ACHP is an independent agency that works with federal, state, local, and tribal governments to address the requirements in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which mandates their consideration of historic preservation values when planning activities. The ACHP is also the primary policy adviser to the President and Congress on historic preservation issues and it helps carry out the interagency Preserve America Initiative that encourages increased local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets.
In 1966 the National Historic Preservation Act established ACHP as the first federal entity created solely to focus on historic preservation issues. It was structured to include a combination of federal, state, and local government representatives, experts in the field, and citizens, so the public would be ensured to have a forum for influencing federal policy that impacts historic properties. Since then, Section 106 of the Act, and many others, have been amended, most recently in 2000, to help federal institutions meet the broad goals the original Act put forth. In 1971 Executive Order 11593 required federal agencies, before taking any grant, license or permit actions, to identify properties as historic, based on their being in, or eligible for listing in, the National Register of Historic Places, and to provide ACPH a reasonable amount of time to comment in advance on any historic property undertakings. In 2003 the White House Preserve America (WHPA) initiative added further dimension to the ACHP, including charging it with administering the WHPA program, which recognizes communities that protect and celebrate their local heritage, and overseeing the Preserve America Presidential Awards project that each year gives out four such honors, two for activities advancing heritage tourism and two for privately funded historic preservation projects or programs.
Among the responsibilities of the ACHP:
The Historic Preservation Fund was established as part of the NHPA to help fund preservation projects. Congress has authorized up to $150 million to be earmarked for the fund, although that maximum is not met in annual budgets.
ACHP Opposes Wind Energy Project Off Cape Cod
John L. Nau, III
In June 2010, President Barack Obama appointed architect Milford Wayne Donaldson to be Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), the nation’s lead agency on historic preservation. ACHP is an independent agency that works with federal, state, local, and tribal governments to address the requirements of the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which mandates consideration of historic preservation values when planning development. The ACHP is also the primary policy advisor to the President and Congress on historic preservation issues and it helps carry out the inter-agency Preserve America Initiative, which encourages increased local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets. Oddly, Donaldson is the first architect to serve as chair in the 45-year history of ACHP.