its role overseeing Section 3 of the EO, the ACHP conducts its own review of federal government historic property stewardship, assembles and analyzes information provided by other federal agencies, and presents its findings and recommendations in a report to the President. The full text of the EO, past reports, and information about Section 3 can be found on the ACHP’s website. The “Preserve America” EO and related provisions of the NHPA aim to ensure federal agencies are good stewards of historic properties for the benefit of the American people while still meeting mission needs and, where appropriate, pursuing partnerships to promote the preservation of the nation’s heritage and its economic benefit to communities. The NHPA sets forth broad affirmative responsibilities for federal agencies with respect to balancing mission needs with historic values. Section 110 (54 USC Ch. 3061) directs that historic preservation is to be integrated into the programs of federal agencies. Agencies meet this responsibility by taking steps to identify and thoughtfully manage historic properties in their care as well as through compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA (54 USC § 306108). Section 106 requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their projects and programs on historic properties and provide the ACHP a reasonable opportunity to comment on them. The regulations implementing Section 106 (36 CFR Part 800) detail this consultative review process. The EO further directs agencies to advance good preservation stewardship by pursuing partnerships with state and local governments, federally recognized Tribes, and the private sector to promote the preservation of the unique cultural heritage of communities and to realize the economic benefit that these properties can provide through activities like heritage tourism, providing space for businesses and organizations that can operate in harmony with an agency’s mission, or contributing to the ongoing vitality of small towns and city centers as focal points of civic activity. The ACHP continues to see the use of partnerships to identify, protect, and use historic properties trending upwards. As in the 2020 progress reports, federal agencies are increasingly receptive to, and entering into, preservation partnerships in their management of historic properties. Throughout this report the term “historic properties” is used, as defined in the NHPA, as those buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts that are listed in, or are eligible for listing in, the National Register of Historic Places (National Register). The term includes National Historic Landmarks (NHLs), which are designated by the Secretary of the Interior for their exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the nation.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is the steward of a multitude of historic properties that span the entire nation and its territories. From lighthouses and courthouses to sacred landscapes and traditional resource gathering places, to the archaeological remnants of mining camps, federal agencies have developed guidelines, strategies, and protocols to protect and manage these properties under their stewardship. Since the Section 3 Report’s inception in 2003, agencies have celebrated many successes and have also been presented with new challenges and opportunities to identify, protect, and use historic properties under their ownership or control. Although the technological, political, and societal landscape has changed in 20 years, the great value and appreciation the American public places on its historic places remains the same. In the spirit of the “Preserve America” Executive Order 13287, agencies continue to advance their methods of protection, enhancement, and use of federal historic properties in the face of contemporary challenges, while promoting partnerships for the preservation and use of historic properties. The successes and opportunities outlined in this report demonstrate how federal historic preservation activities have advanced climate adaptation and sustainability initiatives; critical infrastructure to the American people; the federal government’s trust responsibility with Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiians; environmental justice; and a diverse and well-trained preservation workforce.

A HistoriCorps volunteer glazes windows as part of the restoration of Corral Park Cabin within the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland. (Erica Bradley/USFS)


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ACHP Approves Two Exemptions from Section 106 Review Nationwide


Exemption for Undertakings Involving Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment The ACHP approved the first of two new exemptions in October 2022, exempting certain installations of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) from Section 106 review. As the federal government continues its commitment to convert its entire vehicle fleet to electric vehicles, in particular through provisions introduced or reauthorized under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, federal agencies have expanded the installation of EVSE to support their operations. The repetitive nature of these installations, and their relatively small scale, made them suitable candidates for an exemption from Section 106 review. Because these requirements apply to federal agencies across the government, the ACHP itself determined it would initiate an exemption for certain EVSE installations. After hosting a series of consultation meetings, the ACHP determined that the installation of certain EVSE for passenger cars and light duty vehicles is likely to result in minimal or no effects to historic properties so long as it relies on existing electric infrastructure and parking structures, among other conditions. The introduction and approval of an EVSE exemption has gone on to assist federal agencies in meeting the Administration’s fleet electrification and overall sustainability goals.

