Public comments extended through Sept. 14 for updates to state rules for national register program

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is extending the date to accept public comments on proposed changes to rules governing how the state protects important historical places until 5 p.m. Sept. 14, 2020 based on a request from stakeholders.

The state is proposing updates to the Oregon Administrative Rules that govern how the state administers the federal National Register of Historic Places Program, which lists buildings, districts and other sites important to local, state or national history. The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) — an office of OPRD — administers the local program, which is run by the National Park Service.

In Oregon, 2,065 properties — including 133 historic districts located across the state’s 36 counties and representing many aspects of our rich history — are now listed in the National Register.

In the last several years, several high-profile, controversial nominations exposed problems with the National Register process, including determining owner consent and public involvement. Proposed changes seek to establish a fair and transparent process in alignment with federal requirements.

OPRD will accept public comments on the proposed changes through 5 p.m. September 14, 2020. Comments can be made online, in writing or via email:

After reviewing public comments, OPRD staff plan to present a final recommended rule for consideration to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission.

The full text of the proposed change is available online: oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/Pages/PRP-rulemaking.aspx.

Properties listed in the National Register are:

  • Recognized as significant to the nation, state or community;
  • Considered in the planning of federal or federally assisted projects;
  • Eligible for federal and state tax benefits;
  • Eligible for historic preservation grants when funds are available;
  • Eligible for leniency in meeting certain building code requirements.

National Register listing does not place any restrictions on a property at the federal level, unless property owners choose to participate in tax benefit or grant programs. State law requires local governments to review the demolition or relocation of all properties listed in the National Register at a public hearing, and allows local governments to add additional regulations following a formal public process. Learn more about the National Register of Historic Places program in Oregon at oregon.gov/oprd/OH/pages/national-register.aspx.