Public Lands and Places

The National Trust works to protect diverse historic and cultural sites on our public lands to preserve our national heritage for future generations.

Our public lands contain diverse and iconic cultural landscapes, historic structures, and archaeological sites that belong to all Americans. We at the National Trust for Historic Preservation help save them by advocating to designate or permanently protect historic places located on federally owned land and supporting the essential laws and policies that preserve these iconic resources. Our focus: ensuring that federal land management agencies recognize and successfully achieve their stewardship responsibilities for cultural and historic resources.

The National Trust's Partner-Centered Approach to Public Lands

America’s federal public lands have stunning scenic beauty and contain diverse and important cultural landscapes, historic structures, and archaeological sites that belong to all of us. These resources represent our shared history and are part of our nation's multi-layered story. Historic and cultural sites on public lands are a diverse, informative, and irreplaceable part of our national heritage, and we believe we must work together to preserve them for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

For decades, the National Trust has advocated for preserving historic and cultural resources on public lands, with an emphasis on partnering with preservation organizations, conservation groups, tribes, industry and recreational users of public lands, as well as the federal agencies that steward these places. The National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management alone manage approximately 330 million acres of land in the United States that are rich in a wide variety of historic resources.

As part of our extensive efforts to save cultural resources and historic places on federal public lands, the National Trust plays a leadership role in supporting federal designations that permanently protect historic and cultural resources, advocates for robust funding to support agency stewardship responsibilities and staffing, develops educational resources, and facilitates increased public awareness and participation for regional and nationwide efforts to save historic places.

Support the Antiquities Act

Partners in Preservation: Zion National Park

The Antiquities Act, our nation’s oldest law protecting features on public lands, has enabled 18 presidents from both parties to swiftly protect historic sites and culturally important lands.