Description: http://www.fws.gov/policy/fws_col.gif614 FW 4, Planning, Protection and Management 


FWM#:    052 (new)
Date:        November 18, 1992
Series:      Natural and Cultural Resources Management
Part 614:  Cultural Resources Management
Originating Office:  Division of Visitor Services and Communications 


4.1 Planning.

A. Planning Documents. As appropriate, Service planning documents shall incorporate sufficient information addressing the identification, evaluation, and protection of important cultural resources. This ensures consistency among all activities, the efficient use of funding and personnel, and the development of a documented program which guides the completion of important cultural resource management objectives. As warranted, specific activities and objectives can be addressed in a separate overview and in the cultural resource sections of master and management plans. The need for an overview and the level of detail discussed in plans is largely dependent on the number, diversity, importance of, and threats to cultural resources located on Service lands.

B. Cultural Resource Management Plans. If extensive protection, maintenance, and stabilization work for cultural resources is anticipated, the project leader should develop a cultural resource management plan. This document should be consistent with resource management objectives addressed in other approved Service plans and the cultural resource overview, if available. At a minimum, a cultural resource management plan should identify problems affecting particular resource(s) and those specific protective measures, such as survey, testing, stabilization, and patrolling, that can alleviate or minimize impacts. It should also identify necessary funding needs to accomplish the proposed work and a timetable for completing and monitoring the success of the prescribed measures.

4.2 Maintenance and Protection of Cultural Resources.

A. General. The integrity of cultural resources located on Service lands is subject to threats from erosion, neglect, vandalism, grazing, cultivation, and other land disturbing activities. The Service is required by statute to exercise caution in carrying out its activities to assure that historic properties are not inadvertently sold, demolished, substantially altered, or allowed to deteriorate significantly without adequate review and protection. Cultural resources that are important for scientific, interpretive, or management reasons should be monitored periodically by the project leader to check their physical condition. Where important cultural resources are being destroyed, project leaders should attempt to identify the source of the problem and determine necessary remedial actions. Before taking any measures, the project leader should contact the Regional Historic Preservation Officer to ensure compliance with the appropriate statutes and regulations. Refer to the Service's Cultural Resource Management Handbook and the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation for more details on appropriate protective measures for cultural resources.

B. Historic Structures. Cultural resources that are historic structures may also be threatened by vandalism, fire, and deterioration from lack of maintenance. To ensure that stabilization measures are technically sufficient, cost effective, and meet existing standards and regulations, the project leader should consult with the Regional Historic Preservation Officer before proceeding with protective work. Historic properties cannot be modified, demolished, or transferred out of Service control without complying with Sections 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the procedures found in 36 CFR Part 800. Historic houses, corrals, lighthouses, monuments, and murals are examples of resources and component features that cannot be removed, sold, refurbished, or otherwise modified without following these regulatory procedures. Conversion of historic structures for office, residential space, or other functions is encouraged, but requires appropriate evaluation and consultation. Project leaders should contact the Regional Historic Preservation Officer before proceeding with this type of work. Refer to the Service's Maintenance Standards, Guide 18, Historic Buildings, Structures, Sites, and Objects, which is available in the Division of Engineering.

C. Signs. Posting of official Service Archaeological Resource Protection Act or interpretive signs is another type of management technique that may protect or enhance the qualities of particular cultural resources. Prior to their use, the project leader should consult with the Regional Historic Preservation Officer and take into account the sensitivity of the particular sites, public visibility, and potential for damage from overuse or vandalism. In many instances, it is best not to publicize the specific location of cultural resources. As an alternative approach, a sign notifying the public of their presence and associated penalties for disturbance might be posted in a conspicuous place near the office and visitor contact points. Refer to the Service's sign handbook, available from the Division of Refuges, for information on the Archaeological Site Sign.

4.3 Collections.

A. Materials and objects collected from Service managed cultural resources under the authority of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Antiquities Act, and the Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act shall be maintained according to standards of curation for scientific use and public interpretation as described in 36 CFR 79 and applicable sections of the Department of the Interior and Service manuals. However, collections generated from Service undertakings on private lands remain the property of the particular land owner, unless officially acquired by the Service. Cultural items that are to be repatriated to Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, or individuals for disposition should be properly maintained according to the standards in 36 CFR 79 until their transfer can be effected.

B. Human remains removed from Service lands and maintained by curatorial facilities must be treated in a dignified manner and should never be placed on exhibit or public display.

C. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act requires that the Service compile an inventory of cultural items, as defined by the Act, under its control and possession. The inventory must be completed in consultation with appropriate tribes and organizations by no later than November 16, 1995, and submitted to the Review Committee established under Section 8 of the Act.

D. Service Regional Historic Preservation Officers are responsible for preparing a summary of cultural items that are considered to be "unassociated funerary objects", as defined by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, by November 16, 1993. This summary should be prepared in lieu of the general inventory required by Section 5 of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and must be conducted following consultation with appropriate tribal government and Native Hawaiian organization officials and traditional religious leaders.

4.4 Public Interpretation and Visitation.

A. The degree of emphasis accorded cultural resources in the interpretive program of any field office may vary greatly. Depending upon a combination of circumstances, such as the type and significance of resources present, amount of yearly visitation, and presence or absence of permanent contact stations and facilities, the interpretive story of the field office could give considerable emphasis to cultural themes. With the assistance of the Regional Historic Preservation Officer, project leaders should incorporate into interpretive displays and exhibits language and cultural resource materials that explain such themes as the cultural history of the area and the relationship of humans to the natural environment. Planning for brochures and exhibits dealing with cultural resources should be coordinated with the Regional Historic Preservation Officer and appropriate Public Use Specialist. Relevant information on activities aimed at increasing the public's awareness of cultural resources should be documented to meet the reporting requirements under 614 FW 4.5.

B. Interpretive activities must not jeopardize the integrity of important cultural resource values. Sensitivity is needed in the interpretation of these resources so as not to offend Native Americans and other groups or promote the illegal destruction of the resource. The public display of human remains is prohibited. In addition, attention should not be drawn to the existence and location of specific cultural resources unless there has been a commensurate investment in stabilization or staffing to supervise public use of areas. Descriptive information given in brochures or in visitor center displays must be factually accurate, yet sensitive to the overall protection of resource values. Visitors should be made aware that the removal of cultural resources from Service lands is prohibited without authorization.

4.5 Cultural Resource Management Report. The Service is required to track and assemble information on various types of cultural resource activities each year under Sections 10 and 13 of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act for incorporation into a report submitted by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to the Congress. Responsibility for coordinating the preparation of this report has been delegated from the Secretary to the Director, National Park Service. Each year, a questionnaire covering various aspects of cultural resource management is distributed by the National Park Service to Federal agencies requesting relevant data on the previous fiscal year's activities. With the direction and assistance of the Regional Historic Preservation Officer, project leaders are responsible for maintaining necessary records on cultural resource activities and submitting them to the Regional Office upon request. Regional data are assembled into a Service-wide report by Headquarters for transmittal to the National Park Service.


For additional information regarding this policy, contact the Division of Visitor Services and Communications. For more information about this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.  


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