Leadership & Governance

ASLA HALS (Historic American Landscapes Survey) Guidelines


For the purposes of this document, the terms below are defined as follows:

  • Agreement – The formal agreement between the National Park Service, Library of Congress, and American Society of Landscape Architects to continue implementation of HALS.
  • ASLA – The American Society of Landscape Architects.
  • Chief of HALS – The chief of the Historic American Landscapes Survey within the National Park Service.
  • Executive Committee – The Executive Committee of the ASLA Board of Trustees.
  • Guidelines – The guidelines developed by NPS and ASLA concerning measured drawings, photography, and written histories, which must be followed in order to qualify HALS projects for cataloguing with the LOC.
  • HALS – The Historic American Landscapes Survey.
  • HALS liaison – The HALS representative for each state or part of a state served by an ASLA chapter.
  • HALS coordinator – A member of the HALS Subcommittee designated to coordinate the work of HALS liaisons.
  • HALS Subcommittee – The HALS Subcommittee of the Historic Preservation Professional Practice Network.
  • HP-PPN – The ASLA Historic Preservation Professional Practice Network.
  • LOC – The Library of Congress.
  • NPS – The National Park Service.
Establishment of HALS

ASLA is party to a tripartite Agreement with the National Park Service and the Library of Congress to implement and achieve the goals of the Historic American Landscapes Survey. ASLA’s obligations under the Agreement are as follows: The Society shall, through its organization and its individual members, aid and encourage HALS in various ways, including the enlistment of support, financial and otherwise, and the giving of professional advice when needed and called upon.

ASLA meets its obligations under the Agreement, in part, through the HALS Subcommittee. A national network of HALS liaisons appointed by ASLA chapter presidents implements the Agreement under the direction of the HALS coordinator. The vice president for professional practice monitors the administration of the Agreement on behalf of the ASLA Executive Committee; the managing director and coordinator for professional practice provide staff support; and the federal government affairs manager provides advocacy support.

HALS Coordinator
The HALS coordinator is a member of the HALS Subcommittee, is appointed by the chair of the HP-PPN for a two-year term, and may serve up to three consecutive terms. The coordinator may resign of necessity or may be dismissed by the HP-PPN chair for failure to act or other cause at any time.

HALS Liaison
The position of HALS liaison will be established in each ASLA chapter. In those chapters serving multiple states, a HALS liaison position may be established for each state.

Liaisons Network
The network of HALS liaisons consists of the HALS liaisons from each chapter and state.

Given that ASLA is a partner to the Agreement implementing HALS, each ASLA chapter, through its HALS liaison, provides local knowledge and conducts local activities to carry out ASLA’s obligations, and reports on HALS activities in the chapter’s annual report.

HALS liaisons are appointed by the chapter president in consultation with the HALS coordinator. Full, associate, or affiliate membership in the Society is required for service as a HALS liaison. HALS liaisons continue in their duties until replaced by their successors; but may resign of necessity or may be dismissed by the chapter president for failure to act or other cause at any time.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Advocate for federal and state support of HALS.
  2. Compile, prioritize, and update a list of local examples of historic landscapes that are threatened, highly significant, and/or highly valued.
  3. Assist the chief of HALS to compile a comprehensive national inventory of possible HALS study sites.
  4. Identify one or more historic landscapes that merit complete documentation pursuant to the guidelines, coordinate such documentation as resources allow, and promote completion of such documentation.
  5. Coordinate HALS activities with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
  6. Advise on the review and revision of state and local historic preservation laws and standards to include documentation of historic landscapes.
  7. Educate government agencies and consultants about the use of HALS for compliance with Sections 106 and 110(b) of the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 4(f) of the Transportation Department Act of 1966, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
  8. Promote public awareness of the importance of historic landscapes and the use of HALS.

HP-PPN HALS Subcommittee

The HP-PPN HALS Subcommittee advises ASLA on the implementation of the Historic American Landscapes Survey. ASLA has the responsibility for staff support of the HALS Subcommittee. This includes administrative support for the nomination and appointment process of the HALS Subcommittee chair and members, HALS Subcommittee communications, meeting coordination, and annual reporting.

Leadership and Members
The HALS coordinator is appointed by the HP-PPN chair in consultation with the designated ASLA support staff, and serves as the chair of the HALS Subcommittee. The HALS coordinator, in consultation with the HP-PPN chair, appoints the other members of the HALS Subcommittee.

The HALS Subcommittee is composed of 10-to-13 ASLA members, including: the HALS coordinator, as ex officio chair; three members from the private sector; three members from the public sector; three members from the academic sector; and up to three members at large. Other ex officio members of the HALS Subcommittee include the chief of HALS and the HP-PPN chair. In addition, the HALS Subcommittee may include up to three members designated by the Secretary of the Interior and/or the Librarian of Congress, who may or may not be ASLA members. Former HALS Subcommittee chairs may remain as members to the extent there is an opening on the Subcommittee.

Except for the HALS coordinator, the HP-PPN chair, and the chief of HALS, each member of the HALS Subcommittee is appointed for a three-year term and may be reappointed for a second term. Any member may be reappointed to serve in the future when there is an opening available.

The HALS Subcommittee meets quarterly; three times via conference call and once in-person during the annual meeting of the Society.  If a member is unable to attend a meeting, the member may not send a representative to act in her/his stead.  The HALS Subcommittee may make recommendations for proposed projects and actions in accordance with the Tripartite Agreement and these HALS Guidelines and as directed by ASLA through the designated ASLA support staff.  The HALS Subcommittee communicates regularly with the HALS liaisons and reports activities, comments, and recommendations through the designated ASLA support staff.  HALS Subcommittee meetings are open to guests and guest speakers invited by the HALS coordinator.

HALS Chapter Liaisons

HALS Liaisons Appointment and Duties:  2006
Updated and renamed HALS Guidelines:  2011 


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