Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

Laws and regulations such as Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the State of New Hampshire’s RSA 227-C guide federal and state project development towards avoiding adverse impacts to significant cultural resources in the Granite State.

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, was passed primarily to acknowledge the importance of protecting our nation's heritage from federal development and was the triumph of more than a century of struggle by a grassroots movement of committed preservationists.

Some key elements from the Act:

  • Sets the federal policy for preserving our nation's heritage
  • Establishes a federal-state and federal-tribal partnership
  • Establishes the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Programs
  • Mandates the selection of qualified State Historic Preservation Officers
  • Establishes the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
  • Charges Federal Agencies with responsible stewardship
  • Establishes the role of Certified Local Governments within the States

Soon after, the State of New Hampshire enacted its own legislation regarding historic preservation known as RSA 227-C. In Section 227-C:1-a, Findings and Purpose, the law states, "The general court determined that the historical, archeological, architectural, engineering, and cultural heritage of New Hampshire is one of the most important environmental assets of the state and that the rapid social and economic development of contemporary society threatens the remaining vestiges of this heritage; therefore, it is hereby declared to be public policy and in the public interest of this state to engage in a comprehensive program of historic preservation to promote the use and conservation of such property for the education, inspiration, pleasure, and enrichment of the citizens of New Hampshire."

Further, 227-C:9, Directive for Cooperation in the Protection of Historic Resources, notes that "all state agencies, departments, commissions, and institutions shall fully cooperate with the division in the location, identification, evaluation and management of historic resources, and to that end shall provide the division with appropriate information on all state licensed, assisted, or contracted projects, activities, or programs so that the division may determine the effect of such undertakings on historic resources."

The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources works under these, and other environmental laws, as part of its regulatory review responsibilities.