April 5, 2019

Proposed Rule Changes to National Register of Historic Places Nominations

The National Park Service (NPS) recently proposed making substantial, troubling changes to the rules that govern nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is an important repository of information about the nation’s historic places that also serves significant regulatory purposes. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires consultation for federal undertakings that could affect properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register. Properties listed on the National Register are also eligible to access federal historic tax credits (HTCs) to support revitalization efforts.

The NPS’ proposed rule changes would primarily concern National Register nominations of federally owned properties and the process whereby property owners in historic districts object to nominations. The NPS is soliciting public comments on this proposed rulemaking until April 30, 2019.

To learn more about the proposed changes, head to Preservation Leadership Forum, the network of preservation professionals brought together by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

What Can We Do?

The proposed rule changes are likely to create a host of both intended and unintended barriers to good preservation outcomes, and now is the moment to oppose them. Express your concerns, and stand up for the integrity of the National Register!

  1. Submit comments on the proposed regulations by April 30, 2019. Your voice counts! Agencies are required to consider public comments during the rule-making process.
  2. Make it local. In your comments, include examples of how the proposed regulations are likely to interfere with preservation successes in your community. Also, think about examples of a successful National Register listing, Section 106 review, or HTC development project that would have been thwarted by the new rules.
  3. Share information with other historic preservation advocates. Share this post with colleagues and others in your network, and encourage them to submit comments by April 30.

By: Sharee Williamson and Elizabeth S. Merritt

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