Development of Nationwide Section 106 Programmatic Agreement for American Battlefield Protection Program Grant Programs
The National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) is a national program that encourages, supports, assists, recognizes, and works in partnership with citizens, Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, other public entities, educational institutions, and private nonprofit organizations in identifying, researching, evaluating, interpreting, and protecting historic battlefields and associated sites on a National, State, and local level. Program Objectives are accomplished through two preservation grant programs (Battlefield Planning Grants and Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants), special studies, and technical assistance.
The ABPP's Battlefield Planning Grant Program promotes the protection and preservation of battlefield lands by funding non-acquisition, non-construction preservation methods such as planning, education, survey and inventory. The purpose of this program is to provide seed money for projects that lead directly to the preservation of battlefield land and/or their associated sites.
The ABPP's Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant Program (BLAG) provides matching grants to assist States and local communities in acquiring significant battlefield lands for permanent protection. Grants are available for the fee simple acquisition of land, or for the acquisition of permanent, protective interests in land (easements), at Civil War Battlefields listed in the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission's (CWSAC) 1993 "Report on the Nation's Civil War Battlefields" and Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefields listed in the ABPP's 2007 "Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States." Funds may not be used to acquire land or interests in land within the legislative boundary of a National Park Service unit.
Both grant programs have become powerful tools in advancing the preservation of our nation's historic battlefields. Nevertheless, as federal undertakings that may involve activities or lead to activities that have the potential to affect historic properties, the ABPP grants must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (54 U.S.C. 306108), and its implementing regulation, 36 CFR 800, "Protection of Historic Properties."
In order to develop a strategy for ABPP to assist its applicants in the delivery of the BLAG funds and to comply with Section 106 for the BLAGs, the ABPP, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), with the Civil War Trust (CWT) as a Concurring Party, executed an Interim Programmatic Agreement (PA) on May 14, 2015. This Interim PA only applies to remaining FY 14 and new FY 15 funds in 10 specific states where acquisition activities have already started or were about to begin. The interim PA will expire December 31, 2015.* The ABPP is committed to executing a Nationwide PA by the end of the calendar year in order to cover Section 106 Reviews for both grant programs.
*The Interim PA was extended in December 2015 until June 30, 2016. It was amended a second time in June 2016 to last until superseded by the execution of the Nationwide PA. The title of the Interim PA was also amended in June 2016 to include FY 2016 funds.
American Battlefield Protection Program
National Park Service
1201 Eye Street, NW (2287)
Washington, DC 20005
Paul Hawke, 202-354-2023
Kristen McMasters, 202-354-2037
Elizabeth Vehmeyer, 202-354-2215