Staff - Heritage Resources
The Heritage Resource Management Program, informally called the Archaeology Program, on the Lincoln National Forest employs four archaeologists on a full-time basis, one student archaeologist, and quite frequently employs three to five seasonal, summer employees. These dedicated employees review any activity that has been proposed to document, archive and preserve our heritage.
While our primary activity is pedestrian survey in support of on the ground projects, we:
- routinely give public presentations
- conduct limited testing on identified sites
- conduct research on sites
- participate in wild fire suppression activities
- develop public interpretive displays
- manage volunteer and Passport-In-Time projects
The most common process of review is pedestrian survey, or walking across the land. Survey is conducted to comply with Federal laws that require Federal Agencies to consider the effects of their projects on heritage sites. Pedestrian survey is usually the first part of a process that ensures consideration of effects through a system of checks-and-balances between State, Tribal and Federal Agencies.
Briefly, the process works like this: a project is identified and an archaeologist is notified. Interested Tribes are notified for their comments on the project. Then the archaeologist walks the project area looking for the remains of past human activity (single artifacts and sites). If remains are located, they are inventoried and recorded on forms, a sketch map is drawn and the location plotted on a topographic map, then a report is written with recommendations on the project’s effect and the significance or importance of the artifacts and sites. The report is sent to the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) to see if they concur with the Agency recommendation. If they concur, or no archaeological sites are discovered in the project area, the project can proceed. If they disagree, further negotiation is conducted with the SHPO and Tribes on how to eliminate (mitigate) the project effects to the sites. Usually, most sites can be preserved and avoided by project activities so the project can proceed.
The process described above is referred to as the "106 process" because it is defined in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The vast majority of Federal Agencies have archaeologists working for them to comply with this and other laws; the Forest Service is no exception and almost every Forest in the Nation employs a professional archaeologist.