The ACHP recently approved two exemptions that release federal agencies, in certain circumstances, from the Section 106 requirement to consider the effects of certain types of their undertakings on historic properties. Exempted categories, often referred to as “exemptions,” are one of the five program alternatives available in the Section 106 regulations. This program alternative allows federal agencies to propose a program or category of agency undertaking that should be exempt from further review under Section 106. The ACHP may also propose an exemption on its own initiative. While rarely pursued, exemptions can be used to reduce review burdens for programs that have limited potential to affect historic properties so that available resources can be focused on those programs and projects that stand to cause greater effects to historic properties.

GSA Exemption for Routine Operations and Maintenance Activities In January 2023, the ACHP approved an exemption for the General Services Administration’s (GSA) routine operations and maintenance activities. As part of its daily functions as the federal government’s primary workspace provider, GSA conducts a variety of routine property maintenance activities that have little to no effect on historic properties. Given GSA’s comprehensive preservation policies, preservation personnel qualifications, widely recognized program, and decades- long track record of excellent compliance, the ACHP recommended GSA pursue an exemption for these activities. In

preparation for this exemption, GSA conducted extensive informational and consultation meetings with historic preservation organizations and Indian Tribes to delineate the appropriate scope of exempted agency activities. The approved exemption is tied to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Preservation of Historic Properties. Both the ESVE and GSA routine-activities exemptions will ensure the efficient use of taxpayer funds in carrying forward public programs that have limited impact on historic properties. For more information on program alternatives, including exemptions, please visit the ACHP website alternatives

Since its approval, the GSA exemption has been applied to more than 85 projects. Undertakings covered under the exemption may include interior painting of previously painted surfaces, repairs to windows and doors, and masonry or stucco repairs. (GSA)

The EVSE exemption has allowed VA to focus on clean energy and infrastructure within Veterans Health Administration facilities. About 140 EVSE units have already been installed, including EV charging stations pictured here within the Palo Alto VAMC. (Angela McArdle/VA)


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ACHP Progress Report Over the last three years, the ACHP has taken a variety of actions including reports, resolutions, and establishing task forces to strengthen and inform the government’s stewardship capabilities in alignment with the five findings in the ACHP’s 2021 Section 3 report (2021 Section 3 Report). These findings, each addressing aspects of the federal government’s stewardship of historic properties, included the following: 1. Leasing historic federal buildings to nonfederal partners promotes their productive use and contribution to local economies, often increasing public access and even transferring maintenance and capital improvement costs to partners in certain circumstances. However, outleasing programs remain small due to inconsistencies among federal agencies in their scope and application, conflicting policies and priorities, limited awareness of these programs, and local economic conditions affecting the availability of partners. 2. Agencies are advancing in the use of digital tools to better inform real property management, but further improvement is needed to fully integrate historic property information and realize all potential benefits from increased review efficiency for federal and nonfederal project planning. 3. While the primary benefit of partnerships is to leverage limited federal resources and assist federal agencies in the identification, protection, and use of historic properties, partnerships also contribute important community and educational benefits, including those that enable job training. 4. Agencies have effectively used Section 106 program alternatives to tailor Section 106 project reviews for multiple land- and property-managing agency benefits, including focusing limited resources on preservation priorities and contributing to comprehensive historic property management strategies. Program alternatives have also improved efficiency and effectiveness of project reviews for infrastructure projects affecting historic properties on federal lands. 5. Agencies should ensure timely involvement of and active collaboration with Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations (NHOs) in property management activities and infrastructure planning.

The ACHP’s response to the 2021 Section 3 report builds on these efforts. Currently, the ACHP and the National Park Service (NPS) are collaborating on the development of a “Report on Historic Leasing as a Preservation Stewardship Solution for the National Park Service” to advance leasing of NPS historic property, often in remote locations or in poor condition. NPS successfully leases historic property via its Business Services Directorate and can lease property under various authorities (e.g., 54 USC § 102101 (“Part 18”) and 54 USC § 306121). The report will provide market insights and recommendations on historic leasing at NPS, including via public-private partnerships, and is anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2024.


