Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, requires Federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on Historic Properties and afford the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation a reasonable opportunity to comment on such undertakings. Historic Properties are prehistoric or historic districts, sites, buildings, structures, objects, sacred sites, or traditional cultural places that are included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places. Issuance of a Section 408 permission is considered a federal undertaking and thus must comply with the NHPA.
If a Section 408 request is determined to have the potential to affect historic properties, the Sacramento District (or another Federal agency formally designated as lead Federal agency by the USACE) will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) pursuant to Section 106 of the NHPA. Additionally, USACE will consult with Federally recognized Indian Tribes pursuant to Section 106 of the NHPA and Executive Order 13175, as appropriate. A cultural resources report, prepared by a Principal Investigator meeting Secretary of the Interior's Standards Professional Qualifications, may be required if Section 106 consultation is needed. In order to comply with the NHPA, the Sacramento District Operations Division has prepared Section 408 cultural guidelines to assist requesters, their consultants, and USACE in minimizing time and effort preparing submittals to the SHPO/THPO and expediting the review process. For additional information regarding the Section 106 process, please visit the Sacramento District Regulatory Division Cultural Resources and Tribal Consultation webpages.
Levee Evaluation for the American River Common Features Project in Sacramento, Sutter, and Yolo Counties
One or more flood risk reduction levees are frequently within the Area of Potential Effects (APE) of a 408 Permission. Any such levee more than 50 years old is a potential historic property that must be recorded and evaluated in the cultural report for the permission. Many existing levees within the Sacramento Valley are part of the Sacramento River Flood Control Plan (SRFCP), a system of flood control infrastructure built between 1911 and 1961. The document “Levee Evaluation for the American River Common Features Project in Sacramento, Sutter, and Yolo Counties (October 2021),” provided here, examined several levees within the SRFCP. The study contains an SRFCP historic context; analysis of the levee property type; evaluations of three levee units; and a re-evaluation of a rural historic landscape unrelated to the SRFCP. The document’s content and approach are directly applicable to evaluation of levees within the SRFCP, and should inform evaluation of levees that are not part of the SRFCP system. The California State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) concurred with the document in a letter dated November 17, 2021. Additionally, applicants are encouraged to contact USACE for Operations and Maintenance Manual(s) relevant to levee(s) within a proposed permission’s APE. Manual(s) are often the most informative primary source material.