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About Us
Heritage Programs works with Oregonians to help preserve and protect Oregon's heritage, and historic and cultural resources.
Organization
Annual Performance Measures

A division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Heritage Programs supports heritage, cultural, and historic preservation related activities in Oregon through several programs, services, and commissions.
 
-> Heritage Programs Organization Chart 
Programs
Historic Cemeteries Program
 
Established in 1999, the Historic Cemeteries program coordinates with the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries (OCHC) to maintain a list of historic cemeteries and gravesites in Oregon and to promote public education on the significance of historic cemeteries and provide financial and technical assistance for restoring, improving and maintaining their appearances.
 
 
Oregon Heritage Commission (OHC)
 
Established to secure, sustain, enhance and promote Oregon's heritage, this nine-member, governor-appointed commission has broad responsibilities as a connector and catalyst for hundreds of organizations and thousands of Oregonians devoted to preserving and interpreting Oregon's heritage resources. Its programs include the Heritage and Museum grant programs, technical assistance for heritage organizations, and an annual conference. It also gives annually heritage excellence awards and designates Oregon Heritage Traditions and Statewide Celebrations.
 
 
Oregon State Parks Heritage
 
State Parks Heritage staff work closely with OPRD headquarters’ and field staff on issues related to historic and archaeological sites located within state parks, including the identification and evaluation of sites, technical assistance, tribal coordination, compliance with federal and state cultural resource laws, and interpretation. Staff also administers the Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Council (OHTAC).
 
 
State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) 
The State Historic Preservation Office was established in 1967, a year after Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act. Under federal and state mandates, the SHPO manages programs that create opportunities for individuals, organizations, and local governments to become directly involved in the protection of significant historic and cultural resources. The OPRD director is Oregon’s designated State Historic Preservation Officer. The assistant director for Heritage Programs serves as Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer. The various programs of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) are as follows:
Archaeological Services 
 
SHPO archaeologists provide education on cultural heritage issues, explain current state cultural resource laws and regulations and help resolve potential conflicts involving development, scientific research, and the respectful treatment of cultural resources. Within OPRD, they work closely with cultural resource planners and park managers to identify and protect archaeological resources on OPRD land. Under state law, OPRD is responsible for issuing permits for the excavation or disturbance of archaeological sites. Archaeological permits are required for excavations on public lands and any digging within existing archaeological sites on private lands.
 
Certified Local Government (CLG) Program 
 
This federal program promotes historic preservation at the local level.  Local governments must meet certain qualifications to become "certified" and thereby qualify to receive matching grants from the SHPO. Grants may be used for a broad range of preservation activities, including surveys, National Register of Historic Places nominations, architectural services, brick-and-mortar restoration work, public education, etc.
 
Comprehensive Planning
 
The SHPO develops, implements, and periodically revises a Statewide Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan covering a broad range of historic and cultural resources in Oregon’s rural and urban communities.
 
E. Walton Potter Historic Preservation Advocacy and Education Awards Program 
 
The SHPO gives annual, competitive awards to cover travel expenses to a historic preservation related conference or workshop.
 
Environmental Compliance Program 
 
In cooperation with the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the SHPO reviews the effects of federal projects on both above-ground and below-ground cultural resources either listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places. The SHPO also assists local governments in compliance with ORS 358.653.
 
Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program 
 
The SHPO reviews requests for a 20 percent income tax credit available for rehabilitating depreciable, income-producing and certified historic properties qualifying under the amended Tax Reform Act of 1986.
 
 
Historic/Prehistoric Survey Programs 
 
The SHPO develops and maintains inventories of Oregon historic resources and archaeological sites based on information from local governments and federal agencies.
 
 
Main Street Program 
 
Housed jointly with Business Oregon and the SHPO, Oregon Main Street works with communities to develop comprehensive, incremental revitalization strategies based on a community’s unique assets, character and heritage. Services are based on the successful Main Street Approach® developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and include training and technical assistance. The goal is to build high quality, livable and sustainable communities that will grow Oregon’s economy.
 
 
National Register of Historic Places Program 
 
Created in 1966, the SHPO accepts and submits nominations of historic properties in Oregon to the National Register, which is maintained by the National Park Service.
 
 
Preserving Oregon Grant Program 
 
The SHPO awards grants every biennium for use in rehabilitation work on properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places or significant work contributing to identifying, preserving, and/or interpreting archaeological sites.
 
 
Special Assessment of Historic Property Program 
 
The SHPO accepts applications from owners of properties listed in the National Register seeking a “freeze” on the assessed value of the property. To qualify for this tax incentive program, applicants must make significant rehabilitation investments and hold annual open houses. Established in 1975, the state program is the oldest of its kind in the nation.
 
 
State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP) 
 
Created in 1971, the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation is a nine-member committee appointed by the governor that reviews nominations to the National Register of Historic Places for eligibility and advises the SHPO on matters of program, policy, and budget.
 
Learn More:
 
-> Laws, rules, and codes related to cultural resources 
-> Services & Staff Contact Info