What are Cultural Resources?
- Cultural resources include both physical assets such as archaeology, architecture, landscapes, paintings and sculptures and also intangible culture such as ritual, music/dance, folklore and interpretative arts, such as storytelling and oral history. It is the Corps goal to properly manage these cultural resources, through Historic Preservation laws which dictate that we take into consideration the effects of our projects on cultural resources, and then attempt to avoid, minimize, mitigate those effects.
Primary Federal Laws Directing the Management of Cultural Resources on Federal Land and for Federal Undertakings:
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA)
- Requires agencies to prepare inventories of human remains in their possession and requires agencies to consult with affiliated Tribal groups regarding the treatment and disposition of these remains.
The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended (NHPA)
- Requires federal agencies to take into account the effect of any federal undertaking on historic properties (Section 106). Requires each federal agency to assume responsibility for the preservation of historic properties in its ownership (Section 110).
- Established entities such as National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO), Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).
Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 as amended (ARPA)
- Established civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized excavation, removal, damage, alteration, or defacing of or trafficking in archaeological resources on federal and tribal lands.