Your history, and that everyone who ever lived in the territory now known as the USA, is at risk. Please tell your rep that you do not conider changing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act to be in the best interests of the American people (or anyone else's, for that matter...).
The National Parks subcommittee of the Natural Resources Committee
of the U.S. Congress is considering a substantive change to Section 106
of the National Historic Preservation Act. The proposed change
will mean that only those historic properties already on the
National Register of Historic Places, and those already formally
determined as Eligible by the Secretary of the Interior, will be
considered by federal agencies when carrying out or licensing
This will remove thousands of unknown and uninventoried historic places
from protection under the National Historic Preservation Act. There
will no longer be any requirement to identify and evaluate properties
under the Section 106 provisions. Cultural resources of untold
significance will be impacted by this change if it is implemented.
The chair of the subcommittee is Rep Devin Nunes of California.
If this change goes through, the very time-consuming process of _full entry_ into the National Registry of Historic Landmark will be the only protection, and landowners will be able to veto the protective process if they would rather, say, build a laundromat than maintain a landmark or place of historic significance: a Paleoindian campsite, a Hopewell earthwork, a 19th century tavern, the chicken coop in Kentucky where one of the men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima was born.
Making something 'eligible' for the Registry and its protection is much faster and easier than the full registration, which many state historical resource departments don't have the resources to do. Those in favor of making it easier for business to develop national heritage into private gain think the outcry of archaeologists against these proposed changes is just an attempt to feather their own nests (something no developer would ever consider, of course). Please encourage people outside the digging community, as well as those inside, to protest this threat to our past and present.
Full text of draft changes
Section 1. short title.
This Act may be cited as the "National Historic Preservation Act Amendments
Sec. 2. owner participation in nomination process.
(a) Effect of Objection. Section 101(a)(6) of the National Historic
Preservation Act (16 U. S. C. 470a(a) (6)) is amended by striking ",such
property" in the second sentence and all that follows through the end of
the third sentence and inserting the following: ", no further processing of
the nomination, including making any determination regarding the eligibility
of the property or district for such inclusion or designation, shall be
undertaken until the objection is withdrawn.".
(b) Regulations.-The regulations required by section 101(a)(6) of the
National Historic Preservation Act (16 U. S. C. 470a(a)(6)), as amended by
subsection (a), shall be promulgated in final form not later than one year
after the date of the enactment of this Act.
sec.3. additional criteria for certification of local governments to carry
out national historic preservation act.
Section 101(c)(1) of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U. S. C.
(1) by striking "and at the end of subparagraph (D);
(2) by redesignating subparagraph (E) as sub-paragraph (F);
(3) by inserting after subparagraph (D) the following new subparagraph:
"(E) agrees, if the local government in-tends to use an eligibility
determination regarding inclusion of property on the National Register to
trigger local regulatory requirements, to also provide full due process
protection to the owner of the property through a separate hearing process;
(4) in the matter below the subparagraphs, by striking "through (E)"and
inserting "through (F)".
sec. 4. consideration of effect of federal undertakings
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U. S. C. 470f) is
amended by striking "or eligible for inclusion in" and inserting ", or
determined by the Secretary to be eligible for inclusion in,".
Sec. 5. historic preservation fund.
Section 108 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U. S. C. 470h) is
amended by striking "2006" and inserting "2012".
sec 6. advisory council on historic preservation.
(a) Membership.--section 201 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16
U. S. C. 470i) Is Amended.--
(1) in subsection (a)(4), by striking "four" and inserting "seven";
(2) in subsection (b), by striking "(5) and (6)" and inserting "paragraph
(3) in subsection (f), by striking "Nine" and inserting "Eleven".
(b) Financial and Administrative services.- Section 205(f) of such Act ( 16
U.S.C 470m(f)) is amended to read as follows:
"(f) Financial and administrative services (including those related to
budgeting, accounting, financial reporting, personnel and procurement) shall
be provided the Council by the Department of the Interior or, at the
discretion of the Council, such other agency or private entity that reaches
and agreement with the Council, for which payments shall be made in advance
or by reimbursement from funds of the Council in such amounts as may be
agreed upon by the Chairman of the Council and head of the agency or, in the
case of a private entity, the authorized representative of the private
entity that will provide the services. When a Federal agency affords such
services, the regulations of that agency for the collection of indebtedness
of personnel resulting from erroneous payments, prescribed under section
5514(b) of title 5, United States Code, shall apply to the collection of
erroneous payments made to or on behalf of a Council employee, and
regulations of that agency for the administrative control of funds under
sections 1513(d) and 1514 of title 31, United States Code, shall apply to
appropriations of the Council. The Council shall not be required to
prescribe such regulations.".
(c) Donation Authority.-section 205(g) of Such Act (16 U.S.c. 470m(g)) Is
(1) by striking "obtain," and inserting "solicit and obtain,"; and
(2) by striking "may also receive" and inserting "may also solicit and
(d) Authorization of Appropriations.-Section 212(a) of such Act (16 U.S.C.
470t(a)) is amended by striking "in each fiscal year 1997 through 205" and
inserting "for fiscal year 2006, $5,000,000 for each of the fiscal years
2007 and 2008, and $6,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2009 through
sec. 7. effectiveness of federal grant and assistance programs in meeting
purposes and policies of the national historic preservation act.
The National Historic Preservation Act is amended by inserting after section
215 (16 U.S.C. 470v-1) the following new section:
"sec.216. effectiveness of federal grant and assistance programs.
"(a) Cooperative Agreements.--The Council may enter into a cooperative
agreement with any Federal agency that administers a grant or assistance
program for the purpose of improving the effectiveness of the administration
of such program in meeting the purposes and policies of this Act. Such
cooperative agreements may include provisions that modify the selection
criteria for a grant or assistance program to further the purposes of this
Act or that allow the Council to participate in the selection of recipients,
if such provisions are not inconsistent with the statutory authorization and
purpose of the grant assistance program.
"(b) Review of Grant and Assistance Pro-
grams.--the Council may.--
"(1) review the operation of any Federal grant or assistance program to
evaluate the effectiveness of such program in meeting the purposes and
policies of this Act;
"(2) make recommendations to the head of the Federal agency that administers
the grant or assistance program to further the consistence of the program
with the purposes and policies of this Act and to improve the effectiveness
of the grant or assistance program in carrying out those purposes and
"(3) make recommendations to the President and the Congress regarding the
effectiveness of Federal grant and assistance programs in meeting the
purposes and policies of this Act, including recommendations with regard to
appropriate funding levels.".
Please feel free to cite or copy this entry.