Public Lands

Historic Green Mountain Lookout Now Saved!

Posted on: April 17th, 2014 by Brian R. Turner

 

This post originally appeared on the PreservationNation blog.

140408_blog_green-mountain-lookout_dawn

Amid the devastation following a landslide near the rural town of Darrington, Washington, President Obama has signed a bill into law to save the threatened Green Mountain fire lookout, an emblem of the region’s heritage.

On April 3, U.S. Senator Patty Murray offered moving testimony regarding the importance of the site to the affected community:

As Sen. Murray put it, "[Green Mountain Lookout is] a place where parents have brought their kids for generations to appreciate the splendor of the great outdoors in the Northwest. And it’s a place that has been a vital source of tourism-related income for the people who’ve been impacted by this deadly landslide that has struck this region."... Read More →

About Brian R. Turner

Brian R. Turner is the senior field officer and attorney in the San Francisco Field Office.

Standing Law: Keeping the Courthouse Doors Open to Preservation Issues

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by Sharee Williamson

 

Blair Mountain in West Virginia, site of the largest armed labor conflict in U.S. history, with the potential to be developed as a heritage tourism destination, would be obliterated by strip mining. | Credit: Harvard Ayers

Blair Mountain in West Virginia, site of the largest armed labor conflict in U.S. history, with the potential to be developed as a heritage tourism destination, would be obliterated by strip mining. | Credit: Harvard Ayers

Over the past few decades, standing decisions have increasingly hindered the ability to bring preservation issues into court. The National Trust has been involved in a number of standing cases over the years, including the recent state court litigation regarding cruise ship impacts in Charleston, S.C., and a case currently pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia regarding the de-listing of Blair Mountain from the National Register.

Blair Mountain in West Virginia served as the site of an unprecedented battle between American coal miners and mine owners in the 1920s. Today, the site is threatened by mountaintop removal mining. This method of mining would destroy valuable historic artifacts that have never been adequately surveyed or studied, as well as obliterate the landscape where the battle took place. In recognition of the site’s national significance, the National Park Service (NPS) listed Blair Mountain on the National Register of Historic Places, but then de-listed it months later, after a re-count of property owner objections was made at the urging of mining interests. The National Register listing had given the site an important increase in recognition and protection, because of the fact that federal coal mining laws are unique in providing additional protection to National Register-listed sites, as opposed to sites that are merely eligible for the National Register. Thus, the decision to de-list the property made it vulnerable again.... Read More →

About Sharee Williamson

Sharee Williamson is an Associate General Counsel at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Community Involvement Makes Section 106 a Success

Posted on: March 7th, 2013 by Special Contributor 2 Comments

 

By: Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Nine Mile Canyon Rock Art | Jerry D. Spangler, Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance

Nine Mile Canyon Rock Art | Jerry D. Spangler, Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance

Citizens and public officials have successfully worked together to help protect America’s heritage, in no small measure because of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Section 106 consultation process it created under that part of the law. Yet, Americans who are not familiar with the phrase “historic preservation” remain unaware that the places and communities they love and enjoy would be vastly different if the NHPA had not been in force for almost 47 years.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and our preservation partners, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, and state and tribal preservation officials, believe the 50th anniversary of the NHPA in October 2016 is an occasion to remind citizens that the cultural heritage sites and historic built environments enjoyed and appreciated by millions didn’t happen by chance.

Using a nominating process open to the public, the ACHP is collecting examples of successful Section 106 actions that have taken place since the NHPA came into being in 1966. The agency is building a portfolio of success stories that illustrate the range and impact of this important public preservation tool which has resulted in tens of thousands of historic places being preserved for the benefit of the nation and its communities, while still allowing worthy public works and other projects to proceed.... Read More →