Federal Requirements for Statewide Historic Preservation Plans

Every few years, based upon the timeframe for the existing approved plan, each State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) initiates a statewide planning process that examines historic and cultural resource conditions and preservation practices and issues across the state. While the SHPO leads this effort, the process is dependent on input from the public, such as private citizens, owners of historic properties, preservation professionals, academia, preservation partners and organizations (non-profit and otherwise), American Indian tribes, federal and state agencies, local governments, and many others. The planning process can take up to two years and is complex. To ensure that each planning process and final product meet basic and consistent nationwide planning goals, the federal government sets minimum requirements for these planning efforts.


Section 101(b)(3)(C) of the National Historic Preservation Act of1966, as amended (54 U.S.C. §302303). This is the broad mandate for SHPOs to undertaking statewide preservation planning. "It shall be the responsibility of the State Historic Preservation Officer to administer the State Historic Preservation Program and to... prepare and implement a comprehensive statewide historic preservation plan.


Procedures for State, Tribal, and Local Government Historic Preservation Programs (36 CFR 61.4). The regulation further defines the SHPO's task: "The SHPO must carry out a historic preservation planning process that includes the development and implementation of a comprehensive statewide historic preservation plan that provides guidance for effective decision making about historic property preservation throughout the State.


Historic Preservation Fund Grants Manual, primarily set out in Chapter 6, Section G., statewide preservation plans must meet these requirements in order to be approved by the NPS on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior.  The requirements help ensure that...

  • significant and meaningful public participation occurs during the planning process

  • the final plan identifies significant issues affecting historic resources, proposes realistic solutions to those issues, and set priorities for preservation action during the life cycle of the plan.

To better understand the requirements, please review Planning Tips for Developing a Statewide Historic Preservation Plan.

Last updated: April 10, 2021