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Historic and Archaeological Resources <BACK

Federal Historic and Archaeological Laws and Regulations

Federal legislation guides the historic and archaeological studies. These laws were developed in recognizing that our nation's tangible history is irreplaceable. With the following laws, federal agencies are held accountable and are to take into consideration the effects that their decisions make on the cultural landscape:

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended is the main regulatory legislation in historic and archaeological resource management. It was enacted in 1966 to help preserve "historic and archeological resources of national, regional, state, and local significance." The main section of this act that impacts transportation projects is Section 106. Under Section 106 any federal agency or federally-assisted undertaking must take into account the effects that such an undertaking would have on either National Register listed or eligible properties.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's Regulations (36 CFR Part 800) defines the actions and the recommended approach for historic and archaeological activity. It defines the role of the federal agency in the protection of historic properties and defines the key players involved in the process. The increased awareness of public involvement and the role of the consulting party are taken from the 1999 revised regulations.

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 was enacted to "prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation." Part of this is to "preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national heritage, and maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity and variety of individual choice."

 

 

 
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