Proposed negative changes to the National Register will not be implemented, thanks to advocates like you!

In April of 2019, the National Parks Service proposed some changes to the laws which guide and regulate the listing of properties to the National Register of Historic Places. These changes threatened to undermine the spirit under which the Register was first established by law, to give unfair and undemocratic advantage to the wealthy, and to give the power of saving a significant property to the federal government rather than the state and local authorities. These changes would have affected both architectural and archaeological resources.

The proposed changes sought to eliminate the voice of the SHPO’s when it came to Federal properties, or land under control of a Federal agency. This would have included everything from a local historic post office to tracts of ancient and sacred Native American land. It was a clear and transparent attempt to open-up protected (or protectable) land for development. Another change to the rules would have been a shift in the very concept of the one-person, one-vote concept giving the “veto power” the largest property owner within a proposed district.

These protocol changes were all geared toward the same end: to reduce state and local power in favor of the federal government and to open up protected land to development and destruction. However, thanks to the advocacy work of preservation groups and ordinary citizens across the country. This kind of advocacy is as crucial now as it was in the earliest days of historic preservation in America. To all our neighbors who sent their comments to the NPS, or who contacted their local representatives and told them not to pursue these changes – thank you!

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation