Cultural Resources:

Results of Questionnaire on State Historic Preservation Activities

RCED-86-60FS: Published: Dec 10, 1985. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO summarized responses to a questionnaire about historic preservation activities that was sent to various state historic preservation offices.

GAO found that: (1) most states believed that they had received adequate guidance and assistance from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and about half of the states that responded to the questionnaire believed that they had received adequate guidance and assistance from the Department of the Interior; (2) a number of states cited problems in receiving guidance from Interior, including delays in project reviews, poor technical assistance with grant administration, unclear guidelines for nominations to the National Historic Preservation Register, and insufficient staff and documentation; (3) almost all of the states believed that they would have to drastically curtail their staff and services if federal historic preservation grants were discontinued; and (4) most states would retain only state-oriented programs if the federal grants were discontinued. In addition, GAO found that: (1) most states believe that federal grants-in-aid for the acquisition and development of historic properties should be restored; (2) states tended to cite more weaknesses than strengths of the Certified Local Government Program, which is intended to increase local government participation in historic preservation activities; (3) suggestions for improving the program included more funding, less restrictive rules regarding local spending, more state authority, and an amendment to existing law that would allow Indian tribes to qualify for the program; and (4) most states said that they were able to comply with federal requests for project reviews within the requested timeframes.

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