STEWARDSHIP of INA SPIRIT
A REPORT ON FEDERAL HISTORIC PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 ACHP CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE 2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
5 CHAPTER 1: BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION 11 CHAPTER 2: IDENTIFYING HISTORIC PROPERTIES 25 CHAPTER 3: PROTECTING HISTORIC PROPERTIES 41 CHAPTER 4: USING HISTORIC PROPERTIES 55 CHAPTER 5: FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 61 APPENDICES PRELIMINARY PATTERNS AND TRENDS IN ANALYSIS OF FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY PROFILE DATA LIST OF AGENCIES REPORTING LINKS TO AGENCY SUBMISSIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Front Cover Photos Top: NHL nuclear cargo ship N.S. Savannah, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Canton Marine Terminal, Baltimore, MD (photo courtesy Gene Carl Feldman). Center L-R: Launchpad 39A with SpaceX Falcon rocket, Kennedy Space Center, FL (photo courtesy NASA). Old Post Office and Custom House, Key West, FL ( Jjiawangkun Fotolia). Aerial view of Governors Island and Manhattan, NY (Richard Cavalleri Shutterstock). Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA (f8grapher Fotolia). Bottom: Dayton VA Medical Center Grotto and Gardens restoration, Dayton, OH (photo courtesy American Veterans Heritage Center) This page: Apollo Mission Operations Control Room 1969, Houston,TX (photo courtesy NASA)
CHAIRMAN DONALDSON’S MESSAGE
February 15, 2018
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is pleased to present the fifth triennial report on how well federal agencies manage their historic properties, pursuant to Executive Order 13287 “Preserve America.” Federal agencies were required to submit progress reports to the ACHP and the Secretary of the Interior in 2017 on the status of their efforts to identify, protect, and use their historic properties. As agencies continue to work smarter to provide critical infrastructure and reduce the federal footprint to control costs, they have also found opportunities to optimize the use of historic properties to meet mission requirements, increase energy efficiency and resiliency, assist in the delivery of infrastructure, and promote economic development and job creation in local communities. The Preserve America Executive Order requires agencies to actively advance the protection and productive use of historic properties owned by the federal government. Based on the federal agency progress reports and our daily business working with federal agencies all over the country, the ACHP has identified several preservation challenges and accompanying recommendations to advance the goals of the Executive Order and the National Historic Preservation Act. The ACHP supports the broad goals of cost efficient, effective, sustainable, and resilient federal property management. We are also committed to building a more inclusive historic preservation program, and ensuring that all communities in our diverse nation have a stake in preserving historic properties of importance and significance to them. We encourage federal leadership and interest in the stewardship of historic properties in federal ownership and appreciate the attention given to this important report.
Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA Chairman Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
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.
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Traces of the famous Oregon Trail carved in the land heading west,Wyoming (iStockphoto)
This report to the President is required every three years under Executive Order (EO) No. 13287, “Preserve America.” The report focuses on the state of the federal government’s efforts to identify, protect, and utilize their historic properties and their contribution to local economic development between 2014 and 2017. EO 13287 reinforces the role of federal agencies as stewards of their historic properties and underscores the importance of federal agency efforts to inventory, protect, and use these properties. Federal historic properties play a diverse range of roles, from providing infrastructure critical for agency missions, to housing members of the military and federal offices, as sacred places important to Native Americans and Native Hawai’ians, to sharing stories of American history with visitors. Information in this report is derived primarily from the 23 federal agency progress reports submitted to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the Secretary of the Interior. Agency reports focused on progress made in identifying, protecting, and using historic properties in federal ownership since the last report in 2015. Federal agencies continue to provide creative examples of historic properties adaptively reused and rehabilitated to be energy efficient and resilient, as well as historic properties leased or disposed to parties responsible for their preservation. Collectively, these reports also demonstrated that there remains wide-spread support among the public for the protection and use of historic properties, and that federal efforts to do so strengthen communities and contribute to a stronger economy through the creation of jobs. In addition to the review of the agency progress reports, the findings and recommendations presented in Chapter 5 of this report also are informed by the ACHP’s extensive, and
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nationwide, interaction with federal agencies and preservation partners on various undertakings, programs, and initiatives over the last three years. The preservation findings and conclusions identified over the current reporting cycle include the following: FINDING: Agencies that have already used Section 106 program alternatives were able to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of project reviews. FINDING: Efforts to identify historic properties and ensure that consistent information about historic property inventory efforts are made available electronically can better inform and improve real property management and federal and non-federal planning. FINDING: Partnerships can leverage limited federal resources and provide important benefits to federal agencies in the identification, protection, and use of historic properties. FINDING: Agencies would benefit from more effective mechanisms to ensure timely involvement of Indian tribes and Native Hawai’ian organizations in property management activities and infrastructure planning. FINDING: Further development of policies and procedures to assist federal agencies in considering historic properties as part of their efforts to comply with “Reduce the Footprint” requirements would improve preservation outcomes without delaying compliance with these requirements. FINDING: Fostering and encouraging the reuse of historic facilities by federal agencies or others creates cost-effective preservation outcomes.
