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About the State Historic Preservation Office

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society, is responsible, in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service and local governments, in carrying out the mandates of the National Historic Preservation Act (P.L. 89-665, as amended) in Oklahoma. The SHPO works with citizens and groups throughout the state to identify, evaluate, and protect Oklahoma's diverse range of historic, architectural, and archaeological resources.

The SHPO funds and coordinates surveys (www.okhistory.org/shpo/survey) to identify historic, architectural and archaeological resources throughout the state. The most significant properties identified in the surveys are nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, the federal list of properties deemed worthy of recognition and protection. Information gathered in the survey and nomination process is maintained in the Oklahoma Landmark Inventory (www.okhistory.org/shpo/oli), a continually growing database of information.

The SHPO is responsible for Section 106 (www.okhistory.org/shpo/section106) review of federally funded, licensed or permitted projects to ensure compliance with federal preservation legislation. SHPO staff assess the significance of properties within project areas, review the impact of the projects on significant resources and consult with agencies to develop ways to avoid or mitigate damage to the resources.

The SHPO is eligible for an annual allocation of federal Historic Preservation Fund grant monies through the National Park Service. The SHPO allocates a portion of these monies, when available, as matching grants for eligible preservation activities. Recommendations for ways to utilize these funds for preservation-related activities are accepted throughout the year (www.okhistory.org/shpo/projectsuggestion).

The office works with owners, architects and developers to ensure that rehabilitation projects qualify for rehabilitation tax credits (www.okhistory.org/shpo/taxcredits). Currently, both state and federal income tax credits are available for the qualified rehabilitation of certain historic properties. The SHPO cooperates with the National Park Service and the Oklahoma Tax Commission in reviewing applications for the federal and the state credits. SHPO staff provide advice on appropriate rehabilitation treatments and forward applications to the National Park Service for final approval with SHPO recommendations. The Oklahoma Tax Commission works with the property owner regarding the state tax credit.

Certified Local Governments (www.okhistory.org/shpo/clg) are an important part of the federal-state-local preservation partnership. The SHPO assists municipal and county governments in achieving certification and provides training in the preservation of local resources to local historic preservation commissions.

The SHPO provides educational services (www.okhistory.org/shpo/outreach) to the general public of all ages to promote awareness and understanding of historic preservation. Technical assistance is provided to all citizens free of charge.

The SHPO is responsible also responsible, in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, for overseeing the Centennial Farm and Ranch program (www.okhistory.org/shpo/farmandranch). This program recognizes those families who have continuously occupied their land and carried out farming or ranching operations for at least 100 years.