Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation

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Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation is an organization based in Denver, Colorado. “The Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP) creatively engages Coloradans and their guests in partnerships to discover, preserve, and take pride in our architectural, archaeological, and other historic places by providing statewide leadership and support to our partners in archaeology and historic preservation.”


"As the designated steward of Colorado history, we aspire to engage people in our State’s heritage through collecting, preserving, and discovering the past in order to educate and provide perspectives for the future."


City and County Government Preservation Program (also known as Certified Local Governments or CLG):

The 1980 amendment to the National Historic Preservation Act created CLG’s. There are currently 120 participating Colorado CLG’s. Each are eligible for federal grants, state preservation tax credit program, and invited to several workshops to increase agency communication.

National & State Registers of Historic Places: The OAHP, “assists property owners in listing Colorado’s most historically and architecturally significant buildings, structures, and sites in the National Register of Historic Places and the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties.” Each property is case-by-case, however, most properties can receive tax credits for “rehabilitation projects.” Properties may also be eligible for state grants for, “for acquisition and development, education, and survey and planning projects.”

Office of the State Archaeologist (OSAC): This program identifies, documents and protects archaeological resources. OSAC responds to discovered human remains and resolves issues between industrial development, research, and tribal considerations.

Preservation Tax Credits: In July 2015, Colorado was one of the first states to offer historic preservation tax credits. The credits are used to rehabilitate certain historic buildings. “These credit allow taxpayers to reduce, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, the amount of income tax they owe to the government. The amount of credit that can be obtained is calculated as a percentage of the overall rehabilitation costs associated with the project.” Examples include:

  • “A 10% federal tax credit for the rehabilitation of older, non-historic commercial properties
  • A 20% federal tax credit for the rehabilitation of certified historic buildings used for income-producing purposes
  • A 20% state tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic, owner-occupied residences
  • A 20% -30% state tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic buildings used for income-producing purposes.”

Within the last year, over 1000 buildings have been “restored” with this new tax credit.

Program for Avocational Archaeological Certification (PAAC): This program was started in 1978 to provide opportunities for public persons to gain expert knowledge and field study, “outside of an academic degree program.” “It also facilitates avocational public service and assistance in education, governmental management of cultural resources, research, and the protection of archaeological resources in Colorado. This training, however, is supplementary and does not replace higher education at a university or in “government training programs.” The PAAC Board governs the PAAC programs and is made up of three members (board chairperson, Colorado Archaeological Society President, and the State Archaeologist).

Review & Compliance: Compliance with Section 106 of the Historic and Preservation Act is mandatory. All local governments must be involved, “when a federal agency funds, licenses or permits an activity that may affect cultural resources.”

State Historical Fund (SHF): In 1990, the state constitution was amended to allow a portion of gambling and gaming tax revenues to go to historic preservation. The preservation project money is highly competitive and must meet certain criteria to be considered. 4210 grants have been given in 64 counties, totaling more than $275,000,000. Centennial Farms is a program within the SHF, “to recognize the important role agriculture has played in our state's history and economic development.”

Survey & Inventory: These activities involve governments at the federal, state, county, and city levels to assess buildings or houses. OAHP assists with “planning and documenting” surveys and inventories and stores the findings in a public database.


  1.  "OAHP Website"

Staff Archaeologist

Thomas Carr


Section 106 Compliance Manager

Jennifer Bryant