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North Dakota Signs Historic Section 106 Programmatic Agreement

Posted: Oct 19, 2023

Courtesy of Federal Highway Administration

On August 9, 2023, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) successfully signed the Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (PA). Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of their activities and programs on historic properties and to provide the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation with a reasonable opportunity to comment regarding such undertakings.

The agreement took years of relationship building, consulting on individual projects, and establishing trust between parties to achieve a signed agreement. The FHWA North Dakota Division Office and NDDOT developed and implemented a collaborative programmatic approach with multiple Tribes. The North Dakota Case Study in Effective Tribal Consultation describes the history and context of the North Dakota PA and overview of the regulatory and cultural context for Tribal consultation. The case study shares the lessons that the respective Tribes, as well as the FHWA North Dakota Division and NDDOT, have learned from their efforts to build a sustained relationship of mutual trust.

This PA can serve as a model for other FHWA Divisions and State DOTs seeking to consult with multiple Tribes in a proactive, culturally sensitive, and collaborative manner. Currently there are 46 Existing agreements dating back to 2001. The resulting PA eliminates the need for project-by-project, Tribe-by-Tribe consultation and allows both NDDOT and the consulting Tribes to focus attention and resources on the projects that could affect properties of religious and cultural significance to the Tribes. Because many highway projects utilize Federal aid or require Federal approval, many State highway programs must address how to consult Tribes on hundreds of transportation projects on an annual basis.

Visit the Success in Stewardship June 2019 issue to learn about Section 106 Tribal Agreements and how these agreements strengthen Government-to-Government Partnerships and accelerate project delivery.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050