The ACHP recommended that federal agencies increase and improve the use of digital tools in their efforts to identify and protect historic properties. When federal agencies (along with their Tribal, state, and local counterparts), applicants, and consultants have ready access to accurate, current data about the location and nature of historic properties, they can make project siting and design decisions that take historic properties into account earlier and more effectively. In April 2020, the Digital Information Task Force presented its recommendations and action plan to the chairman of the ACHP. The report outlines five major recommendations: • Make the Administration, Congress, agency officials, and the public aware of how digital information, including geographic information systems (GIS), increases the effectiveness and efficiency of project planning and helps avoid harm to historic properties. • Identify opportunities for funding and resource enhancement. • Enable cultural resources GIS data exchange between states, Tribes, local governments, and federal agencies. • Address data management impediments to increase GIS availability. • Properly manage access and secure sensitive data. The ACHP continues its efforts to carry out these tasks to implement the report’s recommendations in cooperation with federal and preservation partners. The importance of digital tools and online access to data about historic properties was placed in sharp relief with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a shift to telework and took many consultation processes online. The ACHP expanded the use of its e 106 Documentation Submittal System and processed all correspondence in electronic format. The ACHP also responded to questions from federal agencies, states, Tribes, and other stakeholders about how to navigate new challenges in federal historic preservation reviews generated by these unprecedented circumstances by posting a suite of frequently asked questions, links, and other advice on its website.


Outleasing is defined as the leasing and use, by nonfederal partners, of federal historic buildings (or portions thereof) that are not needed in the near-term by federal agencies. The legal authority to outlease historic properties is available to property managing federal agencies under Section 111 of the NHPA, 54 USC § 306121, and other agency-specific authorities. The ACHP’s 2018 Section 3 Report recommended the ACHP convene a group to help the agency assess the status of outleasing and develop recommendations for overcoming obstacles to advance utilization of the nation’s historic federal buildings. In 2019, the ACHP assembled the Leveraging Federal Historic Buildings Working Group, which in spring 2021 produced the Leveraging Federal Historic Buildings Final Report. The strategies and successes presented in the Leveraging Report are a direct result of federal agencies identifying their preservation challenges through the Section 3 reporting process and then working together with the ACHP in exploring solutions.


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NASA Consultation Yields Comprehensive Planning for Historic Properties Nationwide


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been engaged in consultation on the development of a nationwide programmatic agreement (NPA) to tailor the Section 106 process for the management of its real property, including routine maintenance, alteration, modification, and demolition. The NPA will include a focus on addressing modifications to highly technical and scientific facilities and identification of built resources less than 50 years old that have not been evaluated for significance based on their potential eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places. NASA proposes to utilize a dynamic and innovative approach to establish criteria for more efficiently and consistently evaluating undertakings affecting highly technical scientific facilities that builds off existing NASA agreements developed for individual

NASA Research Centers. Concurrently, NASA initiated the development of historic contexts for programs and themes over the last 50 years, modeled after those done for the Shuttle Program, with the goal of identifying significant historical themes in NASA’s recent history, and then identifying specific resources or resource types associated with those themes that might be eligible for the National Register under Criterion Consideration G for properties that have achieved significance within the last 50 years. Both efforts leverage NASA’s existing real property tools and its mission to educate and inform the public. Moreover, NASA proposes to incorporate an additional management layer through the form of “Heritage Zones” within applicable “Centers.” These zones would emphasize early involvement of consulting

parties and require NASA to undertake further consideration of alternatives and modifications to avoid and minimize adverse effects. These initiatives combined will inform the process proposed in the NPA, which will then be utilized at NASA Centers and component facilities across the country. NASA’s NPA also proposes to include programmatic solutions to mitigate adverse effects that may occur during certain types of undertakings and to specific categories of historic properties. This will take the form of a virtual map and tour of NASA facilities utilizing various forms of multimedia to provide the public with access to a current and historic view of NASA facilities.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, NASA has engaged in an extensive consultation effort including several workshop sessions and individual meetings. The NPA will also include an initial monitoring period seen in other recent nationwide agreements as well as an expansive training program for agency personnel. NASA released its draft final version of the NPA in late 2023 with the aim to conclude consultation in early 2024.