Recommendations to address these findings are presented in Chapter 5.
The ACHP is committed to assisting federal agencies in implementing these recommendations so that future actions proposed by the Administration, departments, and agencies recognize historic properties as important public assets and are given appropriate consideration when planning for federal real property management strategies and initiatives that address infrastructure renewal, energy efficiency, resiliency, and long-term preservation.
Acting YAP SHPO Francis Reg explains the restoration of a men’s house on Yap, a project partially sponsored by NPS.
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The “Four Corners of Law” Charleston, SC, Meeting and Broad streets, including U.S. Post Office and Courthouse (photo courtesy Lauren Northup)
BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION
Fort Hancock Homes, Gateway National Recreation Area, New Jersey (Andrew Kazmierski Fotolia)
This is the fifth triennial report on the status of federal property-owning agencies’ progress in identifying, protecting, and using their historic properties. These progress reports are required under Section 3 of EO 13287, “Preserve America,” signed by President George W. Bush in 2003. The ACHP and the Secretary of the Interior review and analyze the information submitted and present their findings to the President by February 15, 2018. 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 national historic preservation policy. The ACHP also oversees implementation of Section 3 of the EO. The full text of the “Preserve America” EO can be found here: http:// www.preserveamerica.gov/Executive%20Order%2013287.pdf. The membership of the ACHP can be found here: http://www.achp.gov/members.html. The federal government is the steward of thousands of historic properties of all kinds across the country and in all its territories—these include buildings, structures, traditional landscapes of religious and cultural significance to Indian tribes and Native Hawai’ian organizations (NHOs), archaeological sites and districts, scientific and highly technical properties and objects, and others. This EO focuses on reinforcing the preservation stewardship responsibilities of federal agencies, which began with the Antiquities Act of 1906, was expanded in the Historic Sites Act of 1935, was reinforced in 1966 in the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), specifically in Sections 1, 2, and 110, and by subsequent amendments to the NHPA.
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The goal of these statutes and this EO is to ensure that federal agencies are good stewards of historic properties for the benefit of the American people, while still meeting mission needs. Section 110 of the NHPA (54 USC 3061) sets forth the broad affirmative federal agency responsibilities with respect to their programs for balancing mission needs with historic values. The intent of Section 110 is to ensure historic preservation is fully integrated into the programs of federal agencies. To assist agencies in achieving the purposes of Section 110, the ACHP and the National Park Service (NPS) have jointly issued guidance entitled The Section 110 Guidelines: Annotated Guidelines for Federal Agency Responsibilities under Section 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act (available here: https://www.nps.gov/fpi/Section110.html). Many agencies meet these responsibilities through compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA (54 USC 306108) for their undertakings. Section 106 of the NHPA 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 ACHP’s regulations implementing Section 106 (36 CFR Part 800, http://www.achp.gov/regs-rev04.pdf ) set forth this review process, whereby the federal agency consults with the State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), and oftentimes with Indian tribes or NHOs, to determine if the proposed project will have an effect on a property listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and if so, what measures might be appropriate to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse effects. Agency Section 3 reports are intended to analyze their progress in meeting the goals of the EO since the last report three years ago. A universal sentiment running through all the submitted reports is that federal agencies are proud of their stewardship of historic properties; they want to tell their story and how they contribute to economic development and resource independence. The many examples federal agencies provided in their reports run the gamut of historic property type, threats to them, and preservation opportunities grasped. How these agencies responded with their own historic preservation initiatives, partnerships, and creative solutions to better protect these resources, while providing the American public more and better chances to enjoy and appreciate them, deserves to be told in their own words. While this report addresses the requirements of Section 3 of the EO, other sections of the EO also spell out federal agency oversight responsibilities. Section 1 reaffirms the historic preservation principles set out in Sections 1 and 2 of the NHPA—that federal agencies should exhibit leadership in the field of historic preservation and should use their historic properties where practicable. Section 2 of the EO calls for federal agencies to build preservation partnerships where possible and “to promote local economic development and vitality through the use of historic properties in a manner that contributes to the long-term preservation and productive use of those properties.” Section 3 (among other things) requires federal agencies “with real property management responsibilities” to assess the status and state of their historic preservation stewardship, first in an initial report to the ACHP and the Secretary of the Interior by September 30, 2004, and then every three years afterwards. Section 4 of the EO requires each federal agency to promote the long-term preservation and use of historic properties as federal assets and, where practicable, contribute to local communities and their economies. Section 5 states that federal agencies are to use their historic properties in concert with state, tribal, and local tourism programs to foster heritage tourism opportunities. How federal agencies carry out their duties under Sections 2, 4, and 5 of the Preserve America EO are touched on and discussed to some extent in this report.
