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Author Solivagant
#1 | Posted: 20 Oct 2010 03:19 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I have just come across this section of the US Parks Service Web site of which I was not previously aware - That of "The NPS Office of International Affairs". It contains the nomination documents for EVERY US site inscribed since the very commencement of the scheme in 1978. I find this all the more noteworthy since the UNESCO Web site only has nomination files since 1998! Indeed I wasn't even sure if there were formal "Nomination Files" in those very early days.But there they are for download right back to Mesa Verde and Yellowstone.

They are, of course, scanned documents which, apart from a modern heading page for each, appear to be genuinely contemporary to the Nomination - even in some cases to the added handwritten scribbles etc! They are remarkably comprehensive and add considerably to the information available on the often peremptory evaluation documents from those early days.

To date, I have only perused a few and have already found a new "Connection" for "Locations for Playing Sport" - Taos Pueblo - the Race Track for the Annual San Geronimo Relay Race. ("This Race Track, shown on Fig 2 is the site of foot races which play an important part in the ceremonial cycle at Taos")

Another document worth looking at is the "Guide to US World Heritage Program" whose purpose is stated as being "to provide a summary for persons and organizations who are interested in the U.S. World Heritage Program, as well as for owners of nationally important cultural and natural sites, in understanding the World Heritage List. It will also explain fully how a very few exceptional sites in this country are nominated to it and how owners and other interested parties may participate."


It only claims to be a draft but provides a useful summary on a whole range of factors which apply to all countries as well as some interesting detail and background to the way the US does things. I hadn't realised for instance that, for any property to be nominated by the US, it
"......must have been formally determined to be nationally significant before nomination. A property qualifies as "nationally significant'' only if it is:
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) ......;
an area the United States Congress has established by law as nationally significant; or
an area the President of the United States has proclaimed as a National Monument
under the Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 U.S.C. 433)"

I wondered about Taos Pueblo - but indeed the Nomination file, as well as including an interesting history about the ownership of the Pueblo and US/Indian Tribe negotiations, includes details of the Pueblo's recognition as a "National Historic Landmark" in 1960.

Author winterkjm
#2 | Posted: 2 Jan 2011 21:32 
Comments Sought on US World Heritage Nominations
(If you want to have an impact on which US sites are brought before the WHC first, or if the US should add more sites to their Tentative list, send your suggestions and comments to

SUMMARY: This is a first notice for the public to comment on the next
potential U.S. nominations from the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List
to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) World Heritage List, and on possible additions to the
Tentative List.

Author winterkjm
#3 | Posted: 13 Jan 2011 15:04 
Here is a link concerning the Ceremonial Earthworks in Ohio. This is the first time I have heard the suggestion of combining Serpent Mound and the Hopewell sites into one nomination. There seems to be some support for submitting the sites in Ohio first among the other new US cultural heritage nominations. ES/Public-s-help-sought-Earthworks-seeks-World-Heritage-status

Author winterkjm
#4 | Posted: 30 Jan 2011 08:07 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Recent articles on potential WHS in the United States. Two sites from the US Tentative list will be submitted to UNESCO for inscription in 2013. These two site are currently being decided. Here are some sites that seem to be in the running for early inscription in 2013.

Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings

Ohio Earthwork Nomination (Hopewell & Serpent Mound, Single Nomination)

Author winterkjm
#5 | Posted: 6 Apr 2011 06:49 
The next 1-2 US sites that will make their bid for World Heritage should be announced in the next month or so. The question is can they complete the preperation documents before Feb. 2012? If not, it might be the 2014 WHC before any US sites are examined.

Furthermore, the Federal Interagency Panel for World Heritage will convene this April/May to potentially reccomend new US sites for inscription, and will then convene again this Fall to consider adding new sites to the tentative list.

Author winterkjm
#6 | Posted: 27 Sep 2011 22:37 
Interesting information on the San Antonio Franciscan Missions Nomination. e-proposal-for-2191659.php

Author winterkjm
#7 | Posted: 24 Oct 2011 23:03 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Two somewhat unrelated, but interesting facts about the US and World Heritage.
- Who knew that the Aztec Ruins National Monument was included in the Chaco Canyon WHS? I did not, I even drove by the national monument a while back, but did not have time to stop.

On another note it is perhaps somewhat suprising how much of the United States is not represented on the world heritage list. The total size of this portion of the United States is equal to India and Spain combined.

