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Cultural Resources

Cultural Resources are tangible remains of past human activity. These may include buildings; structures; prehistoric sites; historic or prehistoric objects or collection; rock inscription; earthworks, canals, or landscapes. These nonrenewable resources may yield unique information about past societies and environments, and provide answers for modern day social and conservation problems. Although many have been discovered and protected, there are numerous forgotten, undiscovered, or unprotected cultural resources in rural America.

Our Cultural Resources Fact Sheet (PDF, 1 KB) describes the important role cultural resources plays in support of the Natural Resources Conservation Service mission.

 

NRCS General Manual Chapter: Cultural Resources (Archaeological and Historic Properties) (GM 420, Part 401)

 

NRCS National Cultural Resources Procedures Handbook (H 190 Part 601) (PDF, 3.94 MB)

 

Section 106 of the National Historic Reservation Act, February 2013 (PDF, 3.11 MB)

 

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Link to the independent agency charged with overseeing the Federal preservation programs and providing access for private citizens to the review process.

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National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) - National Register of Historic Places Act (NHPA) Guidance (PDF, 3.94 MB)

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Directory of State Historic Preservation Officers

Directory of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers 

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Protecting Historic Properties
A Citizen's Guide to Section 106 Review-link to grass-roots guidance for private property owners interested in understanding federal historic preservation

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National Park Services: Federal Preservation Institute - Historic Preservation Learning Portal

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Links to the Past
Link to technical guidance documents for treatment of historic and cultural properties, developed by the National Park Service's Technical Preservation Services, the current list of National Register of Historic Places properties and guidances on care and treatment.

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation
Link to the nation's largest private, locally-based historic preservation non-profit organization and dozens of technical guidances and briefs on care and maintenance of historic properties.

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Society for American Archaeology

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Society for Historical Archaeology

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Plant Guides of Culturally Significant Plants

 

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Online Database

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The following documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Contact information for NRCS' cultural resources coordinators and specialists in State and Regional Offices, Centers, and other offices will be updated in January, 2014.

Indigenous Stewardship Methods and NRCS Conservation Practices Guidebook (PDF; 1 MB)

NRCS' Nationwide Programmatic Agreement with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (PDF; 439 KB) NRCS' umbrella document for streamlining procedures to protect historic properties.

25 Simple Things You Can Do to Promote the Public Benefits of Archaeology (PDF; 18 KB)

Compilation of State and Tribal Laws and Regulations
State laws often require treatment of burial sites and associated resources, and most carry penalties for failure to comply.

In response to increasing concerns over the looting of cultural resources, including sites containing human remains and funerary objects, many states and tribes have enacted legislation and codes to project burial sites. These laws and codes often require special treatment of burial sites and objects and may have penalties for failure to comply. This project (the map) is a compilation of exiting state and tribal cultural resources laws and codes and we encourage you to review and comment, and suggest additional information and web links.

Click on any state in the map to view available information on its State and Tribal Laws and Regulations. The information contained on this web site is to provide you with basic information and is not a substitute for legal counsel.

The following National Statement of Work Templates require Microsoft Word:

Cultural Resources Evaluations (DOC; 35 KB)
Cultural Resources Archival Research (DOC; 36 KB)
Cultural Resources Identification Surveys (DOC; 50 KB)

Questions and comments are welcome and encouraged. Please address all correspondences to Sarah Bridges, NRCS National Cultural Resources Specialist and Federal Preservation Officer, at sarah.bridges@wdc.usda.gov.