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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 NRHP. The term includes National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) which are designated as such by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the nation. PREVIOUS SECTION 3 REPORTING In 2004, federal agencies “with real property management responsibilities” provided baseline reports to the ACHP and the Secretary of the Interior as required by the Preserve America EO. The chart in Appendix 2 illustrates the history of agency Section 3 reporting. Agencies were encouraged to utilize existing reporting systems to prepare this report. The ACHP posts the progress reports received from agencies on the web at http://www.achp. gov/section3/. Agencies may elect not to submit progress reports for a variety of reasons, including because the provisions in EO 13287 do not apply to them as they do not own real property. Further, individual bureaus may elect to submit separate progress reports one cycle but consolidated reports with their parent agency or department in another reporting cycle. While the ACHP provided its Advisory Guidelines Implementing Section 3: Reporting Progress on the Identification, Protection, and Use of Federal Historic Properties (http://www.achp.gov/docs/ advisory-guidelines-2017.pdf ), some agencies used the questions in the advisory guidelines, while others did not. As a result of these variables, it is difficult to present a comprehensive picture of federal agency stewardship across the board. However, trends can be discerned in the information provided, and these are presented in Chapter 5, “Findings and Recommendations.”
PROGRESS REPORTS SUBMITTED 2005-2017
2011 2014 2017
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PRESERVATION INITIATIVES 2014-2017 The current reporting period spans two Administrations, and in the first year of the current Administration several laws, EOs, and policies have been and are being promulgated that are already having an impact on how the federal government utilizes its historic properties and how it will carry out its stewardship responsibilities. The extent to which real property management practices and others (budget, shrinking government, etc.) have changed or stayed the same are discussed throughout this document. ›› Permitting, streamlining, and infrastructure. During the reporting period, the federal government focused legislative and policy attention on the improvement of the federal permitting process for infrastructure projects affecting historic properties on federal lands. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) Act was passed in December 2015. Title 41 of the FAST Act created the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (Permitting Council), of which the ACHP is a member. The Permitting Council plays a key role in implementing specific provisions in Title 41 of the FAST Act. The FAST-41 process was designed to improve the timeliness, predictability, and transparency of the federal environmental review and authorization process for certain large-scale infrastructure projects, some of which may be located in part on federal land. FAST- 41 provides for improving the federal coordination of environmental reviews, including Section 106 reviews, but does not alter an agency’s responsibility to comply with Section 106 or change the requirements or timeframes in the ACHP’s regulations or an existing Section 106 Programmatic Agreement. Federal agencies develop permitting timetables for projects following the FAST-41 process. Milestones for environmental review and other information about covered projects are publicly tracked on the Federal Permitting Dashboard. FAST-41 also requires the Permitting Council to develop best practices that can be applied broadly to federal environmental reviews and authorizations to all infrastructure projects. On August 15, 2017, the President issued EO 13807, “Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure,” with the goal of increasing the coordination, predictability, and transparency of the federal environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects. This EO strengthens the accountability of federal agencies in carrying out environmental review for major infrastructure projects and includes important new milestones–namely, for agencies to coordinate their reviews and complete them within an average of two years. The ACHP participated in an interagency consultation process led by the Departments of the Army, Interior, and Justice in late 2016 to identify opportunities for more effectively consulting Indian tribes on infrastructure projects affecting historic properties on federal lands and prepared a report with recommendations specific to the Section 106 process in response to comments offered by Indian tribes [http://www.achp.gov/docs/ achp-infrastructure-report.pdf ]. The ACHP’s report is a companion publication to an interagency report on Improving Tribal Consultation and Tribal Involvement in Federal Infrastructure Decisions released in January 2017 in response to the listening sessions. [https://www.bia.gov/sites/bia.gov/files/assets/as-ia/pdf/idc2-060030.pdf ] These developments are part of an ongoing emphasis within the federal government on improving efficiency and increasing interagency coordination for infrastructure project reviews. Federal land-managing agencies have been actively involved in these efforts as they consider the siting of pipelines, electric transmission lines, oil and gas drilling, communication facilities, and other types of infrastructure on their property.
