BPA Cultural Resource Program

Cultural resources are considered whenever project activities include:

  • Ground disturbance (e.g., planting, infrastructure or new construction that involves digging)
  • Historic (over 50 years old) buildings or structures (e.g., barns, houses, dams)
  • Ongoing impacts to cultural resources like frequent exposure or effects from erosion

BPA manages cultural resource compliance activities in collaboration with affected Tribes, State Historical Preservation Offices (SHPOs), Tribal Historical Preservation Offices (THPOs), other federal and state land management agencies, the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and interested members of the public.

 BPA's activities focus on the Federal Columbia River Power System, Transmission and Fish & Wildlife.

National Historic Preservation Act

Cultural resource compliance is guided primarily by National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) regulations and guidelines under Section 106.

This act supports historic preservation activities and programs, and encourages protection of “historic properties” in the United States.  It created the National Register of Historic Places, the list of National Historic Landmarks, and SHPOs and THPO. Historic properties are prehistoric or historic districts, sites, buildings, structures, or objects that are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. They can include traditional cultural properties and landscapes. NHPA was signed into law October 15, 1966, and is the most far-reaching historic preservation legislation ever enacted in the United States.

Section 106 Process