Programs

Public Participation in Section 106

What is Section 106?

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires that all federal agencies take into account the impacts of their projects on historic and archaeological resources. An undertaking is any project that involves a federally- owned building or facility or uses federal funding (including loans and grants), permitting, licensing, or approval.

The agency involved identifies potentially historic resources in the project area and evaluates if those resources are eligible for or listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The project is then reviewed to determine if the work will result in an adverse effect or no adverse effect to those eligible or listed resources. If a project will adversely affect a resource, the agency must minimize, and then mitigate the adverse effects to the resource.

What types of projects does CDOT review under Section 106?

Any project that uses federal funding or permitting must be reviewed under Section 106. Cultural resources staff review minor and major projects: everything from resurfacing projects to construction of new highway alignments to rockfall mitigation. Typically, these projects occur on the state highway system, but federal grant-funded projects for local municipalities, such as sign installation, intersection improvements, and sidewalk construction must also be reviewed under Section 106. 

What is a consulting party?

A consulting party is a government, organization, or individual who has a demonstrated interested in an undertaking. At CDOT, Section 106 consultation typically includes the following consulting parties: State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) and/ or other representatives of Federally Recognized Indian Tribe. CDOT also includes local governments, historic preservation boards or commissions, and nonprofits, such as historical societies or museums, as consulting parties. These entities have a role in protecting the historic and archaeological resources of their communities and thus, have a demonstrated interest in the undertaking. 

What should I do when I receive a Section 106 letter from CDOT?

Read it! Section 106 consultation letters are meant to inform the reader of an upcoming project that may impact historic or archaeological resources in their local community or region. The consultation letter explains the scope of the project, includes a map of the Area of Potential Effects (APE), describes the properties in the APE, and outlines the effects to these resources. The Section 106 process was mandated to ensure that the public has an opportunity to review and comment on how federal projects might impact historic properties in their communities. This is your chance to participate! CDOT staff are seeking comments, input, and insight from local consulting parties to improve the project and ensure that cultural resources are protected. Some questions to think about- Do you agree with the findings for historic resources? Is there a resource that has not been identified? Do you agree with the effect findings? As a consulting party, you have an opportunity to respond to us with questions or concerns about the project.  

Below are examples of responses that we have received from consulting parties.
Grand Junction example
Lamar example
Colorado Springs example

Effect, National Register, Historic Property - What do these different terms mean? 

Within the context of Section 106, many terms, words, and phrases have specific meanings. For exact definitions for these terms, as they apply to Section 106 and consultation materials, please refer to these definitions, as stated in the Section 106 regulations. 

Where can I find more information on Section 106?

Numerous resources offer additional information on Section 106. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our nation's historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. In fulfillment of this mission, they have developed guidance related to Section 106 and other Historic Preservation-related federal regulations. This “Citizen’s Guide to Section 106” help to explain the Section 106 process to non-practitioners and can help answer additional questions about Section 106.

The State Historic Preservation Office has additional information on historic resources in Colorado, in general, and has links to relevant state and local laws protecting historic resources, Section 106 consultation guidance, and more. CDOT Cultural Resources Staff are available to answer questions and guide you through the Section 106 Process.

The State Historic Preservation Office has additional information on historic resources in Colorado, in general, and has links to relevant state and local laws protecting historic resources, Section 106 consultation guidance, and more.
CDOT Cultural Resources Staff are available to answer questions and guide you through the Section 106 Process.