What is a State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO)?

Your State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) is the appointed official in each of 59 states, territories and the District of Columbia who is responsible for helping to save the places that matter. Whether it is guiding citizens through the process of listing important historic resources or neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places, or considering the impact of large renewable energy projects on historic landscapes or archaeological sites, your SHPO is your partner in preservation.

SHPOs Federal Mandate, as set forth Section 101b of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

Every State and U.S. Territory has a State Historic Preservation Officer who, with the support of qualified staff, are charged with:

    • Conducting a comprehensive survey of historic properties
    • Maintaining an inventory of historic properties
    • Administering state programs of Federal assistance
    • Identifying and nominating eligible properties to the National Historic Register
    • Advising and assisting Federal, State and local governments in matters of historic preservation
    • Preparing and implementing a statewide historic preservation plan
    • Providing public information, education, training and technical assistance
    • Working with local governments in the development of local historic preservation programs and help them become “certified local governments”
    • Provide consultation for Federal undertakings under the Section 106 provision of the National Historic Preservation Act

SHPOs Role in State Government

In addition to their roles within the Federal historic preservation program, SHPOs also function within their own state governments. In this capacity, their duties include (but are not limited to):

    • Promoting historic preservation efforts within state government
    • Coordinating with tribal governments on historic preservation matters
    • Maintaining and managing historic house museums and historic sites
    • Coordinating state heritage tourism efforts
    • Holding and enforcing historic preservation easements
    • Managing State Rehabilitation Tax Credit programs
    • Maintaining state granting programs
    • Supporting Main Street communities and revitalization efforts
    • Providing consultation for State undertakings, similar to the Section 106 provision of the National Historic Preservation Act