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Utah Historic Preservation Plan to 2022

So why a Statewide Preservation Plan? As defined in the National Historic Preservation Act, each State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) “must carry out a historic preservation planning process that includes the development and implementation of a comprehensive statewide historic preservation plan providing guidance for effective decision making about historic property preservation throughout the State.”  Beyond the legal requirements, this Statewide Preservation Plan captures the current state of historic preservation efforts in Utah and uses that information to provide a road map looking forward to assist in planning and decision-making by all those who affect the resources.

As described in this plan, over the next eight years, UTSHPO will engage in four goals:

  1. Build a Foundation of Knowledge – By increasing awareness and appreciation for Utah’s diverse heritage
  2. Practice Preservation Ethics – Understanding and use of accepted preservation standards and techniques
  3. Improve Collaboration – Strengthen existing partnerships and build new ones
  4. Increase Economic Infrastructure – Advance preservation as economic development

UTSHPO staff clearly articulated to all interested parties that this plan is to not only guide the efforts of this office, but to also build a road map for all Utahns towards a common set of goals.

Click on the Plan Cover below to see the full document. If you have questions, comments, edits, or ideas regarding this plan or the documents below please email Chris Merritt at or Kevin Fayles at


























Below are some great examples of what people think about “Heritage” in Utah:

  • To know our roots/ancestry is to know ourselves.
  • Heritage and historic preservation bring history alive, improves our town’s and state’s economic vitality, honors our forbears, helps bridge cultural differences, and nurtures a shared sense of belonging.
  • “Heritage” is an intangible resource, accessible and available to EVERYONE. It should, and does require an appreciation for and understanding of one’s personal history, family history, as well as regional (and larger history). Fostering such an interest in personal history is a strength here in Utah, but so much more could be done to make important links between personal histories and wider trends in regional development, the importance of preserving various aspects of tangible history, as well as educating the public on some of the more obscure regulatory aspects of historic preservation, archaeology, land- and resource-management, and the important role public advocates of history and “heritage” play.
  • Our history, which encompasses not only the people from our past but the places they lived, worked and played


  • We cannot understand who we are without understanding our past, and the past of those who lived here before we got here. Our heritage – the physical remains of past lives and communities – is what informs us of how we came to be. Our heritage also enriches our lives and communities by putting a physical and material face on the stories we share.
  • Heritage is what remains of our shared past. It belongs to all of us. Living in a tourist economy, it also bring tourists to our area.
  • We are shaped by the stories of our past and heritage sites are the part of our culture that show-and-tell us who we are. Without physical evidence the stories lose a lot of their meaning. One of my favorite quotes is:
    “How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past?”
    ― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
  • Being both Hispanic and Native American Indian, heritage is EXTREMELY important to me! I lost much of it with the idea of assimilation and the misunderstanding of what heritage is! Heritage is where you come from, who you are, and who your descendants will be – it includes Language, ways of life, of believing, and of how we treat each other as well as our Earth. So much of this has already been lost – I believe it is imperative for our future generations as well as our survival to know the past, protect what we can, and to pass on our heritage – our communities DEPEND on it!!
  • It’s our legacy, a symbol of who and what we were. If it’s destroyed or altered that precious history is erased. To live only for the moment, for the “now,” for the ultramodern, is a very shallow way to live.
  • Historic cultural resources define the unique character of a place, i.e. heritage. The cultural identity embodied in historic places contributes to social stability and the economic sustainability of communities when historic places continue to be used and maintained with thoughtful stewardship. Reuse of historic properties is environmentally responsible as noted in the tagline, “The greenest building is the one already built.”