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›› Building a More Inclusive Preservation Program. The ACHP has undertaken an initiative to engage diverse audiences in conversations about historic preservation to ensure the national preservation program recognizes the heritage of all Americans and provides access to tools and activities for all who care about that heritage. In a series of conferences, listening sessions, and meetings with diverse constituencies, including listening sessions in Boston, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Tampa to hear directly from Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latino, and African American communities, a consistent set of themes rose to the surface during these conversations. Those include the following: • Preserve cultural values, including the intangible aspects of historic places; • Recognize all Americans’ history and protect the special cultural identity of places, communities, and landscapes; • Make heritage relevant for youth; • Develop community and organizational capacity, including partnerships; • Integrate cultural values and be aware of community needs when implementing standard historic preservation processes and projects; • Weave culture and public engagement more sensitively into planning and resource management by increasing consultation efforts and opportunities. At the summer 2016 business meeting, ACHP members voted unanimously to adopt final recommendations that will institutionalize the goals of a multi-year initiative to build a more inclusive national preservation program. The concepts and ideas which developed into these recommendations began to surface years ago through the work of historic preservation organizations such as the ACHP, NPS, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as well as programs such as Preserve America. ›› The National Historic Preservation Program at 50: Priorities and Recommendations for the Future. As part of its commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the NHPA in 2016, in consultation with its members (including federal agencies) and with input from a variety of other public and private parties, the ACHP developed a report and recommendations to assess and improve the National Historic Preservation Program. Included for consideration were some of the key tools currently used under the NHPA and related authorities, such as the Historic Preservation Fund, the NRHP, Section 106 review, and the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits. The final report, The National Historic Preservation Program at 50: Priorities and Recommendations for the Future, was approved by the ACHP on December 1, 2016, and released to the public in both print and online versions in March 2017 (http://www.achp. gov/docs/Preservation50FinalReport.pdf ). A number of the recommendations overlap with or complement actions and initiatives already being undertaken by the ACHP and other parties, including the Building a More Inclusive Preservation Program noted above: • Maintaining and strengthening public support for preservation; • Enhancing leadership at the policy and program levels of the federal government; • Improving preservation planning, including better integration of preservation concerns with other environmental and planning review processes; • Strengthening sustainable funding and investment in preservation, both public and private;
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• Expanding and encouraging public engagement in deciding what is important and how significant resources should be managed; • Advancing equity and inclusion in what is preserved; • Responding to indigenous peoples’ concerns about the preservation of their heritage; • Enhancing further appreciation for heritage through formal and informal education; • Promoting more effective collaboration and partnerships that advance preservation goals; and • Addressing the preservation consequences of climate change, disaster planning and recovery, and environmental sustainability. While the report is intended to offer a blueprint for the future, many of these recommendations are already being adopted and implemented by the federal agencies discussed in this Section 3 report. Strategies to implement many recommendations are presented in Chapter 5 of this report. INTRODUCTION TO THE 2018 REPORT A total of 23 departments or agencies reported on their efforts to identify, protect, and use their historic properties between the years 2014 to 2017, the current reporting cycle. A list of all responding agencies and their history of Section 3 reporting can be found in Appendix 2. This 2018 report differs from previous Section 3 reports in several ways. First, this report was designed from the start to be web-based, with links to other documents and preservation resources mentioned in the text. Second, this report focuses specifically on those federal agency responsibilities as set out in Section 3 of the EO: to identify, protect, and use historic properties. Finally, this report contains more examples and case studies of successful federal agency stewardship than previous reports, all to better illustrate the breadth of historic properties owned by the federal government, the myriad ways they care for them, and how they can contribute to the goals of economic development and resource independence.
