Cultural Resources

Cultural Resources are the physical remains of past human activity. They can be sites or districts and are prehistoric or historic-they must be at least 50 years old, but the oldest sites in North America are upwards of 12,000 years old. Cultural Resources are important reminders of the ways people have lived and coped with their world through time. They offer us a glimpse into the past. The Mark Twain National Forest manages cultural resources within the Heritage Resources Program, a comprehensive program of responsibilities related to past human interaction with the land. The purpose is to protect historic properties (cultural resources), share their values with the American people, and contribute relevant information and perspectives to natural resource management.

Many of the cultural resources are fragile, non-renewable and their locations kept confidential. However, some historic properties on the forest are interpreted, to share their value and history with our forest visitors. The Mark Twain has several sites that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places (districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects) that are significant in American history and worthy of preservation. It is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources. Additional information about them is located on the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office’s National Register website.

Archaeological sites on National Forest System Lands are protected by a number of federal laws, including the Antiquities Act of 1906, the Archaeological Resource Protection Act of 1979, and the Secretary of Agriculture’s Regulations. It is illegal to disturb, alter, remove, or damage archaeological sites and objects that are on Federal lands.

For more information on some of the cultural resources located on the Mark Twain National Forest, select the links below:

Other links: