CULTIVATING SKILLS AND RESOURCES FOR HISTORIC PROPERTY MAINTENANCE Comprehensive management of federal historic properties requires that federal agencies have or can obtain expertise in historic preservation fields, including the traditional building trades. Where access to a skilled workforce is limited, agencies can encounter delays in repairing historic properties that may lead to deterioration or loss. For many years learned skills in the traditional trades have been in slow decline. Federal agencies share an interest with all other owners and managers of historic properties in ensuring an adequate workforce in the traditional trades is available to future rehabilitation and maintenance projects. The ACHP created a Traditional Trades Training Task Force to explore how the federal government, along with nonfederal partners, can promote the development of a workforce in the skilled preservation trades. The Task Force’s goal is to build a preservation ethic in construction trades and highlight the worth of skilled craft workers. To that end, the Task Force has considered key issues regarding preservation trades, including credentialing, apprenticeships, and curriculum development. As part of this exploration of current opportunities and future possibilities, the group developed recommendations for federal action that have been collected in an ACHP policy statement released in 2020. More recognizable opportunities for workforce development and training in the traditional trades not only would help address the shortage of skilled tradespeople, a problem critical to the maintenance of historic places in federal care, but also would contribute to economic recovery and wellbeing through career pathways that benefit local communities. The federal government can play an important role in promoting traditional trades training. NPS already makes a significant contribution through the work of the agency’s Historic Preservation Training Center, Western Center for Historic Preservation, and National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. Expanding the scope and scale of traditional trades training in America will require broadening federal engagement. Federal historic properties are already serving as learning laboratories for conservation corps Register, maintaining data within the current agency electronic system of record, and meeting the specific obligations for heritage assets and stewardship land. The document was updated to reflect the current business practices and organization structure of CBP. ›› In 2019, the Department of Commerce undertook a significant rewrite of the 2012 Energy and Environmental Management Manual and renamed it the Environmental Management Manual , which includes completely rewriting the chapter on cultural resource management. After the document is approved, NOAA intends to adopt it and, if needed, add any agency specific policies to promote awareness, identification, and protection of historic properties. ›› In 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) secured $50,000 for the first year of a four-year agency-wide National Register Listing evaluation project, the first of its kind for FWS. Determining National Register eligibility is a primary step in populating a ranking system that can be used to better fund and use agency historic resources. As of May 2020, 1,542 assets have been reviewed under this eligibility study; 425 have been determined eligible; 637 have been determined not eligible, and 480 may be eligible to the National Register but require additional study for a conclusive determination.
IN A SPIRIT OF STEWARDSHIP: A REPORT ON FEDERAL HISTORIC PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 2021 | 41
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