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Cultural Resources Mapping

Use Transect Vision to Ensure Your Next Project Preserves Important Cultural and Historic Resources

What is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1970, generally considered the magna carta of all subsequent federal, state, and local environmental policy, compels federal agencies to consider the effects to the environment of any action they fund, authorize, or carry out.  Projects on federal lands or projects using federal funds are subject to a rigorous environmental review process in accordance with the guidelines of the Act.

Each federal agency implements their NEPA obligations differently. Some federal agencies require a detailed environmental review, while other agencies have created blanket permits that allow for streamlined NEPA compliance.

For your project, contact the applicable federal land management agency or funding agency as soon as possible in the development cycle to determine the level of environmental review necessary for your project. NEPA environmental review has the potential to be a long, complex process that may have big consequences to the project schedule.

Visit the NEPA website here >>

What are the Regulations that Protect Cultural Resources?

The National Historic Preservation Act is the main federal law that protects cultural resources in the U.S., but 

  1. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires projects to consider their effects to cultural resources when the project involves a federal permit, federal lands, or federal funds.
  2. State Antiquities Codes/Preservation Laws typically require state agencies and political subdivisions of the state to consider effects to cultural resources as part of their ground-disturbing and/or permitting actions. Not all states have an antiquities code.
Learn more about the National Historic Preservation Act here >>

What is the National Register of Historic Places?

The National Register of Historic Places is a curated list of all of the districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant to our country's prehistory and history.  There are sites all over the U.S. that tell us something about the history of our country - things like flint shards discarded from tool making, old barns, piles of animals bones, even your grandmom's house. But, not all of these are associated with important historic context or have enough historic integrity to retain its significance. The NRHP is the dividing line of which sites are worth preservation and which are not.

NRHP sites fall into 5 categories:

  1. Buildings: A house, barn, church, courthouse, jail or other building with the principle purpose to shelter humans
  2. Structures: Building made for purposes other than sheltering humans
  3. Object: Items that are artistic in nature or small in scale associated with a specific setting or environment
  4. Site: Location of a specific event, occupation, or activity where the location itself possess historic, cultural, or archaeological value
  5. District: An area of significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, building, or structures united by a common history

Learn more about the National Register of Historic Places here >>


Transect's environmental due diligence platform makes NEPA compliance easy.

Quickly identify potential NEPA triggers in your area. 

<< See How

How to Find National Historic Sites Near You

Whether you’re laying new utility lines, planning out commercial real estate, or building a new solar facility, identifying cultural and historic resources is an important factor in site selection and environmental due diligence.

  1. Use the NPS list here: The National Park Services maintains an up-to-date list of national historic landmarks by state which you can access here
  2. Use Transect to explore a map of the National Register of Historic Places: Generate an in-depth evaluation of national land with just a few clicks. Or, explore potential new sites with Transect Vision to quickly find and map National Register of Historic Places sites near you. Learn more here. 
  3. Use the Interactive Map on Wikipedia: Wikipedia allows you to view the National National Register of Historic Places by state here
  4. Use the searchable table on the National Register of Historic Places: Or, download an up-to-date spreadsheet of listings by county. View the table on their website here.
  5. Use Transect's site-specific desktop search for known, confidential SHPO site records on your project, provided by one of our experienced Cultural Resources Management partners.

Use Transect Vision to Find Cultural Sites


< High resolution, Full-Screen Product Screenshot Showcasing NRHP Map>


Identifying cultural and historic sites has never been easier. Transect’s environmental mapping software lets you easily explore and learn more about cultural and historic resources near your site. 


But environmental due diligence goes beyond cultural site identification. Transect Vision also provides you with a multi-layer map of species of concern, protected areas, floodplains, regulation locations, infrastructure, and much more to consider.


Transect’s software will map the cultural and historic sites on your project and populate a list of known regulations, required permits, and approximate permit timelines for your site, taking the guesswork out of your project planning.


What are Industry Considerations for NEPA Compliance?

Check out the lists below to find out what NEPA issues are commonly encountered by our various industry customers.


Wondering how your project can remain NEPA compliant? 


Transect’s environmental due diligence platform makes it easy. With NEPA-focused data, regulations, and permits specific to your project, you can quickly identify things like prime farmlands, species habitat, wetlands, cultural resources, contaminated areas, and more with just a few clicks. 

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