The National Register of Historic Places saves historic places. The National Park Service (NPS) recently proposed a number of troubling changes to the rules relating to the National Register nomination process and the Section 106 consultation process. These changes, by basing listing decisions on subjective factors rather than simply on the ability to meet the established eligibility benchmarks of significance and integrity, have the potential to substantially reduce the number of viable nominations for historic districts and for federally-owned properties to get listed on the National Register. The deadline for comments is Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

About the Proposed Rule Changes:

The Proposed Rule Changes would limit the ability of residents, State Historic Preservation Officers, and preservation-minded real estate developers to influence National Register listing decisions in their own communities.

In essence, the Proposed Rule Changes would:

  • Allow private owner(s) of the majority of the land area within a proposed historic district to veto the nomination. This change would eliminate the principle of one person, one vote from the National Register, and would subvert the premise of the National Register by making land ownership the deciding factor in whether a historic district can be listed. This proposed change is particularly troubling as it would make it more difficult to use Historic Tax Credits, which require listing on the National Register, as opposed to merely eligibility for listing.
  • Negatively impact the Section 106 consultation process by allowing federal agencies to block nominations of federally-owned properties. Currently, any person or organization may nominate federally-owned property, on the principle that federal properties belong to the people, not a federal agency. The ability of federal agencies to block nominations also would extend to National Register eligibility
  • Fail to consider the concerns of State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and other Federal Agencies. None were consulted prior to releasing these proposed rule changes.

For more information on the proposed rule changes and their implications , please see the information posted by our friends with the National Trust for Historic Preservation on the National Trust’s Preservation Leadership Forum.

How You Can Comment:

  • Submit comments before Tuesday, April 30 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Submit comments by email. For an easy way to comment by email, please see the information posted by our friends with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and their convenient email form and send your comment today to the NPS.

Thank you for helping to maintain a robust National Register program. Please send in your comments TODAY!

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