Artemis I launch from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launchpad 39B on November 16, 2022 (NASA)

Map of NASA Centers and Component Facilities (NASA)


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In 2020, the ACHP published a chart on its website to assist federal agencies and the public in the development, implementation, and understanding of several types of program alternatives. This was followed in 2022 by a guide to help federal agencies considering a program alternative, titled Goal Statement Questions for Program Alternative Development, based on the recommendations from the panel focused on program comments. These questions prompt the agency to develop a goal statement that can be useful in documenting the need for and benefits of a program alternative to assist it in meeting the requirements of Section 106. Both of the tools serve to make the process of seeking a program alternative clearer and more consistent for agencies.

The ACHP also addressed the importance of partnerships and job creation, which have been a highlight of Section 3 reporting since its inception. The 2021 Report to the President recognized that partnerships can leverage limited federal resources and provide important benefits to federal agencies in the identification, protection, and use of historic properties. During the last three years, the ACHP has encouraged federal agency partnerships with preservation stakeholders in its approach to major preservation issues identified by federal land and property managing agencies in the last reporting cycle. As mentioned above, the ACHP’s Digital Information Task Force emphasized data exchange between federal agencies and state, Tribal, and local governments in considering how to increase the availability of historic properties survey data to project planning, and the ACHP’s Leveraging Federal Historic Buildings Working Group considered how federal-to-federal partnerships, as well as those between private developers and federal agencies, can help ensure the long-term preservation of federally owned historic buildings. Most recently, the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, of which the ACHP is a member, announced the availability of $5 million to federally recognized Tribes to enhance Tribal engagement in the environmental review and authorization process for Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41) covered projects to make project review more timely and efficient. The funding comes from appropriations in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to the FAST-41 Environmental Review Improvement Fund (ERIF).


The final finding underscores the importance of collaboration with Indian Tribes and NHOs in property management activities and infrastructure planning. The ACHP’s work over the reporting period supports the goals of a variety of the Biden Administration’s initiatives and priorities, such as the Indigenous Sacred Sites Memorandum of Understanding, the Department of the Interior’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, and the recently released Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Indigenous Knowledge. This work has included adopting a Policy Statement on Burial Sites, Human Remains, and Funerary Objects and incorporating the concerns of Tribes, NHOs, and other Indigenous Peoples into the ACHP’s climate change and housing policy statements. ACHP staff have also continued to assist other federal agencies to advance issues of importance to Tribes and NHOs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACHP published advice to federal agencies, encouraging them to be flexible and give consideration to conditions affecting the ability of Tribes and NHOs to respond within the typical regulatory timeframes, recognizing the vital and legal role of government-to-government consultation in the identification and protection of historic properties. The spread of COVID-19 led to the closure or disruption of many governmental offices nationwide, including those of Tribal governments. Despite the difficulties Tribes and federal agencies were facing due to the pandemic, adequate consultation still had to be carried out, even with Tribes whose offices were closed or short-staffed. ACHP advice encouraged federal agencies to reach out to Tribes and be creative in approaches to consultation and consider temporarily turning to virtual meetings. The advice recommended that agencies acknowledge the hardships a Tribe may be encountering because of the pandemic and inquiring about ways the agency may be able to assist. This unprecedented event nevertheless demonstrated the benefit of developing and maintaining close working relationships between federal agencies and Tribes.


