Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Certified Local Government (CLG) Historic Preservation Program in Wisconsin

Certified Local Government Historic Preservation Program in Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society

The Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) administers the Certified Local Government program for the National Park Service in Wisconsin. The federal law creating the Certified Local Government program can be found in 36 CFR Part 61, Section 61.5 "Approved Local Programs."

A Certified Local Government (CLG) is any city, village, county or town that has been certified by the SHPO and the Department of the Interior to meet these basic criteria:

  • Establish by ordinance a qualified historic preservation commission
  • Enforce appropriate state or local legislation for the designation and protection of historic properties
  • Maintain a system for the survey and inventory of local historic resources
  • Provide for public participation in the local historic preservation program

Wisconsin Requirements for Certified Local Governments

Federal law allows the state to establish additional requirements for CLGs. The CLG must adhere to all of the federal and state requirements or the SHPO may revoke the CLG certification. The Wisconsin SHPO has established these additional requirements:

  1. The CLG must enact and enforce a historic preservation ordinance that regulates historic property.
  2. A CLG must provide annual reporting to the SHPO on CLG activities.
  3. A CLG must send copies of meeting minutes and agendas to the SHPO following each meeting.
  4. The ordinance must not allow historic property owners to "opt-out" of local historic designation.
  5. Designation must not require owner consent.
  6. The commission must approve work on locally designated properties and recommendations may not be "advisory."

What are the Benefits of CLG Status?

  • Eligibility to apply for Wisconsin Historic Preservation Fund Subgrants from the federal Historic Preservation Fund allocation to the state, to be used for eligible CLG activities.
  • Ability to formally comment on National Register of Historic Places nominations within its municipal boundaries before they are sent to the State Historic Preservation Review Board.
  • Eligibility to authorize the use of Chapter 11 of the International Existing Building Code for locally designated historic buildings.

Is My Community Already a CLG?

A searchable database of CLGs nationwide can be found through the National Park Service CLG search page. You can also view a map (207 KB, PDF) of all Wisconsin CLGs.

Learn More

Have Questions?

Contact Joe DeRose by phone at 608-264-6512 or by email below: