(1) At the earliest possible time during the planning of a particular activity, the project leader or appropriate Regional Office program must contact the Regional Historic Preservation Officer to determine what steps and level of funding are necessary to comply with the inventory, evaluation, and mitigation procedures addressed in 36 CFR 800.
(2) Prior to authorizing an undertaking, it may be necessary to complete an inventory to identify cultural resources. The Regional Historic Preservation Officer should seek the advice of the State Historic Preservation Officer in making this decision. The Advisory Council's regulations, 36 CFR 800, do not specify any particular level of inventory that must be completed for projects. Rather, decisions on the level of survey needed for undertakings should take into consideration factors such as the amount of available information, the nature and density of cultural resources in the area, and the stage of project planning. In some instances, the Regional Historic Preservation Officer may determine that completing a field inventory is unnecessary. Examples might include:
(a) Areas where the surface of the land has been substantially altered, disturbed, or created within the last 50 years.
(b) Areas that have been previously covered by an appropriate field inventory and adequate records exist documenting the work.
(c) Activities where there will be no new ground disturbance and no change to historic structures.
(d) Projects where a sufficient level of inventory, evaluation, and testing have been completed in adjacent areas with similar environmental and cultural zones, indicating there is little likelihood of significant cultural resources occurring within the area affected by the proposed activity.
(3) If a systematic inventory and cultural resource overview containing a background literature search have been completed for the field office, they should be used to guide decisions on the need for field inventories, evaluations, and mitigation. The Regional Historic Preservation Officer should be directly involved in arranging for inventories and evaluating identified cultural resources to determine whether they are eligible for the National Register in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer and, as necessary, the National Park Service; distributing completed survey reports and records; reviewing and making recommendations on approval of archaeological permit applications; monitoring the technical sufficiency of cultural resource field work; determining whether cultural items have been identified that may require notification of Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations and repatriation; and preparing procedural compliance documents.
(4) With the assistance of the appropriate project leader, the Regional Historic Preservation Officer is responsible for incorporating new information generated from inventories and studies conducted under permit, by contract, or through in-house means at field offices into cultural resource overviews and applicable planning documents.
(5) Refer to the Cultural Resource Management Handbook and the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation for more information on completing inventories.
B. Coordination with Requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). All Environmental Action Memoranda or similar documentation used by the Service to certify that proposed activities comply with the various requirements of NEPA must be reviewed and signed by the Regional Historic Preservation Officer to ensure that applicable historic preservation requirements have been met. In many instances, compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act can be conducted simultaneously with the review process for NEPA. However, the threshold for considering the effects of undertakings on historic properties is much lower for the National Historic Preservation Act than for projects considered under NEPA. Categorical exclusions used by the Service to comply with NEPA cannot be used to address effects on historic properties protected under the National Historic Preservation Act.
C. Service Undertakings Affecting Non-Federal Lands. Projects funded or authorized by the Service through its Federal Aid (Wildlife Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration funds), Fish and Wildlife Enhancement, or Private Lands programs must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Overall responsibility for complying with 36 CFR 800 cannot be delegated from the Service to States, other agencies, Indian tribes, or individuals. However, Regional Directors and project leaders are encouraged to develop Programmatic Agreements under 36 CFR 800 to help fulfill the Service's responsibilities for repetitive and routine undertakings involving private lands or when non-Service parties are delegated responsibilities for completing inventories and mitigating project impacts on cultural resources under the Federal Aid program.
D. Construction, Rehabilitation, and Demolition. Service undertakings involving construction, rehabilitation, and demolition activities on refuges, fish hatcheries, and research facilities require compliance with 36 CFR 800. The construction of buildings, pipelines, fencelines and impoundments; and, new and expanded agricultural development are examples of projects which usually require the completion of an inventory by a qualified professional. Undertakings include projects completed under force account, construction contract, youth programs, cooperative agreement, matching grants, or through the Service's Federal Aid, Fish and Wildlife Enhancement, and Private Lands programs.
