11 August 2004

Goodbye, California Historical Resources Commission?

The California Performance Review is a massive report, presenting four volumes of “comprehensive recommendations to reform and revitalize California’s state government. 275 volunteers worked tirelessly for five months examining organizational structures, analyzing data, meeting with stakeholders and compiling the recommendations.”

Volume II includes the page Evaluating California’s Boards and Commissions, which proposes to eliminate 118 of the state’s 339 boards and commissions. In some cases the board or commission and its functions are both proposed for elimination. In other cases, the board governing structure is being proposed for elimination but the functions of the board are being transferred elsewhere, such as to an existing department.

One of the commissions proposed for elimination is the Historical Resources Commission. The recommendation reads as follows:
Eliminate the Commission and transfer all responsibilities related to the listing of historic sites, inventorying of such sites, and developing policies to ensure their preservation and rehabilitation to the Division of Parks, History, and Culture within the Department of Natural Resources. Should the need arise, the Secretary may appoint an ad hoc advisory committee to deal with such matters as evaluating sites for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the California Register of Historical Resources, and the California Historical Landmarks and California Points of Historical Interest registration programs.

What does it mean?

It’s been suggested that if the Historical Resources Commission is eliminated, the Office of Historic Preservation will go down the same route, as will the following programs:

  • The CLG program / CLG Grants

  • Tax Credit projects

  • Nominations to the California and National Registers (and public participation process in them)

  • The California Main Street Program

  • Technical support to local governments

  • Section 106 Reviews

  • The Information Centers

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended in 2000, requires a qualified state Historical Resources Commission. The existing commission costs the State only $17,000 annually. In return, the Office of Historic Preservation receivesĀ federal funding ($1.2 Million last year).

What to do?

Submit feedback on the California Performance Review website.

Let the Governor know what you think:
The California Performance Review
Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
Toll Free: 1-877-End-Waste

Get in touch with your local representatives and candidates for office and tell them that you’re opposed to the proposed elimination of the Historical Resources Commission.


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