The DHR is a state agency, supported by the State of New Hampshire, by the federal Historic Preservation Fund (through a matching grant administered by the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior), and by donated funds and services. The DHR's state program responsibilities encompass the activities of the popular SCRAP program for training and certifying avocational archaeologists. The DHR manages a program to preserve and protect state-owned historical resources; it issues permits for archaeological projects on state lands or under state waters; and it oversees the treatment of unmarked human burials discovered during land-altering activities. The DHR accepts gifts of objects of historic significance and places them at appropriate locations; it advises state government on the conservation needs of state-owned historical objects; it administers the state heritage landmark designation review procedures and the State Historical Resources Council; and it coordinates with the Department of Transportation in management of the state highway historical markers program. The DHR cooperates with the State Archivist and the Director of the Division of Parks & Recreation; it helps municipalities to establish historic districts and heritage commissions, and it assists local historical societies.
The DHR also works with other federal, state, and local agencies, organizations, groups, and individuals, in areas of mutual interest and concern, such as NH DOT's "Stone Walls" protection policy, the State Land Management Team, the state's Scenic/Cultural Byways program, and a variety of other partnership projects, including affordable housing, rural preservation, community charrettes, and technical assistance to enable historic properties to meet the requirements of building and safety codes, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Division of Historical Resources publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Old Stone Wall. The historic preservation program is also a focal point and resource for New Hampshire state government's emphasis on heritage tourism and sustainable development.
The DHR is part of many public/private partnerships focused on historic preservation; it has an especially strong and productive working relationship with the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, the non-profit statewide organization dedicated to the preservation of New Hampshire's historic buildings, landscapes and communities through leadership, advocacy, and education.