The ACHP also identified the increased use of program alternatives as a means for improving the efficiency and cost effectiveness of project review for infrastructure projects affecting historic properties on federal lands. Over the last three years, the ACHP has worked with numerous agencies to evaluate, develop, and implement programmatic approaches to property management and infrastructure project review, including the following: the ACHP’s Exemption Regarding Historic Preservation Review Process for Undertakings Involving Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) (2022); the ACHP’s Exemption from Historic Preservation Review for General Services Administration Routine Operations and Maintenance (2023); and the Department of the Army’s Program Comment for Army Vietnam War Era Historic Housing, Associated Buildings and Structures, and Landscape Features (1963-1975) (2023). The EVSE and the General Services Administration’s (GSA) exemptions are the first to be approved by the ACHP in 17 years. The ACHP itself was the proponent for the EVSE exemption, which can be used by any federal agency that has a project that fits the criteria within the exemption. As of the publication of this report, ACHP staff are working with federal agencies on more program alternatives than ever before. Program alternatives in development are discussed further in Chapter 2. In order to improve the use of program comments, which is another form of program alternative available in the Section 106 regulations, the ACHP formed a panel of its members in November 2022 to carry out a review of their development and use. The panel considered the successes and challenges key stakeholders have had in developing and using program comments and issued recommendations in September 2021 identifying actions the ACHP can take to improve the use of program comments as a tool for Section 106 review efficiency.


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ACHP Approves Policy Statement on Burial Sites, Human Remains, and Funerary Objects Nationwide


In April 2021, the ACHP issued an information paper titled, Traditional Knowledge and the Section 106 Process: Information for Federal Agencies and Other Participants that explores the concept of Indigenous Knowledge and begins to clarify its role in the Section 106 review process. The ACHP’s Office of Tribal and Indigenous Peoples is also developing a policy statement on Indigenous Knowledge in the Section 106 process expanding on the advice given in the information paper. In consultation with Tribes, kanaka maoli (Indigenous People of the Hawaiian Islands), and NHOs, the ACHP will work to develop appropriate means to explain the importance of Indigenous Knowledge and its role in all four steps of the Section 106 process.

In March 2023, the ACHP approved a major update to the landmark 2007 policy statement on the treatment of burial sites, human remains, and associated cultural materials for all parties involved in federal undertakings and the Section 106 process. Developed by the ACHP’s Office of Tribal and Indigenous Peoples, the “Policy Statement on Burial Sites, Human Remains, and Funerary Objects”

change plays in the destruction of these sites. To address these concerns—past, present, and future—the Burial Policy encourages federal agencies to consult with descendant communities and incorporate Indigenous Knowledge into all phases of the Section 106 planning process, from the identification of historic properties and their eligibility to the assessment and resolution of adverse effects. The policy also encourages federal agencies to integrate practices to safeguard burial sites and associated materials through climate change planning and response actions. The Burial Policy includes several recommendations for the implementation of these principles into federal agency practice as well as actions that the ACHP will take to extensive consultation, including government- to-government consultation with members of Tribal communities and representatives of Tribal governments. In developing this policy statement, the ACHP worked closely with advocacy groups representing Indigenous, African American, and other marginalized communities throughout the nation. The ACHP Burial Policy was made in full recognition of the National Historic Preservation Act and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act responsibilities that federal agencies have in conducting undertakings throughout the country. This policy statement does not seek to supplant these laws but instead attempts to strengthen existing federal protection tools for burial sites and their associated remains and objects. Learn more about this policy and read the statement in its entirety on the ACHP’s website. ensure the effectiveness of the policy. The Burial Policy was adopted after Click here to listen to Chair Bronin speak on the Burial Policy on National Public Radio.

Native American leaders, military leaders, archaeologists, and biologists overlook a site on the Nevada Test and Training Range, a component of Nellis Air Force Base on May 13, 2022. (Airman Trevor Bell/DAF)

(the Burial Policy) establishes a set of clear standards and guidelines intended to aid federal and state agencies, contractors, responsible entities, and other consulting parties to respectfully account for the proper treatment of burial sites and their associated materials through all stages of the federal planning process. It continues the ACHP’s commitment to improving the working relationships and consultation efforts between federal agencies, Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and other relevant consulting parties. The Burial Policy originated from the ACHP’s recognition of the federal government’s historical role in the damaging and destruction of unrecorded burial sites, human remains, and funerary objects associated with Indigenous, African American, and Native Hawaiian communities during the course of federally funded development projects. It also acknowledges the outsized role that climate

