Historic Preservation Office (HPO) was established by the
passage of the CNMI Historic Preservation Act of 1982 (Public
The intent of Public Law 3-39 is to (1). Ensure the identification
and protection of significant archaeological, historic,
and cultural resources in the Commonwealth; (2). Educate
the public concerning matters relating to local history,
archaeology, culture and historic preservation; and (3).
Develop historic and cultural properties to allow them to
contribute to the cultural, social, and economic growth
of our citizens.
The CNMI contains a wealth of historic and cultural properties
whose preservation, study and interpretation is vital to
the development of self-understanding and self-pride on
the part of our people, and to the interest of the international
science in understanding the history and cultures of the
people and environment of the Pacific Islands.
These historic and cultural properties are subject to
damage and destruction by uncontrolled land-use development
and once destroyed, the historical and/or archaeological
value they possess will be gone forever. For this reason,
it is the duty of the Historic Preservation Office to ensure
the protection, preservation and regulation of historic
and cultural sites pursuant to Public
Law 3-39 P.L. 3-33, as
amended by P.L. 10-71
to address violation matters.
To carry out these duties, the Historic Preservation Office
is staffed with a Historic Preservation Officer, professionals
in the field of History and Archaeology, Historic Preservation
Coordinators, Specialists, and Technicians. In addition,
HPO is equipped with a federal grants manager, a community
development specialist, and administrative assistants. The
Office is under the auspices of the Department of Community
and Cultural Affairs.