Section 106 Basics

106 Group takes its name from Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). This law is about how to deal with cultural resources for federally funded, permitted, or licensed projects.

What is Section 106?

It’s a complex process requiring federal agencies to consider the effects their undertakings have on historical, archaeological, and cultural resources, and to provide a reasonable opportunity for comment.

Why was it created?

In 1966, Congress established a comprehensive program for which “the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people…”

What is the applicant’s role?

Although the federal agency is ultimately responsible for Section 106 compliance, you may play a vital role by being required to complete archaeological, historical or cultural resource studies or other research activities.

What does this mean for your project?

An applicant seeking federal funding, permits, licenses, or approvals is usually actively involved in the Section 106 process. You should contact the federal agency early in project planning to determine which procedures you must follow to obtain federal approvals and which studies or actions might be required to carry out on behalf of the agency. You’ll want to know sooner rather than later if an agency has expectations of you as the applicant related to the Section 106 process.

To help simplify the Section 106 process, we’ve created a chart that breaks down the steps for you. Check it out at the link below. Drop us a line if you have more questions! Every project is different so this process is just a starting point.
Anne Ketz

Anne is CEO and Services Director of 106 Group, a consulting company that specializes in cultural heritage planning. Anne has worked with a broad range of stakeholders, including Native Americans, community planners & leaders, and thought leaders to ensure respect for each community’s heritage within the planning process.