When a project may have adverse effects on a historic landscape, an agreement document, usually a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), will be developed among the consulting parties. Agreement documents for historic landscapes may be complex if they can cover multiple resources and various property types, but standard procedures apply. A Programmatic Agreement (PA) may be appropriate for recurring activities within large landscapes or for complex or phased projects. For example, ongoing maintenance activities on a historic highway or freeway construction on new alignment across a historic reclamation district may warrant a Programmatic Agreement to take the effects of recurring or phased activities into account.


When a transportation project involves land that is part of an eligible historic landscape, Section 4(f) of the 1966 Department of Transportation Act may apply. As application of Section 4(f) is the responsibility of a federal transportation agency, typically the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), consult the appropriate division of that agency for guidance in Section 4(f) determinations.

In eligibility documentation for historic landscapes, careful delineation of boundaries and contributing features and a clear statement of the characteristics which convey eligibility are essential for assisting the federal agency in determining whether Section 4(f) will apply.