First Annual National Park Service Historic Preservation Conference
NPS Logo

Bill Brown

For purposes of discussion, Mr. Brown called Section 106 and the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the best friend that historic preservation ever had. Section 106 and Executive Order 11593 provide the force-of-law mandates needed to rationalize National Park Service management of cultural resources. No longer does the criterion of administrative convenience govern our historic preservation measures. Nor can the enadvertancies of demolition by neglect be sanctioned. (See following paper by Larry Norby, Southwest Region, Division of Archeology.)

Section 106 and the Executive Order, as applied to National Register or potential National Register properties within the National Park System, give us opportunity to quantify numbers of properties and needed dollars for preservation of cultural resources.

Section 106 compliance procedures provide a legally sanctioned mode of resolution by which to balance management factors against preservation obligations. These procedures force our scrutiny of plans that may be anachronous or theoretically wrong for the cultural resource involved; thus we have a means to overcome the inertial momentum of the planning process. If our planning has properly taken account of the criteria of effect on cultural properties, Section 106 compliance becomes simply a confirmation of good planning, rather than a mode of gratuitous controversy.

To reduce the burden on area managers for Section 106 compliance the following procedures are used in Southwest Regional Office:

1. With respect to any proposed plan or project in your park, apply the Criteria of Effect published by the Advisory Council in the Federal Register.

2. If there is any possibility that the plan or project will produce an effect (beneficial or adverse) on cultural resources of National Register caliber (potential or already listed), notify this Office and compliance assistance will be rendered by the divisions of history and archeology.

3. Similarly, apply the criteria and notify this Office if undertakings by other Federal agencies (whether their direct action or their support of State- or local-agency action) might affect National Register caliber properties in your park.

<<< Previous <<< Contents>>> Next >>>

Last Updated: 14-Jul-2009