Project

Guide to evaluating electric transmission structures for the National Register of Historic Places

Project (M.A., History (Public History)) -- California State University, Sacramento, 2010.

This study is an attempt to develop a statewide systematic approach to the surveying and evaluation of electric transmission structures in California to determine their eligibility for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. As federal and state regulations on historic preservation dictate, these structures are recognized cultural resources and therefore require consideration for their historic significance. Electric transmission structures are regularly evaluated in California though there is an apparent lack of cohesiveness in the determinations by the evaluators. A systematic evaluation approach helps develop a more objective evaluation of these structures rather than leaving the determinations subjective to each evaluator. This approach benefits the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) with providing concurrence for each evaluation as well as assists the evaluators and their clients by lowering the time, effort, and cost needed for extensive research because the information needed is already compiled in this study.
 vi
 Sources of Data
 Numerous sources of data were gathered and used for the production of this document. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) laws and regulations were reviewed with particular focus given to Section 106, 110, 111, of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) criteria, and publications and interpretations of those laws including the National Parks Service (NPS) Bulletin 15, and Secretary of the Interior‟s Standards for Preservation of an Historic Property.
 Conclusions Reached
 It is the determination of this study that electric transmission structures can be considered historically significant under any criteria for the National Register of Historic Places. It is unlikely that a transmission line or structure that was among the first electrical transmission systems built in California is still in operation. Additionally, transmissions structures are often repaired, replaced, or designed to have a short lifespan and often do not even reach the required fifty years of age to become historically significant. In any case, the recommendations for evaluating these structures given in this study should be used in practice by all researchers conducting cultural resources investigations so that there is a workable systematic approach in California.

This study is an attempt to develop a statewide systematic approach to the surveying and evaluation of electric transmission structures in California to determine their eligibility for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. As federal and state regulations on historic preservation dictate, these structures are recognized cultural resources and therefore require consideration for their historic significance. Electric transmission structures are regularly evaluated in California though there is an apparent lack of cohesiveness in the determinations by the evaluators. A systematic evaluation approach helps develop a more objective evaluation of these structures rather than leaving the determinations subjective to each evaluator. This approach benefits the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) with providing concurrence for each evaluation as well as assists the evaluators and their clients by lowering the time, effort, and cost needed for extensive research because the information needed is already compiled in this study. vi Sources of Data Numerous sources of data were gathered and used for the production of this document. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) laws and regulations were reviewed with particular focus given to Section 106, 110, 111, of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) criteria, and publications and interpretations of those laws including the National Parks Service (NPS) Bulletin 15, and Secretary of the Interior‟s Standards for Preservation of an Historic Property. Conclusions Reached It is the determination of this study that electric transmission structures can be considered historically significant under any criteria for the National Register of Historic Places. It is unlikely that a transmission line or structure that was among the first electrical transmission systems built in California is still in operation. Additionally, transmissions structures are often repaired, replaced, or designed to have a short lifespan and often do not even reach the required fifty years of age to become historically significant. In any case, the recommendations for evaluating these structures given in this study should be used in practice by all researchers conducting cultural resources investigations so that there is a workable systematic approach in California.

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