New Issue Briefs on Key Preservation Issues from the Preservation Priorities Task Force

By Special Contributor posted 09-15-2021 14:05

By Rebecca Harris and Jim Lindberg

A group of preservation advocates from across the country have come together to develop a new series of publications on key issues facing the preservation movement. Released today and available online, the “Issue Briefs” address four significant, interrelated issues:

Two people working on cabin in a National Park.
Participants in a 2020 Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program (TTAP) training learn how to repair log structures at Mount Rainier National Park. | Photo: National Park Service.

The Issue Briefs were developed through the Preservation Priorities Task Force—a partnership between the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Preservation Partners Network. Formed in 2020, this two-year project is designed to support statewide and local organizations by providing new resources and grants to tackle these issues. The task force includes four working groups, one for each issue, plus a steering committee and a communications subcommittee. To date, more than 50 preservation practitioners have joined working groups, representing 23 states and dozens of organizations. A full list of task force members is available at

Not intended as comprehensive studies, the four Issue Briefs are designed to build mutual understanding, spark conversation, and inspire action. Preservation organizations and advocates are encouraged to use the Issue Briefs in any number of ways—as guides for discussions with community leaders and stakeholders, background for outreach to potential partners, support materials for fundraising efforts, and more.

View of flooding in Annapolis, Maryland. The waters reach the first level of the historic buildings to the left of the image.
Rising sea levels, greater storm surges, and more regular “100-year” floods are challenging preservation and community leaders across the country to develop solutions that balance safety, resilience, and the protection of historic sites and neighborhoods. | Photo: Courtesy City of Annapolis.

The Issue Briefs also provide a foundation for the next phase of this initiative: developing practical tools for use by preservation organizations, advocates, and practitioners across the country. The working groups will spend the next year developing new resources such as key messages and talking points, policy examples, case studies, one-pagers, tip sheets, and webinars. This growing set of tools will be available at

The task force welcomes more voices and contributors to this effort, as well as feedback on the Issue Briefs. Ways to participate include:

  • Joining a working group to help with the next phase
  • Sharing a case study related to one of the priority issues
  • Using an Issue Brief in your work and letting us know how it goes
  • Spreading the word about this project within your networks

The Preservation Priorities Task Force is supported by the Moe Family Fund for Statewide and Local Partners, which is providing grants for innovative demonstration projects related to the four priorities. The first round of grant recipients will be announced later this fall. The Preservation Fund for Eastern Massachusetts of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is supporting production of these Issue Briefs.

For more information and to learn how you can participate in this effort, visit or contact Rebecca Harris at or Jim Lindberg at

Rebecca Harris is program director for the National Preservation Partners Network, and Jim Lindberg is senior policy director at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

a combined graphic with the logos of the Preservation Priorities Task Force.