Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is an independent agency of the United States government that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of the nation's historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.
The goal of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), which established ACHP in 1966, is to have Federal agencies act as responsible stewards of the nation's resources when their actions affect historic properties. ACHP is the only entity with the legal responsibility to encourage Federal agencies to factor historic preservation into Federal project requirements.
As directed by the National Historic Preservation Act, ACHP serves as the primary federal policy advisor to the President and Congress; recommends administrative and legislative improvements for protecting the nation's heritage; advocates full consideration of historic values in federal decisionmaking; and reviews Federal programs and policies to promote effectiveness, coordination, and consistency with national preservation policies.
On May 31, 2002 the membership of the ACHP adopted a mission statement.
"The mission of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation is to promote the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our Nation's historic resources, and advise the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy."
Statutorily, the ACHP has a significant role under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Under that section, Federal agencies have to take into account the effects of their undertakings on properties listed, or eligible for listing, on the National Register of Historic Places, and give the ACHP a reasonable opportunity to comment.
The ACHP has issued regulations setting forth how agencies comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. They are found at 36 C.F.R. part 800 (2004).
The ACHP consists of 23 members from various federal agencies, local and state governments, the public and outside organizations. All but two of the members are appointed by the President of the United States. Membership, as laid out in the 1966 Historic Preservation Act includes, the ACHP chairman, appointed by the President of the United States, who is selected from the general public. Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, who was the first architect to be appointed California State Historic Preservation Officer from 2004-2012, is chairman with a term of office: 2010-2013.
In addition, the president also appoints other members, including the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Architect of the Capitol, four heads of other federal agencies whose activities concern historic preservation, a state governor, a mayor, four experts from the field of historic preservation (specializing in architecture, history or archeology), three members of the general public, and one member of an Indian tribe or a Native Hawaiian organization. The two members of the ACHP not appointed by the U.S. president are the president of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and the Chairman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The ACHP members who are the heads of other Federal agencies serve on the ACHP as long as they hold their head of agency positions. The president of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, the Chairman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Architect of the Capitol are ex officio members of the ACHP, and therefore serve on the ACHP as long as they hold their mentioned positions. Mayors and governors serve for terms that last as long as they are serving in an elected capacity as mayor or governor but no longer than four years. The citizen (including the Chairman), expert, and Indian tribe/Native Hawaiian organization members of the ACHP all serve four year terms.
ACHP's 23 statutorily designated members, including the chairman who heads the agency, address policy issues, direct program initiatives, and make recommendations regarding historic preservation to the President, Congress, and heads of other Federal agencies. Members meet four times per year to conduct business.
An Executive Committee, headed by the Chairman and Vice Chairman, governs agency operations such as management, budget, legislative policy, and oversight of the most prominent Section 106 cases. Also on the Executive Committee are ACHP members who chair three standing committees that correspond to ACHP's three program areas.
The "Preservation Initiatives" program area focuses on partnerships and program initiatives such as heritage tourism to promote preservation with groups such as State and local governments, Indian tribes, and the private sector. The ACHP and Department of the Interior jointly administer the Preserve America program.
The "Communications, Education, and Outreach" program area conveys ACHP's vision and message to constituents and the general public through public information and education programs, and a public recognition program for historic preservation achievement.
The "Federal Agency Programs" program area administers the National Historic Preservation Act's Section 106 review process and works with federal agencies to help improve how they consider historic preservation values in their programs.
- About ACHP: General Information," Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, Official site. Retrieved 21 March 2007.
- National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, National Register of Historic Places, Official site. Retrieved 21 March 2007.
- "ACHP:John L. Nau, III". Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Official Web Site. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. 2009-07-24. Archived from the original on 14 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
- About the ACHP: General Information, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation website, accessed July 26, 2010
- The Preserve America Program, brochure, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, retrieved July 26, 2010