The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our nation’s diverse historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. It also provides a forum for influencing federal activities, programs, and policies that affect historic properties. The ACHP promotes historic preservation to foster understanding of the nation’s heritage and the contribution that historic preservation can make to contemporary communities and their economic and social well-being.
A significant goal of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which established the ACHP in 1966, is to have federal agencies act as responsible stewards of our nation’s resources. The ACHP is the only entity with the legal responsibility to encourage federal agencies to factor historic preservation into federal project requirements. Under Section 106 of the NHPA, the ACHP (with assistance and involvement from state and tribal partners) reviews federal and federally-assisted actions affecting historic properties to ensure that historic preservation needs are balanced with project requirements. The ACHP has also made significant contributions to national preservation practice through its work in support of Native American heritage, community revitalization, tax policy, public archaeology, and heritage tourism, among other concerns.
As part of the ACHP’s recognition of its 50th anniversary, the agency has created a review and summary of major preservation policies and practices championed by the ACHP over its history. This review is complemented by a historical timeline along with a collection of Section 106 Success Stories that illustrate the impact the Section 106 process has had on the preservation of our heritage. Other work in conjunction with the anniversary, including a set of policy recommendations for improving the national historic preservation program in the future, may also be found here.