ACHP 2021 Section 3 Report to the President


As more properties associated with the role of the federal government in advancing science and technology in the late 20th century become eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, they present unique management challenges for federal agencies in preserving their significant characteristics while enabling ongoing use. In 1991, in response to a joint request from the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands, and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, the ACHP undertook an analysis of preservation issues concerning federal support for highly scientific and technical facilities. The report addressed contemporary perceptions that NHPA compliance was incompatible with scientific research and highly technical operations and affirmed that the Section 106 regulations offered adequate flexibility to accommodate the legitimate needs of the scientific and engineering community and their activities at historic facilities. The ACHP observed a trend over the past several years of an increasing number of highly scientific and technical facilities being identified as historic properties. Given the significant national achievements in science, space exploration, and many other arenas of human endeavor being identified, which continue to be recognized for their historic value, the ACHP sees an opportunity to support federal agencies to continue the balance of historic preservation needs with the operation of these highly technical and scientific facilities.


›› The ACHP should work with federal agencies that manage scientific and technical facilities (e.g. NASA, Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Defense) to update the Section 106 guidance for highly scientific and technical facilities. ›› Federal agencies should explore the use of program alternatives to establish strategies to enable the ongoing use of scientific and technical facilities while encouraging preservation of their significant components to the extent possible.


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