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National Park Service returns proposed Q'alya ta Kukwis shichdii me Traditional Cultural Property Historic District nomination

July 17, 2019

SALEM, Ore. - The National Park Service has returned the Q’alya ta Kukwis shichdii me Traditional Cultural Property Historic District nomination to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD.)

The SHPO submitted the nomination to the park service in May for a “determination of eligibility” for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. In this process, the park service determines if the district is eligible for listing in the National Register, but does not actually list it.

The park service did not rule on the nomination’s eligibility and cited process and documentation deficiencies as the reasons for the return.

The document’s return to the SHPO ends the nomination process. If the district’s nominator—the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians—decide to follow the park service’s recommendations and resubmit a revised nomination, the SHPO will restart the nomination process, including a new public comment period.

Any objections already filed by property owners will still be valid and included in the restarted process.
The park service identified several areas related to documentation and technical processing that require further work: more specifics about boundaries and mapping; more accurate counts of resources within the proposed boundary that are culturally important or unimportant; the need to provide local governments and other qualifying parties better access to the nomination document; and other issues.

View the full text of the nomination document and the park service’s return letter online: http://bit.ly/coostcp.

The SHPO initially submitted the nomination for a determination of eligibility because a majority of private property owners in the proposed district—about 70%—filed objections to the nomination. According to federal rules for the National Register, if a majority of property owners within a proposed district object to the nomination, the district cannot be listed.

Despite the majority objections, however, the park service can still determine if a nomination would be eligible for future inclusion in the National Register. The park service does not consider objections when determining eligibility; it only determines if a nomination meets the criteria for inclusion.

The proposed district covers 20 square miles in Coos County and follows the general horseshoe shape of the Coos Bay Estuary. View a map of the area online.

A Traditional Cultural Property recognizes the cultural significance and identity of a living community. The property not only tells the stories of the people who have historically called the area home, but recognizes how the descendants of those people keep the traditional practices and beliefs alive.