In 2023, Cultural Heritage in the Forest students participated in a cleanup of the historic Paynes Crossing Cemetery within the Wayne National Forest in Ohio. Paynes Crossing was a community established in the 1930s by free Black migrants from Virginia. (USFS)

The integration of Indigenous Knowledge into project planning can also help ensure identification and evaluation efforts meet the regulatory requirement that the federal agency carry out a reasonable and good faith effort. The demonstration of respect for Indigenous Knowledge can show Tribes and NHOs that the ACHP and its member federal agencies take their responsibilities seriously and recognize their values and practices. Although Indigenous Knowledge and non-Native scientific knowledge may arise from different cultural traditions, they are often compatible when integrated appropriately. The ACHP has adopted policy positions recognizing that both Native and non-Native ways of knowing are important to a full understanding of historic properties that must be considered in the Section 106 review process. Listening to Indigenous perspectives, even when they differ, and taking Indigenous Knowledge into account are vital to achieving informed decisions about historic properties. To inform the development of the policy statement, the ACHP recently hosted a series of listening sessions with Tribes and NHOs regarding the intersection of Indigenous Knowledge and historic preservation. The policy statement will build on the recently released government-wide Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Indigenous Knowledge in an effort to tailor many of those messages to the needs of the historic preservation community. For additional information on this effort please see the ACHP’s webpage: Indigenous Knowledge and Historic Preservation.


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CHAPTER 2 Identifying Historic Properties

2024 Report Themes In the Section 3 Report Advisory Guidelines distributed to federal agencies in preparation of their Progress Reports, the ACHP solicited responses to questions that linked to four major cross-cutting themes. The following themes, related to current ACHP initiatives and Administration priorities, will be highlighted across the next three chapters, following the “Preserve America” Executive Order’s requirement to consider identification (Chapter 2), protection (Chapter 3), and use (Chapter 4) of historic properties: CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change is one of the most pressing forces affecting the condition and long-term preservation of historic buildings and structures. Historic properties, too, have a role to play in addressing the climate crisis, in that their rehabilitation can help mitigate climate impacts, especially as compared to new construction. The ACHP and other federal agencies are working to help ensure the federal government addresses historic properties as they create and implement sustainability and climate resilience policies and programs. INFRASTRUCTURE Developing strategies to carry out efficient and predictable federal environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects assisted by federal agencies or requiring federal permits, licenses, or other approvals is crucial to advancing critical infrastructure projects. With the passage of several infrastructure bills over the last three years, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) (also referred to as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act [IIJA]); the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022; and the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act of 2022, the ACHP and other federal agencies are prioritizing technical assistance to states and Tribes, efficiencies in permitting processes, and training. JOB CREATION There is a nationwide shortage of skilled candidates entering the fields of historic preservation and cultural resources management, particularly where needed to support the national historic preservation program. The ACHP and other federal agencies are working to address these challenges through partnerships and programming with institutions of higher learning, Tribes, universities, nonprofit organizations, and State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs). EQUITY Equity in historic preservation means acknowledging and valuing the historical experiences and cultural contributions of all communities, including those that have been historically underrepresented or marginalized. It involves recognizing that historic preservation is not just about preserving buildings or places but also about preserving the stories and experiences of the people who have lived in and interacted with those buildings and places. The ACHP and other federal agencies are working to enhance preservation outcomes in areas populated by disadvantaged and underserved communities, as well as communities with environmental justice concerns, and to improve outreach to and access by members of these communities.

