Tribal Historic Preservation Office Grant Program
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    THPO Grants

    Cultural Resources National Park Service

Tribal Historic Preservation Grants

The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) provides annually appropriated funding to Tribes that have signed agreements with the National Park Service designating them as having an approved Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) to protect and conserve important Tribal cultural and historic assets and sites. The grant funding assists THPOs in executing their tribe's historic preservation programs and activities pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, and other relevant laws.

Program Overview

Since 1996, THPOs have received HPF funds to assist preservation activities. Costs covered include staff salaries, archeological and architectural surveys, review and compliance activities, comprehensive preservation studies, National Register nominations, educational programs, and other preservation-related activities. These grants are not competitively awarded. The amount granted to each THPO is determined by formula developed in consultation with the tribes.

Source of Historic Preservation Fund

Established in the 1976 amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act (the Act), the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) is the source of preservation grants and financial assistance to States, Tribes, local governments, and non-profits. The Act allows States and Tribes to participate in the national historic preservation program by appointing a State or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO/THPO) to survey, document, and record historic properties and guide preservation activities at the State and Tribal levels. The HPF provides the money necessary for States and Tribes to implement these activities.

Funding for the HPF does not come from taxpayer dollars, but rather from offshore oil and gas lease revenues. The idea is that the use of one non-renewable resource benefits the preservation of other irreplaceable resources. The HPF is authorized at $150 million annually, which means that each year $150 million is deposited into the HPF from the sale of off shore oil and gas leases. Congress then appropriates money from the Fund to allow SHPOs and THPOs to carry out the mandates of the Act.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) HPF annual award, the tribe must have:
  • an approved THPO agreement with National Park Service (NPS)
  • a single, appointed, permanent or acting THPO
  • no outstanding prior HPF grant reports, problems or audit findings
  • no outstanding reports due under the NPS/THPO agreement
  • no other issue that would legally bar the tribe from receiving Federal funds

Apportionment Formula for Awarding HPF funds to THPOs

Congress annually appropriates funds from the HPF that NPS awards to tribes to support both the THPO and the Tribal Heritage Grant program. From the total appropriation, NPS allots a small amount, typically about 10%, of the appropriation, to fund project grants under the Tribal Heritage Grant Program. The remaining funds are divided among the eligible THPOs to support each tribe’s HPO program. The amount of each tribe’s award is calculated using the apportionment formula that was developed in consultation with THPOs (see formula below). NPS then prepares an apportionment certificate for signature by the Secretary of the Interior.

Apportionment Formula

Approximately 80% of the total appropriation is divided equally among all THPOs and the remaining 20% is apportioned based the area of Tribal lands as defined in the National Historic Preservation Act.

Applying for Financial Assistance and Managing Grant Awards

Detailed guidance on the requirements of the THPO grants are contained in the Historic Preservation Fund Grants Manual. Application information, reporting forms, and other important information for THPO grant managers may be found by following the links above.

If you would like to be included in all general information emails regarding THPO HPF grants, please add your contact information here. By doing so, you will receive emails regarding the availability of annual funding, updates on application and reporting due dates, alerts, and notices of training and educational sessions.