›› The current condition, configuration, and location of supporting facilities, dry docks and equipment limits the improvements that can be made to the Naval Shipyards. In 2020, the Department of the Navy initiated consultation to develop a program alternative for shipyard modernization. Planned growth in both the aircraft carrier and submarine forces will cause further challenges when existing facilities are too small or cannot be retrofitted to accommodate modern vessels. The Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program will provide a strategy for the optimal placement of facilities and major equipment at each public shipyard to improve shipyard performance. As alternatives are developed, the Navy will integrate environmental analyses into the planning process, including consideration of historic properties. The Navy is discussing the development of a nationwide PA to align Section 106 review with this complex nationwide program.
›› USFS is exploring a number of program alternatives:
• To reduce redundancy, increase effectiveness, and improve consistency across the country, USFS intends to pursue a nationwide prototype Programmatic Agreement that consolidates the most common and meaningful components from existing region- and statewide Programmatic Agreements. The ACHP can designate an agreement document as a prototype that can be used for the same type of program or undertaking in more than one program or area, allowing the federal agency to develop and execute the agreement with the appropriate SHPO/THPO without the need for the ACHP’s signature. Specified portions of the agreement allow for tailoring to local needs while the template structure ensures programmatic consistency. The prototype agreement would consolidate procedures for expediting and exempting reviews of common routine management activities that have little to no potential to affect historic properties. The agreement intends to redirect scarce resources toward managing and protecting historic properties when more complex projects are proposed. • To help the agency better address its $5.2 billion deferred maintenance backlog and redirect resources toward maintaining facilities that support the agency mission, USFS is considering a nationwide Program Comment for decommissioning facilities built between 1933-1980. This is intended to create tools and processes for the agency to better navigate the Section 106 process when decommissioning facilities no longer critical to the agency mission. The Program Comment will call for regional historic contexts as a tool to improve determinations of eligibility; an internal review process, whereby qualified personnel may review determinations of eligibility and assessments of effects in lieu of SHPOs; and programmatic mitigation to resolve adverse effects. • To address the agency-wide challenge of timely completion of Section 106 reviews for large-scale, multi-year projects, such as landscape vegetation restoration projects, USFS is developing a nationwide Programmatic Agreement that requires early Section 106 consultation to inform project planning and allows the agency to continue Section 106 activities after the project’s approval as phases of implementation occur. This nationwide agreement would establish an alternative and optional procedure to help USFS in its mission to protect and preserve historic and traditional cultural properties in America’s forests and grasslands for future generations.
IN A SPIRIT OF STEWARDSHIP: A REPORT ON FEDERAL HISTORIC PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 2021 | 33
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