“If we are going to succeed in preserving the greatness of the national parks, they must be held inviolate. They represent the last stands of primitive America. If we are going to whittle away at them we should recognize, at the very beginning, that all such whittlings are cumulative and that the end result will be mediocrity.” – Newton Drury
When the National Historic Preservation Act was enacted in 1966, it began a new era in the preservation of America’s historic properties. One part of this act, called Section 106, became a particularly influential piece of the law. Section 106 is a cornerstone in the ways that the National Park Service protects the historic properties in its care and ensures that all federal agencies make the best decisions possible in protecting our nation’s heritage by considering the effects of their undertakings.
Think of Section 106 as a required conversation with states and local governments, native peoples, and interested parties about how historic properties will be impacted by your federal actions. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has issued guidelines for us to follow in this regard.
Do you have a Section 106 question? Visit the Section 106 – Ask an Expert Forum for advice on Section 106 issues.