None of these states (31/50) or territories (4/5) have a WHS

Alabama (tentative list)
Georgia (tentative list)
Louisiana (tentative list)
New Hampshire
New Jersey
North Dakota
Ohio (tentative list)
Oklahoma (tentative list)
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Texas (tentative list)
West Virginia
Wisconsin (tentative list)

*American Samoa (tentative list)
*Northern Mariana Islands
*U.S. Virgin Islands

Author Solivagant
#8 | Posted: 25 Oct 2011 02:45 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Re Aztec Ruins.
This explains why the official UNESCO name for the inscribed site was changed in 2006 from "Chaco Culture NHP" to "Chaco Culture" since the previous title referred solely to 1 part of the inscribed area. But this has resulted in a rather strange title since it doesn't refer to a "place" at all. I haven't found (but have only done a cursory review!) ANY other site name like this referring solely to a "concept" - usually a phrase like "historic sites of ..." is added.

The original nomination by US consisted SOLELY of Chaco canyon NHP but the Bureau asked for additional areas to be added and inscription was deferred for 2 years whilst Aztec ruins and some other locations were added
"The new proposal received on 16 April 1987 perfectly satisfies these wishes and includes Pierre's site, Halfway House, Twin Angels and Pueblo Aztec - these four sites stretching along the south-north great road beginning at Chaco- and Kin Nizhoni and Casamero -two sites depending on the south road network." (AB evaluation)

It would appear that, at the time, everyone forgot that the old and very specific title was no longer appropriate. It looks like they just dropped the "NHP" part of the original title as a quick fix rather than think up a new combined and all inclusive title - US NP documentation just calls it "Chaco Culture" in the same way as it calls Aztec Ruins NM "Aztec Ruins" so, strictly, even the new title isn't "all-inclusive".

We should perhaps have a connection for sites situated along "Roads" with separated locations?? (We only have Pilgrimage Routes" - and there would be an overlap but some new ones too)

Author elsslots
#9 | Posted: 25 Oct 2011 08:59 
We should perhaps have a connection for sites situated along "Roads" with separated locations??

Or add it to Linear inscriptions?

Author Solivagant
#10 | Posted: 25 Oct 2011 09:21 
I had thought of that but "Linear" sites are "continuous", are they not, along a railway, a road/route or a wall - and hence create a "linear" shape. The Routes of Santiago in France and Chaco Culture just follow a road/route with separate "point" locations INSIDE a single inscription.

The Incense Route seems to have examples of both types
a. The section between Avdid and Moa is Linear
b. The entire site follows a route across 4 "locations" (Including the "linear" location)

The Camino is the same with a complete "Linear" section as well as numerous "points"

As we have identified previously the Route of Santiago in Spain is "ambiguous" as to whether it is really "continuous" or not.

Author Solivagant
#11 | Posted: 26 Nov 2011 17:18 | Edited by: Solivagant 
A nice example of the rather extreme opposition from some in the US to all things UNESCO!!
"Are you aware that the US Government has been slowly and incrementally allowing the United Nations to take some control over American treasures like Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Estate, the Grand Canyon and even the Statue of Liberty, under the United Nation's Agenda 21 program?"
See for the full rant.

I don't know where this "fact" came from
"As of November 2011, 68 percent of all U.S. national parks, monuments and preserves have now been designated as "World Heritage Sites"
He is including biosphere Reserves in his targets but even so....

Author winterkjm
#12 | Posted: 27 Nov 2011 15:24 
Generally, right-wing conservatives in the US regard everything related to the UN as rubbish.

Author winterkjm
#13 | Posted: 29 Jan 2012 13:25 | Edited by: winterkjm 
San Antonio Franciscan Missions

It is difficult to know when exactly this nomination will come before the world heritage committee, but it certainly is one of the early candidates on the US tentative list. Probably 2015? From what I know it seems the Frank Lloyd Wright Nomination and Poverty Point are slotted for 2014. There was talk about the missions seeking inscription for 2013, but I think that has long since been delayed in order to prepare the nomination documents.

"And now, the movement to add the missions to the World Heritage List is picking up speed. At the end of May, an influential group of experts - the U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites - will have its convention in San Antonio, allowing that body's experts to see the missions themselves." ritage-2758553.php

Author winterkjm
#14 | Posted: 8 Mar 2012 04:52 | Edited by: winterkjm 
On Monday, March 5, 2012, the (US) Federal government published a First Notice for the public to comment on the next potential U.S. nominations from the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List to the UNESCO World Heritage List, and on possible additions to the Tentative List.

Next US Sites to be submitted to Unesco

*Poverty Point National Monument and State Historic Site, Louisiana [Selected To Prepare a Nomination in 2011; Draft Nomination in Preparation]

*Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings [Selected To Prepare a Nomination in 2011; Draft Nomination in Preparation]

Official Notice (All Details)
The notice can be found at this link:

Author winterkjm
#15 | Posted: 17 Mar 2012 01:03 
US World Heritage Blog through the National Park Service website.

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