Commonly Asked Questions about Section 106 and the State Register Act

What is "Section 106" review?

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires Federal agencies to take historic properties into account in all projects in which agencies are involved.  The Act requires agencies to initiate consultation not only with the state historic preservation officer [SHPO] but also with tribal representatives, local groups and governmental entities.  In its simplest form, an agency is required to identify and evaluate the National Register eligibility of cultural resources within the area affected by a project; determine how a project will affect eligible or listed properties; and seek alternatives to avoid, minimize and mitigate effects to such properties.  The role of the SHPO is to advise and comment upon an agency’s determinations at each stage of this process.  The SHPO does not have the authority to stop a project, but it is entitled to obtain from agencies sufficient information upon which to comment.

How do I obtain comments from the Colorado SHPO?

Agencies should write a letter to the SHPO at the following address:

Dawn DiPrince
State Historic Preservation Officer
History Colorado
1200 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203

In the letter, please include the following information:

  1. Federal or state agency involved (and agency program, if known) or other entity that requested you contact our office
  2. A description of the nature of the project (supported by drawings, photographs, specifications, sketch plans, etc., if appropriate)
  3. Project location - street address, township/range/section (¼ ¼) and precise location on a portion of the appropriate USGS 7 ½ minute (1:24,000) topographic map
  4. Does the project involve or is it adjacent to any buildings 50 or more years old? (If so, give their addresses.)
  5. If there will there be ground disturbance, indicate known previous uses, i.e. platted and graded, site of previous building, plowed, undisturbed.

If you have questions, please contact one of the following individuals in our office:

Mark Tobias, 303-866-4674, - general process questions

Matthew Marques, 303-866-4678, - general process questions, archaeological review

Mitchell Schaefer, 303-866-2673, - general process questions, built environment review

Joe Saldibar, 303-866-3741, - general process questions, built environment review

How long does the SHPO review take?

The SHPO has a maximum of 30 calendar days to respond to most types of reviews.  However, staff endeavors to respond within two weeks.

Four OAHP staff spend most or part of their time reviewing between 2000 and 3000 projects a year in consultation with staff archaeologists, historians and architectural historians.  Projects range from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit file searches to cultural resource survey reports with inventory forms, architectural drawings to NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) documents, cultural resource management plans to regulations revisions and one-page project descriptions to complex multiparty agreements.

Prevent someone from demolishing a historic building?

We will need the following information in order to provide you with the most accurate advice:

  1. What is the name, if known, and address of the building?
  2. How old is the building?
  3. Is there federal or state agency involvement?
  4. Is the building locally landmarked?

The State Register of Historic Places Act or a local landmark ordinance may provide some level of historic property protection or consideration when there is no federal involvement.

To learn more about the role of private citizens in the Section 106 process, please see The Citizen's Guide to Section 106 Review.