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FCC reaches tower agreement with USET Tribes

February 9, 2004

The FCC is attempting to make peace with the federally-recognized American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages, as well as Native Hawaiian Organizations, by signing an agreement to recognize historic sites of cultural importance before building communications towers.

The parties are in the final stages of drafting a set of “best practices” that identify methods by which the communications tower industry and USET Tribes can work together to preserve properties of religious and cultural significance. USET, established in 1968, is a non-profit inter-Tribal government organization comprised of 24 federally recognized Indian Tribes from Maine to Florida to Texas.

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Federal agencies are required to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties that are included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, which may include properties of traditional religious and cultural importance to an Indian Tribe or Native Hawaiian Organization.

The FCC also announced a new communications tower notification system designed to alert various parties at an early stage when protection of an historic property, Tribal religious site, or cultural site is necessary. Users of the new notification system include anyone involved in the construction of communications towers, specifically, tower companies, outside consultants, State Historic Preservation Officers, federally-recognized American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages, as well as Native Hawaiian Organizations.

For more information, visit: , or the FCC’s Tribal homepage at

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