Established in the 1976 amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act (the Act), the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) is the source of preservation grants and financial assistance to states, Tribes, local governments, and non-profits. The Act allows states and Tribes to participate in the National Historic Preservation Program by appointing a State or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO/THPO) to perform, or have performed, survey, document, and record historic properties and guide preservation activities at the State and Tribal levels. The HPF provides the money necessary for states and Tribes to implement these activities. The funds are administered by the National Park Service (NPS)
Funding for the HPF does not come from taxpayer dollars, but rather from offshore oil and gas lease revenues. The idea is that the use of one non-renewable resource is somewhat counter-balanced by the benefits of preserving other irreplaceable resources. The HPF is authorized at $150 million annually, which means that each year $150 million is deposited into the HPF from the sale of off shore oil and gas leases. Congress then appropriates money from the Fund to allow SHPOs and THPOs to carry out the mandates of the Act.
To be eligible for a Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) HPF annual award, the Tribe must have:
an approved THPO Partnership Agreement with NPS (see Deadline for New THPOs Applying for HPF Grant Funds below) to assume the duties of the State Historic Preservation Officer,
no outstanding compliance issues under the THPO Partnership Agreement,
no other issue that would legally bar the Tribe from receiving Federal funds.
Deadline for New THPOs Applying for HPF Grant Funds
In order to be included in the upcoming Annual THPO Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) apportionment, a Tribe’s application to become a THPO must be fully-approved by the National Park Service by June 30 prior to the start the following fiscal year (October 1). The approval date is the date on the official NPS letter or announcement stating that the Director of the National Park Service has formally approved the proposal of the Tribe to assume certain State Historic Preservation Officer duties within the Tribe’s lands pursuant to 54 United States Code 301702 et seq. (commonly referred to as Section 101(d) of the National Historic Preservation Act).
The June 30 cut-off date allows NPS time to obtain the data from new tribes that is necessary for NPS to run the HPF grant apportionment calculations. It also allows new tribes time to register in all of the federal systems necessary to allow them to receive grant funds in the new fiscal year.