36 CFR § 73.7 - World Heritage nomination process.
(a) What is the U.S. World Heritage nomination process? (1) The Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks (“Assistant Secretary”) is the designated official who conducts the United States World Heritage Program and periodically nominates properties to the World Heritage List on behalf of the United States. The National Park Service (NPS) provides staff support to the Assistant Secretary.
(2) The Assistant Secretary initiates the process for identifying candidate properties for the World Heritage List and subsequently preparing, evaluating, and approving U.S. nominations for them by publishing a First Notice in the Federal Register. This notice includes a list of candidate sites (formally known as the Indicative Inventory of Potential Future U.S. World Heritage nominations) and requests that public and private sources recommend properties for nomination.
(3) The Assistant Secretary, with advice from the Federal Interagency Panel for World Heritage (“Panel”), may propose for possible nomination a limited number of properties from the Indicative Inventory.
(4) Property owners, in cooperation with NPS, voluntarily prepare a detailed nomination document for their property that has been proposed for nomination. The Panel reviews the accuracy and completeness of draft nominations, and makes recommendations on them to the Assistant Secretary.
(5) The Assistant Secretary decides whether to nominate any of the proposed properties and transmits approved United States nominations, through the Department of State, to the World Heritage Committee to be considered for addition to the World Heritage List.
(b) What requirements must a U.S. property meet to be considered for nomination to the World Heritage List? A property in the United States must satisfy the following requirements established by law and one or more of the World Heritage Criteria before the Assistant Secretary can consider it for World Heritage nomination:
(1) The property must be nationally significant. For the purposes of this section, a property qualifies as “nationally significant” if it is:
(i) A property that the Secretary of the Interior has designated as a National Historic Landmark (36 CFR part 65) or a National Natural Landmark (36 CFR part 62) under provisions of the 1935 Historic Sites Act (Public Law 74-292; 49 Stat. 666; 16 U.S.C. 461 et seq.);
(ii) An area the United States Congress has established as nationally significant; or
(2) The property's owner(s) must concur in writing to the nomination.
(ii) If private parties own or control the property, they must provide the protection agreement outlined in § 73.13(c).
(iii) All owners must concur before the Assistant Secretary can include their property within a World Heritage nomination. For example, a responsible Federal management official can concur for the unit, but cannot concur for any non-Federal property interest within the boundaries of the unit. NPS will seek the concurrence of those who own or control any non-Federal property interest if we determine that the property interest is integral to the entire property's outstanding universal values.
(3) The nomination document must include evidence of such legal protections as may be necessary to ensure the preservation of the property and its environment. Section 73.13 identifies the distinct protection requirements for public and private properties.
(c) How does the U.S. World Heritage nomination process begin? The Assistant Secretary, through the NPS, will periodically publish a First Notice in the Federal Register to begin the U.S. World Heritage nomination process. This notice, among other things:
(1) Sets forth the schedule and procedures for identifying proposed U.S. nominations to the World Heritage List. It includes specific deadlines for receipt of suggestions and comments, and for preparing and approving nomination documents for properties proposed as U.S. nominations;
(2) Includes the Indicative Inventory of Potential Future U.S. World Heritage Nominations (Indicative Inventory), solicits recommendations on which properties on it should be nominated, and requests suggestions of properties that should be considered for addition to it; and
(3) Identifies any special requirements that properties must satisfy to be considered for nomination.
(d) What is the Indicative Inventory and how is it used? (1) The World Heritage Convention (Article 11) requests each signatory nation to submit a list of candidate sites for the World Heritage List. These lists are also known as tentative lists, or Indicative Inventories. The NPS compiles and maintains the U.S. Indicative Inventory, which is formally known as the Indicative Inventory of Potential Future U.S. World Heritage Nominations. It is a list of cultural and natural properties located in the United States that, based on preliminary examination, appear to qualify for the World Heritage List and that the United States may consider for nomination to the List.