E. Rights-of-Way and Other Permits.
(1) Permits and other types of authorizations to private industry and non-Service entities for construction or development activities on Service lands may require the issuance of an archaeological permit for completing inventories. Oil and gas development, access roads, pipeline construction, and road construction are examples of activities that may require the completion of a cultural resource inventory before activities can begin. Under most circumstances, the land-use applicant must ensure that inventories, evaluations, and mitigation work are conducted in a timely manner so that the Service can meet legal and regulatory requirements. The appropriate level of inventory should be defined by the Regional Historic Preservation Officer during review of the project proposal and the archaeological permit application. In many cases, the land-use applicant will negotiate a contract with a professional organization that will be responsible for conducting required inventories and evaluations as part of planning for the proposed land-use activity.
(2) Organizations offering professional services to land-use applicants must submit the necessary documentation to the Regional Director for review and approval before inventory work can commence, according to procedures described in the Cultural Resource Management Handbook.
F. Exchange, Disposal, and Acquisition of Real Property.
(1) The exchange, disposal, or acquisition of real property by the Service requires compliance with Sections 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act. This may require that the Service complete or have completed cultural resource inventories to locate historic properties; evaluate identified historic properties to determine eligibility for the National Register; complete detailed historic, architectural, or engineering documentation; conduct research or salvage to recover, analyze, and protect important archaeological resources; curate recovered materials and associated records; or, relocate important cultural resources when other types of mitigation work are not feasible. As necessary, official documentation authorizing the transfer and disposal of Service real property that contains or is likely to contain historic properties must include appropriate conditions to ensure continued compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act, unless satisfactorily completed by the Service prior to transfer or disposal. Exceptions to this requirement may occur when historic properties are affected by land exchanges with or transfers to other Government agencies that must comply with the same historic preservation standards that apply to the Service.
(2) Real property acquired by the Service may contain significant cultural resources that will require a substantial commitment of funding to manage according to Federal historic preservation standards. Proposals to acquire lands must be reviewed by the appropriate Regional Historic Preservation Officer during the initial project planning stages to identify historic properties that could be adversely affected by Service activities. This review should provide information to assist in planning for the management of newly acquired historic properties. Where appropriate, the Service may require that other Federal agencies complete cultural resource inventories, evaluations, and mitigation work on cultural resources prior to acquisition of real property.
2.3 Cultural Resources Discovered During Undertakings.
(1) Evidence of a previously undetected cultural resource may be encountered after an undertaking has commenced. In such instances, the project leader or Regional Office program shall immediately direct the suspension of all work on any part of the project that would impact the cultural resource and notify the Regional Historic Preservation Officer. This should be done by phone with a follow-up memorandum documenting the discovery, as appropriate.
(2) The Regional Historic Preservation Officer shall take immediate steps to have the cultural resource evaluated and protected, as appropriate, to the extent required by law and policy. This may require arranging for a qualified professional to visit and evaluate the site's importance and recommend a course of action. An evaluation and decision on the disposition of the cultural resource should be made within 48 hours of the discovery unless the project's schedule allows greater flexibility. The discovery of cultural items requires that the appropriate Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization be notified. The disposition of and control of discovered cultural items shall be determined according to Section 3 of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and its implementing regulations.
(3) The Regional Historic Preservation Officer should work closely with the State Historic Preservation Officer and, as necessary, the Advisory Council in developing and implementing actions that take into account the effects of the undertaking on the cultural resource. In those instances where the discovered cultural resource is subject to the requirements of the Archeological and Historic Preservation Act (AHPA), the Regional Historic Preservation Officer should seek the guidance of the Federal Preservation Officer before proceeding with corrective measures. If necessary, the Federal Preservation Officer shall be responsible for contacting the Office of the Departmental Consulting Archaeologist, National Park Service, on issues concerning cultural resources protected under the AHPA.
(4) Refer to the Cultural Resource Management Handbook and the Secretary of the Interior's Guidelines and Standards for Archaeology and Historic Preservation for more detailed information on completing scientific data recovery.