Certified Local Government Program

The Office of History and Archaeology (OHA) administers the Certified Local Government (CLG) program in Alaska. OHA assists local governments as they develop their unique preservation program that reflects the needs and goals of each particular community. To become certified, a local government must meet all the requirements found in 36 CFR 61 and the Program Guidelines established by the Alaska State Historic Preservation Office. CLGs help create a partnership between preservation interests at the local, tribal, state, and federal levels of government.

Certification Process

Thirteen local governments are certified in Alaska. These certified local governments first passed a historic preservation ordinance that established a professional historic preservation commission, adheres to applicable state and federal preservation laws, has an inventory compatible with the Alaska Heritage Resources Survey, and follows Alaska's Open Meetings Law.

Next, the local government should appoint the members of the historic preservation commission ensuring that there is representation from professionals from the fields of archaeology, architecture and history that meet the qualifications outlined in the Secretary of the Interior's Professional Qualification Standards. A local government can still be certified without filling all the professional seats if a good faith effort in undertaken to fill those professional seats by the elected official.

After these initial steps are completed, you can apply for certification. Your local government should submit an application with a copy of the historic preservation ordinance, copies of resumes for commissioners that occupy professional seats (or a letter from the elected official stating why professional seats were not filled), and a copy of the community's historic preservation plan, if one is completed. OHA will then send a Certification Agreement to the local government. After the Certification Agreement is signed, OHA will forward the entire package to the National Park Service for final approval.

After Certification

Once a local government is certified, it joins a network of preservation minded government entities at the national, state, tribal and local levels. Expertise and resources are shared to further the preservation of important resources in Alaska especially when important places will be listed in the National Register of Historic Places and when federal agencies may impact historic properties under a government's jurisdiction.

As part of the certification agreement, local governments will submit an annual report to OHA for review. Annual reports can include information about the commission's membership, planning, inventory, project reviews and listings in the National Register of Historic Places.

OHA will maintain open communication with all certified local governments. OHA will provide training at the request of local commissions and assist them as they take steps necessary to improve protections of their important cultural assets. OHA will also review historic preservation programs. This review will help local governments improve their programs and determine appropriate areas for continued growth.

Certified Local Government grants are available annually. Ten percent of the Historic Preservation Fund allocation to the State Historic Preservation Office is dedicated to CLG grants. These are competitively awarded and the focus of allocation changes annually as determined by the Alaska Historical Commission. The purpose of the program is to assist local governments in the identification, evaluation, and protection of historic properties.

Current CLGs in Alaska are:
  • City of Cordova
  • City of Dillingham
  • City of Fairbanks
  • Fairbanks-North Star Borough
  • City and Borough of Juneau
  • City of Kenai
  • City of Ketchikan
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough
  • Municipality of Anchorage
  • North Slope Borough
  • City of Seward
  • City and Borough of Sitka
  • City of Unalaska