Cultural Resources

The term cultural resources refers to properties such as archeological sites, buildings, and landscapes that, by their nature, potentially possess significant historical value. One of the earlier environmental laws enacted in the The United States was the Antiquities Act of 1906, which required the protection of cultural resources on federal land. Today, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 extends protections not only on federal land but also to all public and private development projects should they involve a federal undertaking (i.e., federal funds or the issuance of a federal permit). Some examples of federal undertakings that commonly trigger Section 106 compliance include:

  • USACE Section 404 Permits
  • Federal Housing Administration Loans and Housing and Urban
  • Development tax credits
  • US Department of Agriculture, Rural Development Grants
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NEPA process
  • Federal Communications Commission NEPA process

Cultural resources are protected at the state level as well. In Texas, lands owned or controlled by an entity chartered under state law (i.e., cities, counties, water/power/utility districts, and authorities, etc.) must comply with the Antiquities Code of Texas. Compliance requires coordination with the Texas Historical Commission impacts, prior to the initiation of ground-disturbing activities, to address project impacts.

Services Provided

Baer Engineering’s staff includes professional registered archeologists and historians with over 20 years of experience assisting clients with the cultural resources compliance process. Baer provides the following services:

  • Prior to the design phase of your project
    • identify documented cultural resources, and
    • provide guidance on potential permitting constraints for your project.
  • During the design phase
    • assist in navigating the overlapping jurisdictions of agency coordination to better define the compliance process as it pertains to your project.
  • If required by the Texas Historical Commission
    • conduct archeological and building surveys to identify and assess potential impacts to cultural resources, and
    • develop mitigation or treatment plans should they be warranted.

For our federal agency clients who are mandated by the National Historic Preservation Act and other federal regulations to provide for the long-term protection and preservation of historic properties, we offer a wide range of cultural resources services tailored to your individual management needs including:

  • Phase I Archeological Surveys
  • Phase II Archeological National Register Testing
  • Phase III Archeological Data Recovery
  • Historic Context Development
  • Historic Buildings Surveys
  • HABS/HAER Documentation
  • Native American Consultation
  • Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) Investigations
  • Development of Program Alternatives and Programmatic Agreement Documents
  • Interpretive Exhibits and Public Engagement
  • Materials Curation
  • Cultural Resources Evaluation
  • Comprehensive Research Design
  • NAGPRA Compliance
  • Archaeological Construction Monitoring 
  • Historical Cemetery Investigations
  • Geoarcheological  Analysis
  • Artifact Stabilization and Analysis
  • Reporting
  • Collection and Database Management

Project Profiles

SMALL ARMS RANGE 2000-ACRE CULTURAL RESOURCES SURVEY / MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, IDAHO
The U.S. Air Force required a survey of a small arms range at Mountain Home AFB in Elmore County, Idaho. The survey provided an inventory of, and potential effects assessment to, archaeological sites, in compliance with Section 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and with regulations set forth under 36 CFR Part 800 by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. During the survey, archeologists identified seven new archeological sites and evaluated them for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) based on criteria established under 36 CFR, Section 60.4. They also identified 108 isolated finds, which by definition are not eligible for inclusion in the National Register because they lack demonstrable association with a context for significance.

AVON PARK AIR FORCE RANGE CULTURAL RESOURCES SURVEY / FLORIDA
The U.S. Air Force required a Phase I archaeological inventory of 190 acres across Avon Park Air Force Range, Highlands and Polk Counties, Florida. The project also required Phase II testing for an archaeological site in the same location. Baer Engineering performed a Phase I cultural resources survey and archaeological inventory that consisted of a pedestrian survey and excavation of 854 shovel tests covering approximately 189.83 acres on six selected noncontiguous tracts within APAFR. Phase II testing and evaluation was conducted on a single previously recorded site, 8HG1107. In the course of the Phase II evaluation, eight 1m x 2m units were excavated, yielding 642 artifacts. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the site’s eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Findings deemed the site eligible for inclusion in the Register. Geospatial data collected during execution included survey area boundaries, probability zone divisions, location of positive shovel tests, Phase II site datums, and georeferenced site maps. Data were processed in Florida and Texas and checked for accuracy. Deliverables included maps and tables derived from these data. Digital copies of these data were submitted as a CD to the APAFR GIS specialist and with the archived report. Polygons and data tables associated with new and updated archaeological sites were delivered to the FMSF office. All data were in UTM, Zone 17, NAD 83, with planar units in meters. Following the completion of this project and acceptance of the final report by the FDHR, all artifacts, field and laboratory notes, analysis sheets, records, photographs, and a photo-ready copy of the final report were transferred to the Avon Park CRM for in-house curation. The contractor cataloged and curated all materials following State of Florida guidelines. All artifacts were cleaned, dried, stabilized, and packaged in 4-mil resealable-closure polyethylene bags with acid-free labels denoting project, artifact, and provenience information placed inside, with the same information marked clearly and legibly on the exterior of each bag. The Baer team submitted these materials to the CRM for in-house final curation, packaged in cubic-foot acid-free boxes, clearly labeled by project, agency, dates, and FMSF numbers of enclosed sites, with a list of field specimen/sample (FS) numbers. Each box was accompanied by an inventory or packing list on acid-free/lignin-free paper. Original field notes, maps, photographs, and other documentation accompanied the collections of artifacts and other materials and were boxed in the same manner. Oversized maps or aerial photographs were rolled and stored in cardboard map tubes.

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A historic cairn at one of the seven sites documented during the Mountain Home AFB survey.

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Cistern feature at one of the sites documented during the Avon Park Air Force Range survey.