If you are a federal or state agency working with historic properties or a private property owner, company, or local government agency receiving a grant you may be asked to get a letter from the Washington SHPO (ie. DAHP) concerning your project's effect on cultural resources. To receive a letter from our office typically you will first need to generate a letter initiating consultation by defining the Area of Potential (APE) for your project. Then you commonly will need to hire a cultural resource professional to complete a survey to determine if you have any historic buildings or archaeological sites on the property. If resources are found, which are determined eligible for the National Register, additional documentation may be required.
The letter you need is required by federal or state law. Under these laws, each federal and state agency (or any agency using federal funds) is required to “take into account” cultural resources in its projects and activities. “Taking into account” cultural resources, like historic structures or archaeological sites, requires specific steps depending on which law you are trying to comply with. Read an overview of the federal review process (on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation website).