Historic preservation reviewed

March 01, 2009|By Tyeesha Dixon | Tyeesha Dixon,tyeesha.dixon@baltsun.com

A national historic preservation panel has submitted seven recommendations for the country's preservation program, Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer has announced.

The Expert Panel to Explore Improvements to the National Historic Preservation Program, on which Moyer served as the only municipal official, recently presented its findings to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, an independent federal agency in Washington, Moyer said.

The 10-member "stakeholder" panel was created last year to evaluate the program and update policies regarding national preservation programs. The panel included federal, state, local and tribal officials.

"What this plan does is ... bring a new visibility to the whole issue of historic preservation," Moyer said.

"Past, present and future are all woven together in all elements of preservation."

The recommendations are:

* Create a chairperson, who is appointed by the president of the United States and approved by the Senate, to lead the agency full-time as part of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

* Establish an Office of Preservation Policy and Procedure in the Office of the Secretary of the Interior to oversee implementation of the National Historic Preservation Act.

* Create an associate director for cultural resources in the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

* Fully implement the section of that act that allows the appointment and visibility of federal preservation officers.

* Fully fund the Historic Preservation Fund and allocate additional funds to the Tribal Historic Preservation Offices.

* Enhance the visibility and capacity of tribal preservation efforts through training for tribal leaders, creating a position to address Native American Issues and dispensing adequate funding to the Tribal Historic Preservation Offices and the Native Advisory Group.

* Expand resources to support Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, which gives the advisory council the authority to comment before any undertakings to be included in the National Register are made with federal funds.

To view the full report, visit www.achp.gov.

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