Cultural resources are the physical remnants of our past. They tell us about when people lived, where they traveled, how they ate, who they interacted with, and why they formed relationships. Cultural resources can include many types of features: buildings, structures, districts, sites, or objects.
Cultural resources are recorded in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The NRHP 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. Those sites that are significant enough for preservation are either officially listed on the NRHP or are called "NRHP eligible" sites. Sites that are not significant enough for preservation are ineligible for listing on the NRHP.
NRHP sites fall into 5 categories:
Whether you’re laying new utility lines, planning out commercial real estate, or building a new solar farm, historic and cultural resources mapping is an important factor in site selection.
Here are some ways you can identify cultural and historic resources near you:
Non-compliance with federal and state environmental laws can have serious consequences to your project. The potential risks to your project include project termination, delays, fines, civil and/or criminal penalties, notice of violation on the property title, or mitigation.
Use our Free Environmental Due Diligence Checklist to make sure your project runs on-time and on budget by knowing exactly what kind of environmental issues might affect your budget, footprint, or schedule.
The National Historic Preservation Act is the main federal law that protects cultural resources in the U.S., but state laws may also apply.
Looking for information about cultural resources permitting? Learn about Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act here >>