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IDENTIFYING HISTORIC PROPERTIES 2014-2017
Tennessee Valley Authority and tribal archaeologists conducting research at Hiawassee Island archaeological site, on the Tennessee River in east Tennessee (photo courtesy TVA)
For this report, federal agencies were asked to share with the ACHP and Secretary of the Interior information about their efforts to identify historic properties for the period from 2014 through 2017, including progress since the last report, how their identification methods have changed, and how they manage and use their databases. OVERVIEW: The ACHP believes an accurate, up-to-date inventory of an agency’s historic properties, and the steps taken to increase and refine it, is a requisite for determining management priorities for those properties. Only with an understanding of their historic properties—the historical, economic, and educational values they embody and the agency resources needed and realistically available to care for them—can agencies begin to develop management priorities for their future. Federal agency progress on identifying historic properties: Between 2014 and 2017 most responding federal agencies continued to make progress in identifying historic properties under their ownership. Some smaller agencies reported no change in their inventory of historic properties under their ownership, while other small agencies carried out surveys that identified new historic properties. As one would expect, the nature of the agency (e.g., primarily land-managing agencies or building-managing agencies, large agencies or small) influenced the kinds of historic properties identified, and the intensity of that identification effort.
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Highlights: ›› Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reports that 10 percent of its facilities have now been evaluated for historical significance, an increase of 4 percent since the last report. ›› US Postal Service (USPS) reports that 14 percent of all owned properties were evaluated for NRHP eligibility over the past three years, and now counts 35 percent of its owned properties (3,070 out of a total of 8,761) as historic. ›› US Geological Survey (USGS) reports completing NRHP eligibility evaluations on 18 percent of all its properties. ›› Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) listed 20 cemetery properties on the NRHP under the Inter-World War National Cemeteries, 1934-1939, Multiple Property Submission. ›› Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) surveyed 4,075 acres of its land during this period, and now has evaluated the NRHP eligibility of 11,500 archaeological sites and 380 buildings and structures on its 293,000 acres of non-inundated land. ›› Bureau of Land Management (BLM) surveyed 1,539,992 of its 245 million acres of public lands, reports that it recorded 23,256 sites, with 7,557 determined eligible for the NRHP, and found 10,953 to be not eligible. Through FY 2016, BLM cumulatively has surveyed more than 25 million acres (approximately 10 percent of BLM surface lands) for historic properties, with an average of 513,000 acres surveyed annually from FY 2014 through FY 2016. ›› In the 2014 Preserve America progress report, the NPS was responsible for the stewardship of 401 park units containing more than 84 million acres within their boundaries. Today, the national park system includes 417 units in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and surrounding territories. ›› Department of Defense (DoD) surveyed approximately 184,000 acres for archaeological resources, increasing the total land surveyed to more than 9 million acres. DoD also evaluated more than 7,000 buildings and structures for NRHP eligibility. ›› The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) reports at least 396 newly recorded historic properties by 12 USACE District offices. ›› Under a multiyear compliance initiative nearing completion, the General Services Administration (GSA) has evaluated all but a few of its buildings that are more than 50 years old. During the 2015-2017 reporting period, GSA evaluated 62 properties and nominated 39 eligible properties to the NRHP. Eighty-one percent of their eligible historic properties have been listed in the NRHP. GSA’s national leadership role in listing its historic properties has been lauded by the Department of the Interior (DOI). Evaluation of the remaining few properties included in this initiative is underway, while newly evaluated historic properties will continue along the path to listing.
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NPS archaeologists care for more than 80,000 archaeological sites that have been identified in national parks. At the end of FY 2017, 80,911 known archaeological sites were located within national parks. Inventory and evaluation of sites is ongoing.
In 2015,TVA evaluated the NRHP eligibility of TVA’s hydroelectric system.TVA’s dams and associated structures were found to be historically significant at the national, state, and local levels due to their association with broad patterns of history and engineering and architectural importance.The Keeper of the NRHP accepted TVA’s Multiple Property Documentation Form, along with the individual nominations of its Norris,Wheeler, and Guntersville Hydroelectric facilities.Twenty-two additional facilities were listed in the NRHP in 2017, so that today, all of the major hydro facilities that TVA constructed are now recognized by the NRHP.