(2) Inclusion of a property on the Indicative Inventory does not confer World Heritage status on it, but merely indicates that the Assistant Secretary may further examine the property for possible nomination. The Assistant Secretary selects proposed nominations from among the potential future nominations included on the Indicative Inventory. Thus, the Assistant Secretary uses the Indicative Inventory as the basis for selecting United States nominations, and it provides a comparative framework within which to judge the outstanding universal value of a property. Any agency, organization, or individual may recommend additional properties, with accompanying documentation, for inclusion on the Indicative Inventory. Ordinarily, a property must have been listed on the Indicative Inventory before the Assistant Secretary can consider it for nomination.
(3) The Assistant Secretary, in cooperation with the Panel and other sources as appropriate, decides whether to include a recommended property on the Indicative Inventory. If a property is included, NPS will list it the next time we publish the Indicative Inventory in the Federal Register. The Assistant Secretary periodically transmits a copy of the Indicative Inventory, including documentation on each property's location and significance, to the World Heritage Committee for use in evaluation of nominations.
(e) How are U.S. World Heritage nominations proposed? (1) After the First Notice's comment period expires, NPS compiles all suggestions and comments. The Assistant Secretary then reviews the comments and suggestions and works in cooperation with the Federal Interagency Panel for World Heritage to decide whether to identify any properties as proposed U.S. nominations. In addition to how well the property satisfies the World Heritage criteria (§ 73.9) and the legislative requirements outlined in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Assistant Secretary may consider:
(i) How well the particular type of property (i.e., theme or region) is represented on the World Heritage List;
(ii) The balance between cultural and natural properties already on the List and those under consideration;
(iii) Opportunities that the property affords for public visitation, interpretation, and education;
(iv) Potential threats to the property's integrity or its current state of preservation; and
(v) Other relevant factors, including public interest and awareness of the property.
(2) Selection as a proposed nomination indicates that a property appears to qualify for World Heritage status and that the Assistant Secretary will encourage the preparation of a complete nomination document for the property.
(f) Who is notified when U.S. World Heritage nominations are proposed? (1) The Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks publishes notice of decisions on proposed U.S. nominations in the Federal Register (Second Notice). If any properties are identified as proposed nominations, the Assistant Secretary also notifies the following parties in writing:
(i) The owner(s) of lands or interests of land that are to be included in the nomination; and
(ii) The House Resources Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
(2) The Second Notice advises the recipients of the proposed action, references these rules, and sets forth the process for preparing a nomination. NPS also prepares and issues a press release on the proposed nomination.
(g) How is a U.S. World Heritage Nomination prepared? NPS coordinates arrangements for the preparation of a complete nomination document for each proposed property. If you are a property owner(s), you, in cooperation with NPS, are responsible for preparing the draft nomination and for gathering documentation in support of it. NPS oversees the preparation of the nomination and ensures that it follows the procedures contained in these rules and the format and procedural guidelines established by the World Heritage Committee. Each nomination is prepared according to the schedule set forth in the First Notice.
(h) How is a draft U.S. World Heritage nomination evaluated? The draft nomination document serves as the basis for the Assistant Secretary's decision to nominate the property to the World Heritage Committee. NPS coordinates the review and evaluation of draft World Heritage nominations. We distribute copies to all members of the Federal Interagency Panel for World Heritage and request comments regarding the significance of the property and the adequacy of the draft nomination. Afterward, we compile the recommendations and comments received from the members of the Panel.
(i) How is a U.S. World Heritage nomination approved and submitted? (1) The Assistant Secretary, based on personal evaluation and the recommendations from the Panel, may nominate a property that appears to meet the World Heritage criteria to the World Heritage Committee on behalf of the United States. The Assistant Secretary sends an approved nomination document, through the Department of State, to the World Heritage Committee. The nomination document should be transmitted so that the World Heritage Committee receives it before the deadline established for any given year.
(2) Nomination by the United States does not place a property on the World Heritage List. The World Heritage Committee must consider and approve the nomination, usually at a meeting during the year following its nomination, before it is inscribed as a World Heritage Site.
(j) Who is notified when a U.S. property has been nominated to the World Heritage List? (1) Upon approving a nomination, the Assistant Secretary notifies the following parties in writing (Third Notice):
(i) The owner(s) of land or interests in land that are included in the nomination;
(ii) The House Resources Committee; and
(iii) The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.