Saving Our Past: Alaska's Historic Preservation Plan

Alaska's historic preservation plan is intended to guide preservation activities in Alaska into the twenty-first century. The agenda includes encouraging wide appreciation of the state's cultural resources. The overall mission of the plan is to achieve supportive public policy and sustainable funding for historic preservation. To meet these needs: for a clear statewide agenda, for greater public awareness and understanding about historic preservation, and to make connections between economic and historic preservation, historic preservation constituents established the six goals:

Planning Goals

Goal 1: Foster respect and understanding of Alaska’s archaeological and historic resources and promote a preservation ethic.


  • Interpret archaeological and historic sites to educate the public
  • Improve awareness of and access to historic preservation information
  • Encourage accuracy of information about historic places and archaeological sites
  • Support place-based service learning educator training and development of elementary, secondary, and post-secondary programs and high-quality materials that teach about Alaska’s archaeological and historic resources.
  • Outline a viable coordinated, preservation education outreach program.
  • Use Alaska Archaeology Month and Preservation Month to make historic preservation more visible.
  • Provide materials and training about historic preservation laws, standards, and guidelines, and encourage widespread participation in protection of archaeological and historic resources.

Goal 2:
Continue existing partnerships and seek new ones to expand and strengthen the historic preservation community.


  • Support and strengthen local historic preservation efforts, particularly establishment of preservation commissions, enactment of preservation ordinances, and preservation planning.
  • Encourage Alaska Native people and their organizations to identify concerns and develop strategies and programs to protect their cultural resources.
  • Encourage nonprofit organizations, among them the statewide Alaska Anthropological Association, Alaska Association for Historic Preservation, Alaska Historical Society, and Museums Alaska, to promote historic preservation.
  • Foster responsible stewardship of cultural resources by land owners, private individuals and groups, and public agencies.
  • Use new technologies and hands-on participation to improve communication among organizations and involvement of individuals interested in historic preservation.
  • Seek to work with new constituencies such as conservation groups, ethnic populations, trail organizations, land trusts, realtors and building contractors.


Goal 3: Expand efforts to identify, study, designate, interpret, and protect or treat significant archaeological and historic resources.


  • Conduct archaeological and historic surveys to identify and evaluate sites, buildings, and structures.
  • Improve the statewide inventory of cultural resources sites; in particular efficient entry and update of site information.
  • Encourage communities and Native governing entities to survey, document, recognize through local registers, interpret, and protect or treat historic and archaeological properties.
  • Prepare historic contexts to more efficiently manage historic and archaeological resources.
  • Document properties for the National Register of Historic Places and the Alaska Landmarks Register to recognize significant heritage resources.
  • Continue coordination and training among the professional preservation community.
  • Incorporate cultural landscapes, traditional cultural places, trails, shipwrecks, recent past properties, heritage corridors and areas into preservation programs.


Goal 4: Encourage consideration of archaeological and historic resources in the planning and decision making process of the public and private sectors.


  • Review at state and local levels development projects to assure all reasonable steps are taken to protect cultural resources.
  • Review emergency response laws and plans so cultural resources receive maximum protection in the event of a disaster.
  • Promote local preservation program involvement in their community’s permittingprocess to ensure cultural resources are considered.
  • Seek inclusion of preservation concerns in state and local plans.
  • Encourage state and local agencies to be responsible stewards of archaeological and historic resources on lands they manage.


Goal 5: Promote historic preservation as an economic development tool and provide incentives to encourage it.


  • Demonstrate that historic preservation is a successful economic development tool to maintain, enhance, and revitalize communities and to promote tourism.
  • Seek funding for the state revolving loan fund and from other sources such as foundations to assist with preservation of historic projects.
  • Support efforts to expand or establish tax incentives at local, state, and national levels for preservation of archaeological and historic properties.
  • Encourage incentive programs in the private and nonprofit communities for historic and archaeological resources.
  • Endorse initiatives by local, state, and national agencies for historic resources, including zoning, easements, and creation of heritage areas.


Goal 6: Encourage appropriate treatment of historic resources.


  • Promote the use of The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation.
  • Increase familiarity with building and safety codes with respect to historic properties.
  • Provide technical information and assistance about maintenance for historic and archaeological properties to assist in their long-term viability.
  • Promote conservation easements for historic and archaeological properties.
  • Encourage design review of historic properties to retain historic elements.