Federal agency policies and procedures to identify historic properties: Federal agencies have a variety of policies and procedures to identify their historic properties. These are derived from statutes both specific (e.g., Sections 1, 106, and 110 of the NHPA; Archeological Resources Protection Act) and general (Federal Lands Policy Management Act, National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA], etc.), from Executive Orders (e.g., President Bush’s EO 13327, Federal Real Property Asset Management, 2004) to internal department and agency policy and requirements that implement these statutes and EOs. Most land-managing agencies who reported this cycle describe their internal agency management guidance as their “prime directive.” In some cases, this guidance is based on a Programmatic Agreement that is often national in scope—the BLM and NPS Nationwide Agreements, for example. Agency practices provide a framework for carrying out historic property identification and stewardship in the context of multi-use missions—often encompassing recreation, resource sustainability, economic development, and energy development. Procedures for reviewing project plans for their possible effects on historic properties are laid out within these policies and procedures (as well as procedures for compliance with other preservation laws, like the Archaeological Resources Protection Act [ARPA] and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act [NAGPRA]). Federal agencies that primarily manage buildings and structures also have internal preservation directives. DHS’s Directive 017-01, Historic Preservation in Asset Management and Operations and Accompanying Instruction Guide to the Historic Preservation in Asset Management Operations, applies to all its component agencies, while these agencies: FEMA, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), US Coast Guard (USCG) also have their individual policies tailored to their specific missions and historic resources. It should also be noted that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) recently issued historic guidelines in its Facilities Operational manual in July 2017. DoD does not have any specific preservation directives; the only cultural resources directive is general DoD instruction 4715.16 “Cultural Resources Management” (issued 2008).
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The National Soldiers Home “Old Main” at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee,WI (photo courtesy National Trust for Historic Preservation/Matthew Gilson)
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In carrying out their agencies’ often multiple missions—energy development and distribution, national defense, economic development, and recreation, to name a few—responders say when implemented as intended, their internal historic preservation policies and the attendant procedures to implement them are effective in ensuring project reviews are completed in a timely manner avoiding delays, and ensuring historic preservation is substantively considered. However, one sticking point is that, based on ACHP experience and Section 3 reporting, some federal agencies’ policies and procedures for identification are only starting to keep up with current property conceptions and thinking in historic preservation, especially in terms of early consultation with Indian tribes and NHOs, identifying and addressing effects to traditional cultural places (TCPs) and cultural landscapes, and in consideration of modernist buildings as potentially significant and worthy of consideration. The larger agencies like BLM, TVA, and GSA are on the forefront of these changing mores and practices. Budgeting for historic property identification: While some agencies (e.g., GSA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA], TVA) reported that they budget expressly for Section 110 surveys, the ACHP continues to see the vast majority of federal historic property identification occurring within the context of the Section 106 process. This is reactive and not proactive, and can lead to unnecessary delays in project review and in allocating scarce resources for property stewardship. While many federal agencies recognize this, and are trying to refocus efforts to support Section 110 surveys
The “Section 110” requirement for survey of historic properties on federal property is in the NHPA: Each Federal agency shall establish a preservation program.The program shall ensure that historic property under the jurisdiction or control of the agency is identified, evaluated, and nominated to the NRHP. 54 U.S.C. § 306102(a) - (b)(1).
USACE Mobile District developed a new tool “RECENTPAST” to assist with management and protection of sites on USACE project lands.This tool consists of digital maps showing culturally sensitive areas overlaid with areas where the District is planning water and land management activities.
The Department of the Air Force implemented standardized and electronic Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan (ICRMP) templates in 2015 and requires all existing and newly developed ICRMPs to utilize the template.This standardization of ICRMPs allows quick review by base, installation support teams, and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center which (1) reduces data call time and energy, (2) allows in-house updates, (3) allows intra-service sharing of lessons learned; and (4) creates a more uniform set of standard operating procedures.
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in part to keep ahead of plans for the reduction of the federal real property inventory and reinvestment in existing infrastructure, in every reporting cycle since 2004 a lack of available resources is the primary challenge to increasing capacity to identify the historic properties they own. The number of agencies citing this as the reason for doing inventory has not improved over the past three years. TVA has a general policy to survey 1,000 acres each year for historic properties. Other agencies allocating for Section 110 inventories gave several reasons for doing so. GSA said,
To remain a step ahead of plans for reinvesting in buildings potentially eligible for the NRHP, GSA’s regional preservation programs budget for Section 110 determinations of eligibility and building preservation plans as part of each region’s yearly due diligence.
Operations of the National Park Service (CR-ONPS) funding source supports research, documentation, stabilization, and conservation of NPS cultural resources, and directly supports the goals of resource stewardship, relevance, and education.These funds support park planning needs relating to proposed development and allow parks to inventory and evaluate cultural resources per the requirements of Section 110 of the NHPA.They also provide for baseline research and treatment guidance that is critical to support the streamlined compliance process for deferred maintenance and infrastructure projects that impact park resources.
