The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) provides yearly grants to Tribes with an approved Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) to protect and conserve important Tribal cultural and historic assets and sites. The costs covered by the grants include:
- Staff salaries
- Archaeological and architectural surveys
- Review and compliance activities
- Comprehensive preservation studies
- National Register nominations
- Educational programs
- Other preservation-related activities
Grant Funding Sources and Apportionment
Funding for the HPF comes from offshore oil and gas lease revenues – the idea being that the use of one non-renewable resource benefits the preservation of other precious and irreplaceable resources. Congress annually authorizes $150 million to the HPF for grants to State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs) and THPOs to carry out the mandates of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Of the appropriated funds, about 90% is allotted to the eligible THPOs to support each Tribe’s HPO program (the remaining 10% of the appropriation funds the Tribal Heritage Grant Program). Individual tribal awards are determined using the following apportionment formula: 81% is divided equally among all THPOs and the remaining 19% is apportioned based on the area of Tribal lands as defined by the National Historic Preservation Act.
Applying for a Tribal Historic Preservation Grant
To be eligible for a THPO HPF grant, the Tribe must have:
- An approved THPO agreement with the National Park Service
- A single, appointed, permanent or active THPO
- No outstanding prior HPF grant reports, problems or audit findings
- No outstanding reports due under the NPS/THPO agreement
- No other issue that would legally bar the Tribe from receiving Federal funds
To receive a Federal grant, the tribe must ensure that it has registered and has an active account in each of the following systems:
- Dun and Bradstreet
- System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
- Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP.gov)
There are no fees involved in registering on any of the systems. Registration can take several days to several weeks, so tribes should begin the process early in the fiscal year.
Applications MUST be submitted through Grants.gov. Applications cannot be mailed, faxed or emailed.
Each year’s application will have a specific “grant opportunity number” used to identify the application package in Grants.gov. The grant application package consists of the following:
- Annual Anticipated Activities List or Workplan (see the HPF Quick Guide for program-specific instructions for the Work
- SF424, Application for Federal Assistance
- SF424a, Non-Construction Budget Form (SF424a instructions)
- SF424b, Non-Construction Assurances Form
- SF424c, Construction Budget Form (if applicable)
- SF424d, Construction Assurances Form (if applicable)
- Budget Narrative Attachment
- Audit Certification Form
Once a THPO submits an application through Grants.gov, NPS will review the application for errors and process or contact the THPO for corrections. When the grant is processed, NPS sends an email of approval and a copy of the signed grant agreement to the THPO.
Grant funds will be placed in the tribe’s ASAP account within 48 hours of receiving the approving email.
All THPOs receiving an annual grant must submit an Annual HPF Grant Report Package at the end of the first year and a final Close-Out Report Package at the end of the second year of the grant. Step-by-step instructions for completing each report package can be found in the THPO Quick Guide.
A complete Annual Report consists of:
- Annual Significant Preservation Accomplishments Report
- Grants Product Summary Report
- SF425, Federal Financial Report (SF425 instructions)
- SF428a, Annual Tangible Personal Property Report
- SF428c, Tangible Personal Property Disposition Request (if applicable)
NEPA Review Requirements
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of proposed actions prior to making decisions. The National Park Service’s State, Tribal and Local Plans & Grants Environmental Screening Worksheet collects information about the proposed project to ensure NEPA compliance. The NPS works with THPOs in completing forms for any projects requiring a NEPA review.
THPOs must submit final financial reports to close out the grant. These reports are due within 90 days of the grant expiration date but may be submitted earlier if grant work is complete and expenses have been paid out. A complete Close-Out Report consists of:
- Final SF425, Federal Financial Report (SF425 instructions)
- Final SF424a, Final Budget Form (SF424A Program-Specific instructions)
- SF428b, Final Tangible Personal Property Report
- Copies of all applicable Indirect Cost Rate Agreements if indirect costs were charges to the grant
- Any additional reporting requirements listed in the tribe’s grant agreement
Risks and Remedies for Non-Compliance
If a THPO fails to comply with grant regulations or terms, the NPS may terminate the grant. Detailed compliance requirements can be found in 2 CFR 200.338-200.342. In addition:
- Failure of the THPO to submit thr tribe’s applicaition through Grants.gov by the application due date will result in the NPS withdrawing its funding offer for that fiscal year.
- Failure of the THPO to submit its active grant’s Annual Report Package or the previous year’s grant Close-Out Report Package by the due date will result in the THPO being ineligible for the next year’s funding.
Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP) System Enrollment Information
All HPF grants must use the ASAP system to access awarded funds. Registration in Sam.gov and ASAP.gov is required before submitting an application for a HPF grant.
To set up an ASAP account, submit an NPS ASAP enrollment form to ASAP_Enrollment@nps.gov. Once the NPS-ASAP Enrollment Office receives your enrollment form, you will receive an email with your Point of Contact (POC) and User ID. Your password will arrive via postal mail or you can call 855-868-0151 to obtain your password by phone.
- Requesting a Payment in ASAP Quick Guide
- Returning Funds in ASAP Quick Guide
- Additional Training and Instructions for ASAP Users
- SF270 Request for Advance or Reimbursement
All non-Federal entities that expend $750,000 or more of Federal awards in a fiscal year must undergo a Single Audit or program-specific audit for that year. View additional details regarding audit guidance and instructions.
Re-Designating or Changing a THPO
Designation of a new THPO requires the following procedures:
- The Chief Governing Official designates, in writing, the new THPO.
- The Chief Governing Official notifies the Chief, Tribal Preservation Programs, National Park Service, for acceptance. A sample notification statement can be found on page 66 of the HPF Quick Guide.
- A copy of the notification statement should also be submitted to the Chief, State, Tribal and Local Plan and Grants division.