49 Sites in the 49th State
Select a location above to see sites from that part of our great state.
Since time immemorial, Alaskans have fashioned a rich cultural history that deserves to be protected and preserved. For this reason, the USDA Forest Service in the Alaska Region is celebrating 49 Sites in the 49th State in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
Enacted after the destruction of many significant archaeological sites and historic buildings across the nation in the mid-20th century, the Act requires federal agencies to have programs and policies in place to identify and preserve our nation’s cultural and historic resources.
Today, nearly 125,000 federal actions are reviewed each year for their impact on cultural sites and over 90,000 properties have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
NHPA was signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson on October 15, 1966
Be a Steward of the Past:
Treat cultural remains with respect.
Tread lightly when visiting heritage sites.
Leave artifacts where you find them; historic and archaeological sites on public lands are protected by law.
Photograph and enjoy remnants of the past but leave them undisturbed for future generations to experience.
Archaeological sites are like crime scenes - if you move or remove evidence (artifacts), the stories they tell will be lost forever.
Remember - cultural resources are non-renewable.
Help preserve the past by volunteering your time and talents.
Read aloud by the Juneau Community Charter School 4/5 grade class teacher.
Quotes from the Act
The spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and reflected in its historic heritage.
The historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people.
Historic properties significant to the Nation’s heritage are being lost or substantially altered, often inadvertently, with increasing frequency.
The preservation of this irreplaceable heritage is in the public interest so that its vital legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, economic, and energy benefits will be maintained and enriched for future generations of Americans.
…Insure future generations a genuine opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the rich heritage of our Nation.
Section 106 of NHPA (implementing regulations 36 CFR 800):
Federal agencies will take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties.
Undertaking is defined as “a project, activity, or program funded in whole or in part under the direct or indirect jurisdiction of a Federal agency, including those carried out by or on behalf of a Federal agency; those carried out with Federal financial assistance; and those requiring a Federal permit, license or approval” [36 CFR 800.16(y)].
Historic property is defined as “any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places…” [36 CFR 800.16(l)(1)].
Section 110 of NHPA
Each Federal agency shall establish a preservation program for the identification, evaluation, and nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, and protection of historic properties.
Why can I visit some of the 49 sites in person, but not all of them?
Sensitive information associated with archaeological sites, including geographic location, is confidential and restricted by law: § 307103 (Formerly Section 304) of NHPA, Section 9 of Archaeological Resources Protection Act (§ 470hh), Section 8106 of the 2008 Farm Bill, and Section (b) of the Freedom of Information Act.
Site location information is restricted in order to protect sites from vandalism. The past belongs to all Americans. When looters and vandals destroy archaeological and historic sites, part of the Nation's heritage is lost forever.
Many of the 49 sites are open to the public. We highlight those in the ‘Sites you can visit in person’ and encourage you to plan a visit.