NASA reports that while it has made, “a general shift from reactive, Section 106-driven identification to proactive, comprehensive Section 110 identification of historic properties” and now has “comprehensive, gate-to-gate surveys of resources over 45 years of age” at several of its Centers, it also remarked that
... the current climate of federal budgetary restrictions and the move toward commercialization of space exploration means that NASA has less discretionary funding to redirect from mission-critical programs. This can result in the deferral of Section 110 identification and reliance on Section 106 identification, since the latter is required to carry out the physical improvements necessary to advance a project, which is directly attributable to the mission.
As an example, the BOP reports that due to funding restrictions, no identification studies under Section 106 have taken place in the last three years, and it has no funding to address its facilities that are 50 years of age or older. Even agencies with substantial federal historic preservation programs have seen, at best, a flat Cultural Resource Management (CRM) funding and a consequent reduction in (or inability to fill) dedicated full-time employees (FTEs) in recent years. BLM reported that it has approximately 18 CRM vacancies, critical to an agency that manages so much land. While not providing dollar figures, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) noted it was able to bring on three additional CRM positions in FY 2016, but also cautioned that it needed an additional 16 FTEs to meet current requirements. A lack of staff was the major reason FWS cited for the 169 Section 106 undertakings that were not completed in FY 2016, with the proposed activities put on hold.
BLM reports Section 110 activities occur when funding is available and staff can devote their time to those investigations, and is typically focused on high use/high impact areas.
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Historic property information management—the FRPP and other systems: Over the past three years federal agencies have improved their individual databases and reporting standards to better account for their historic properties. This has been achieved in conjunction with the efforts of the Federal Real Property Profile (FRPP) that was created in part to assist agencies in better identifying and managing their real property holdings. The FRPP is managed by the Federal Real Property Council (FRPC), and houses information about the nature, use, and extent of the federal government’s real property assets. It contains data on all executive branch agency real property assets within and outside the United States, including improvements on federal land, except when otherwise required for reasons of national security, in accordance with EO 13327 ( Federal Real Property Management, 2004). A preliminary analysis of patterns and trends in FRPP data on historic properties is presented in Appendix 1. Some agencies also continue to use separate asset management systems because their needs go beyond what the FRPP is designed primarily to document: above-ground real property, so that information on archaeological sites, TCPs, and historic districts is either lacking or incomplete. The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report (Federal Real Property: Improved Data Needed to Strategically Manage Historic Buildings, 2012) recommended that GSA collaborate with FRPC member agencies and others to address the need for improved data on historic buildings in the FRPP. In 2013, the ACHP created a work group to address these concerns. Comprising representatives of GSA, DoD, DHS, VA, DOI (including NPS and BLM), the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the work group developed and approved recommendations to improve the “historical status” field of the FRPP, which were submitted to GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy and incorporated in the 2014 edition (and subsequent editions) of the Data Dictionary. For the most part, though, and aside from formal listing on the NRHP, historic properties information continues to be included in inventories maintained by individual federal agencies, and also by state, tribal, and local governments. This causes problems for a comprehensive, searchable, and accessible inventory of the nation’s historic properties which could provide a strong planning tool, especially in the case of disasters, emergencies, and expanding and updating infrastructure. Linking existing lists of historic properties and expanding them into a comprehensive inventory would require encouraging and supporting use of standards addressing common data formats and management tools, including digitization and GIS interface across federal agency, state, and tribal lines. For the past 10 years, the ACHP has continued to explore the development of such a comprehensive digital inventory of federal historic properties for federal, state, tribal agencies, and industry to assist in meeting the requirements of Sections 106 and 110. The ability to characterize historic properties within a particular area could greatly speed up the siting of new infrastructure and resource extraction that affect historic properties on federal lands. Such an inventory was one recommendation made in the 2007 Preserve America report and in the ACHP’s The National Historic Preservation Program at 50: Priorities and Recommendations for the Future. Such an inventory would include the “information necessary for management, planning, and decision making ... government agencies, Indian tribes, businesses, and citizens need usable information as the basis for decisions on protection, funding, revitalizing, and interpreting historic properties.”
