National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program: Landscape Initiative

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


National Register Landscape Initiative/Maritime Cultural Landscape Proceedings
National Register of Historic Places/National Park Service 


[Photo]Will Rogers Park Gardens and Arboretum
Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society, photograph by JoAnne Vervinck


The National Park Service has initiated a study of the nomination of landscapes to the National Register of Historic Places.  The effort is called the “National Register Landscape Initiative” (NRLI). It involves a number of stakeholders in the National Register program, especially those with an interest or expertise in landscape issues. For several months they will be meeting by webinar to identify and discuss the issues that hinder or foster landscape nominations.

A core group of participants is composed of NPS staff members from the National Register and park cultural landscapes programs, and preservation partners in in state, tribal, and federal historic preservation offices. A review group, drawn from the same stakeholders, will review documents prepared by the core group. Participants responded to a wide recruitment effort that took place early in 2013.

[Photo]Hallet Peak from Lake Haiyaho Trail
Photo by Elderhiker via flickr used through creative commons license

The first task of the NRLI will be an examination of current practices and existing guidance, with the end goal of establishing best practice guidance and increasing the attention paid to landscapes in nominations. Participants will review the guidance provided about landscapes in the National Register bulletins, and determine what additional guidance is needed, where inconsistencies need to be resolved, and what types of landscapes need to be better addressed by the program.They will also consider how the National Register form might better facilitate the nomination of landscapes and how agencies can better address cultural landscapes in the Section 106 process. Particular attention will be paid to efforts in place at the national parks, where a high standard for cultural landscape inventories has been established.

If you have any questions or comments about this initiative, please email or call Barbara Wyatt. Barbara can be reached at or at 202-354-2252.

Publications (pdfs):



NRLI Background Materials: (kickoff materials and webinars)