THE FOUNDATION of federal historic property management depends on accurate, up-to-date inventories of historic properties in federal ownership. While the passage of time and transfers of property into and out of federal hands means that identification is never truly complete, federal agencies continue to prioritize their efforts to attain a complete picture of the historic properties they own or manage. The identification of historic properties poses challenges to federal agencies, but it also presents opportunities to identify properties that may be at greater risk to the effects of climate change, including places that are inclusive of the diversity of the American experience, and to form partnerships to provide educational and avocational experience to students and volunteers. Increased federal investment in digital infrastructure is an important aspect of meeting this challenge. For this report, the ACHP asked agencies to share their progress in the identification of historic properties in their inventories, to discuss any changes to their identification methods, and describe new policies or programs that promoted awareness and identification of historic properties over the reporting period. Additional questions prompted agencies to describe how they have considered equity, access, and the involvement of underserved communities in their federal stewardship activities; whether they have implemented any policies that promote equity and diversity in the identification process; and how agency policies, procedures, and capabilities have increased opportunities for partnership initiatives involving collaboration with nonfederal entities and marginalized communities.

A diver explores the wreck of the Gallinipper within the newly designated Wisconsin’s Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary. The schooner, built in 1833, is the oldest known shipreck in Wisconsin’s waters. (Becky Schott, Liquid Productions)


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The ACHP also asked federal agencies to account for whether their identification methods changed during 2020-2023 and approximately what total percentage or portion of their real property inventory has now been surveyed and evaluated for the National Register. Several agencies highlighted an increase in funding and focus on identification

for Section 110 of the NHPA, which requires federal agencies to identify, evaluate, and nominate historic properties under their jurisdiction or control, toward more proactive historic preservation planning, while others have undertaken reorganization of their internal review processes to streamline workflows. As the ACHP reported in 2021, agencies noted advances in collection and management of survey information about historic properties in digital format, enabling direct population of agency GIS layers or other databases.

Under the NHLPA, GSA, NPS, and USCG work together to find new stewards for decomissioned historic lighthouses. GSA sold the Penfield Reef Light in Long Island Sound with preservation covenants in 2022. (GSA)

The Mississippi River Commission building, Vicksburg, MS. Planned repairs to the roof, walls, windows, and interior building systems will restore the building’s physical integrity, improve safety, reduce operating costs, and extend its service life for another 125 years. (Carol M. Highsmith Photography, Inc./GSA)

Also of note is the addition of 102 cultural landscapes to NPS’s Cultural Landscapes Inventory, for a total of 963 currently listed or eligible for the National Register (as districts or sites) or managed as cultural resources because of legislation or park planning process decisions. NPS currently recognizes four categories of cultural landscapes: historic designed landscapes, historic vernacular landscapes, historic sites, and ethnographic landscapes. Most agencies reported a 1-2 percent increase in survey and/or evaluation of built inventory and lands over the reporting period. However, some celebrated greater numbers, including the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), which identified nearly 1,000 new sites, comprising nearly 21 percent of its total inventory of archaeological sites. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that the continued integration of its Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation Program practices with other lines of business, such as contracting, facilities, and acquisition offices, has resulted in the evaluation of 20 percent of its owned portfolio evaluated in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, in comparison to only 12 percent in FY 2020. Agencies that have met or are close to meeting their goal of 100 percent identification can be more proactive in their planning and Section 106 processes, and able to disclose the presence of historic properties, assess effects, and develop projects that avoid adverse effects to historic properties in the early stages of project development.

Federal Agency Progress on Identifying Historic Properties

The ACHP reviewed agency progress reports with a focus on major patterns and trends in reporting on identification efforts. While it was not possible to extract quantitative values from the data received due to inconsistencies in regard to categories and terminology used by agencies, in general, most responded that they continued to make progress in identifying historic properties under their ownership. In some cases, agencies have experienced an increase in property under their stewardship, which will require identification efforts in the future. Eight National Monuments were designated during the reporting period, some of which are federally managed, while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported the addition of the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) to its protective oversight and expansion of Flower Banks NMS offshore of Galveston, Texas, with six additional sanctuaries proposed and in the process of delegation. Agencies also reported the disposition of property from federal ownership. Disposition of property with protective covenants were demonstrated as successes by several agencies. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), for example, maintained ongoing partnerships with GSA, NPS, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for administration of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA) Program to transfer historic lighthouse properties from Coast Guard ownership to appropriate qualified recipients who must maintain the property’s historic character. During this reporting period, USCG identified 10 lighthouse properties as excess for disposal through the program.


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