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The importance of partnerships to identify historic properties: While many federal agencies reported on their use of partnerships for resource protection and use, some also entered into agreements for inventory and survey purposes. The common thread in agency responses is the relationship between the federal agency and the SHPOs and, especially for land managing agencies, with Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs) and federally recognized Indian tribes. Most agencies reporting also noted that they partnered with other federal agencies as the need arises, usually because they also owned or managed adjacent resources or had specific kinds of expertise. Highlights: ›› Bureau of Reclamation’s (Reclamation) Grand Coulee Power Office partnered with the Bonneville Power Administration, NPS’s Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, USACE, the Washington and Montana SHPOs, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation to survey 36,977 acres of federal lands for the Federal Columbia River Power System Cultural Resources Management program. ›› US International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) manages site forms and reports on several state databases (e.g., the South Coastal Information Center at San Diego State University, databases for the Arizona and New Mexico SHPOs, and the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory in Austin). ›› DHS notes that a 2017 SHPO survey found that FEMA was ranked No. 2 of all federal agencies in maintaining good working relationships with them. Given that the FRPP is currently not equipped to manage information on archaeological properties, the data collected for the NPS’ Federal Archeology Program’s Secretary’s Report to Congress would seem to have real potential as a tool to track and assess federal archaeology activities.This report is the only one that specifically collected data on the full range of federal agencies’ archaeological stewardship activities—site identification, protection, excavation, reporting, and curation—in a comparable format. Properties located but not evaluated: The ACHP continues to see the trend of cultural resources being located and identified but not evaluated to determine their NRHP significance. This approach often has unforeseen consequences for efficient property management. A major consequence is that these unevaluated properties become what has been termed “persistent resources” that stay on the agency’s books as a form of constant background noise, creating management inefficiencies until decisions are finally made about their significance. Agencies may unnecessarily spend time and scarce money to avoid such properties in their management of them or in future Section 106 reviews.
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BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT ETHNOGRAPHIC ASSESSMENT PARTNERSHIP
Montana BLM continues its partnership with Chief Dull Knife College and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe on an Ecoregional Ethnographic Assessment, which focuses on identifying, documenting, evaluating, and mapping places of traditional religious or cultural significance to the tribe, and identifying culturally important plant and animal species and their associated ecosystems that are critical for the maintenance of Northern Cheyenne cultures and traditions.The tribe benefits by capturing this legacy data for present and future generations. BLM benefits by gaining a better understanding of the tribe’s significant resources and by being able to make more informed land management decisions. BLM plans to begin work with the Crow and Yankton Sioux Tribes on similar projects.
Oral history interviews conducted with members of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe (Photographs courtesy of Chief Dull Knife College, provided by BLM)
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In 2015,TVA partnered with three tribes—Muskogee Creek Nation of Oklahoma, Chickasaw Nation, and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians—to conduct non-invasive geophysical field training and archaeological feature identification at Hiwassee Island in the Tennessee River. The 2015 results were successful enough that TVA initiated another partnership project with the tribes in FY17 to conduct limited ground testing of the features identified earlier.TVA also provided training opportunities for non-archaeologist tribal representatives as part of the excavations.
Investigating the USS Monitor wreck, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, Atlantic Ocean (photo courtesy NOAA)
20 | IN A SPIRIT OF STEWARDSHIP: A REPORT ON FEDERAL HISTORIC PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 2018
CIVIL RIGHTS NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK COURTHOUSES
Three courthouses were designated by the Secretary of the Interior as NHLs within the context of the Theme Study on Civil Rights in America: Racial Voting Rights.These previously NRHP-listed courthouses were designated as NHLs in thematic nominations associated with the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation in public education: the Frank M. Johnson Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse (originally the United States Post Office and Courthouse) in Montgomery, Alabama; the Elbert P.Tuttle U.S. Court of Appeals Building (originally the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse), in Atlanta, Georgia; and the John Minor Wisdom U.S. Court of Appeals Building (originally the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals), in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had jurisdiction in six southeastern states, shaped the Civil Rights Movement with momentous rulings in the wake of nation-changing events, including the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1961 Freedom Rides, the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, and desegregation of southern schools and universities following the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decisions in 1954 and 1955.These rulings served as the basis for pioneering legislative and judicial reform that followed.The three NHL-designated courthouses, as well as GSA’s NRHP-listed former Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station (acquired as part of the courthouse site), are also among several properties—including GSA’s Lewis F. Powell Jr. U.S. Courthouse in Richmond,Virginia, under consideration for inclusion in a World Heritage Site Serial Designation.
The Frank M. Johnson Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Montgomery, AL (photo courtesy Carol M. Highsmith Photography, Inc./GSA)
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