Division of Environmental Analysis (DEA) LINKS
Last Updated: Monday, January 5, 2015 10:06 AM
Cultural Resources Issues
The surviving traces of the historic and prehistoric past are non-renewable resources. They are easily degraded or destroyed by highway projects unless an appropriate effort is made to identify, evaluate, and protect them. Documenting the often-ephemeral traces of our collective history adds to the understanding and appreciation of California's past by future generations.
The public is concerned about how Caltrans projects affect cultural resources. Responsible consideration of cultural values in the course of project planning and implementation helps avoid conflict and build support for Caltrans transportation objectives. This concern is manifested by a suite of laws and regulations that relate to archaeological, historical and social-cultural resources and issues.
Caltrans complies with federal laws for transportation projects with federal funding. This process is commonly known as "Section 106" of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Significant non-archaeological resources are also subject to Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966. Caltrans must also comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) of 1970 and uses the California Historical Resource Status Codes for this purpose.
The concerns of Native Americans are also addressed by a variety of specialized federal and state laws and regulations. See the Native American Issues page for more information.
Caltrans has established policies and guidance for compliance with federal and state cultural resources laws and regulations. They are contained in the Caltrans Standard Environmental Reference (SER), Volume 2 – Cultural Resources.
This page includes information on the following topics:
- District Cultural Resources Contacts
- Section 106 Programmatic Agreement
- Templates including templates for compliance documents, DPR 523 forms, and Character Defining Feature forms
- Publications including public outreach materials, brochures, a book on Historic Highways, and guidance documents
DISTRICT CULTURAL RESOURCES CONTACTS
Each of the twelve Caltrans Districts has cultural resources specialists who are responsible for ensuring that compliance with cultural resources laws and regulations are carried out. The point of contact in each district is the Heritage Resources Coordinator, also known as the “HRC.” In addition, the Cultural Studies Office in the Division of Environmental Analysis in Sacramento has cultural resources specialists who develop policy, review documents, and also are responsible for ensuring that Caltrans complies with appropriate laws and regulations. The roles and responsibilities for these specialists are outlined in Chapter 1 of the SER – Volume 2. The list of Heritage Resources Coordinators is available here.
SECTION 106 PROGRAMMATIC AGREEMENT
The First Amended Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (106 PA) among Federal Highways Administration (FHWA), the State Office of Historic Preservation (SHPO), the Advisory Council of Historic Preservation (ACHP), and Caltrans is effective January 1, 2014. The 2014 106 PA supersedes the 1995 PA for the seismic retrofit of bridges between FHWA and Caltrans; 2004 PA for Section 106 among FHWA, SHPO, ACHP and Caltrans; and the 2007 Addenda for Sections 6004 and 6005 of SAFETEA-LU among FHWA, SHPO, ACHP and Caltrans.
Guidance for use of the 106 PA can be found in Caltrans SER, Volume 2 – Cultural Resources.
The templates listed below are for use in completing cultural resources studies for Caltrans and Local Agency projects. More templates may be added as they become available.
- Caltrans/ACOE Section 106 PA Permit Compliance form (rev. 3/4/14)
- Historic Property Survey Report (HPSR) (rev. 1/2/15)
- Historic Property Survey Report (HPSR) narrative format (rev. 1/2/15)
- Historical Resources Compliance Report (HRCR) form (rev. 1/2/15)
- Historical Resources Compliance Report (HRCR) narrative format (rev. 1/2/15)
- Letter Report Template (rev. 12/31/13)
- Letter Report narrative format (rev. 12/31/13)
- Supplemental HPSR form (rev. 1/2/15)
- Supplemental HPSR narrative format (rev. 1/2/15)
- Supplemental HRCR form (rev. 1/2/15)
- Supplemental HRCR narrative format (rev. 1/2/15)
- Sacred Lands Inventory Form
- Native American Heritage Commission Sacred Lands-File and Contact Form (rev. 5/7/2014)
DPR 523 Form Templates:
- Primary Record Form (DPR523a) Caltrans version (rev. 1/2/15)
- Building, Structures, Object Form (DPR523b) Caltrans version
- Archeological Site Record Form (DPR523c) Caltrans version
- District Form (DPR523d) Caltrans version
- Linear Features Form (DPR523e) Caltrans version
- Milling Station Form (DPR523f) Caltrans version
- Rock Art Form (DPR523g) Caltrans version
- Artifact Record Form (DPR523h) Caltrans version
- Photograph Record Form (DPR523i) Caltrans version
- Location Map Form (DPR523j) Caltrans version
- Sketch Map Form (DPR523k) Caltrans version
- Continuation Sheet Form (DPR523l) Caltrans version
Character Defining Features Templates:
- Public Outreach: La Grange Historical Site Lesson Plans:
- Public Outreach: Logtown: The Legacy of Ordinary Places. This booklet interprets the lifeways of the ordinary people who settled in the mining town of Logtown. After mining was no longer a feasible way to make a living, the descendents of those early miners turned to ranching and agriculture. Logtown: the Legacy of Ordinary Places tells their stories. This booklet has been distributed to local residents, schools, museums, and libraries in El Dorado County, as well as the Sacramento library and the State Museum.
- Brochure: Historic Preservation and Caltrans: Archaeology
- Brochure: Historic Preservation and Caltrans: Buildings and Bridges.
- Historic Highway Bridges of California - this book presents the results of of the Historic Highway Bridge Inventory with a narrative history of bridges and bridge building in California.
The following documents are available on the SER - Other Guidance Page.
- Index to California Highways & Public Works Magazine - a useful reference for those researching various aspects of California's transportation history. (no date)
- Caltrans Guidelines for Identifying and Evaluating Historic Landscapes (1999)
- Water Conveyance Systems in California, Historic Context Development and Evaluation Procedures (2000)
- A Historical Context and Archaeological Research Design for Agricultural Properties in California (2007)
- A Historical Context and Archaeological Research Design for Mining Properties in California (2008)
- A Historical Context and Archaeological Research Design for Townsite Properties in California (2010)
- Tract Housing in California, 1945-1973: A Context for National Register Evaluation (2011)
- A Historical Context and Archaeological Research Design for Work Camp Properties in California (2013)