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Home arrowNews arrowNovember 26, 2014

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Develops Prototype Programmatic Agreement That Can Give States More Time Savings and Predictability in Completing Historic Preservation Reviews

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is pleased to announce it has designated a Prototype Programmatic Agreement (PA) for the use of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The ACHP's guidance letter, as well as the Prototype PA can be found here.

Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), federal agencies must consider the effect of their undertakings upon historic properties. NRCS, in coordination with the ACHP has developed an innovative approach that gives states and stakeholders more predictability in how they take into account the effects of their programs on historic properties while carrying out the important NRCS work that provides assistance to farmers and landowners throughout the United States.  

When a federal agency uses a Prototype PA, the agency may develop and execute subsequent agreements with the appropriate State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) without the need for ACHP participation in consultation or execution of the agreement. This program alternative will allow NRCS to ensure that consistent measures to address the impacts of its programs on historic properties are applied in each agreement negotiated pursuant to the PA while allowing individual agreements to be tailored to conditions in each state.

In order to assist stakeholders in using the Prototype PA, the ACHP has developed a frequently asked questions document. We hope this answers most of your questions, but if not, please contact Sarah Bridges, the NRCS Federal Preservation Officer via email at sarah.bridges@wdc.usda.gov or (202) 720-4912.

If the ACHP can be of further assistance in answering questions regarding the designation of the Prototype PA, please contact Chris Wilson at cwilson@achp.gov or 202-517-0229.

 

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