Division of Environmental Analysis (DEA) LINKS
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 2:12 PM
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
- Public Resources Code 5024 MOU
- 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.
Annual Reports for the First Amended Section 106 Programmatic Agreement
- October 2016 (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016)
- October 2015 (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015)
- October 2014 (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014)
Annual Reports for the Original Section 106 PA which expired December 31, 2013.
- October 2013 (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013)
- September 2011 (July 1, 2009 to June 30,2011)
- September 2009 (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009)
- September 2008 (July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008)
- September 2007 (January 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007)
- October 2006 (January 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006)
- September 2005 (January 2004 to June 30, 2005)
The California State Legislature enacted Public Resources Code (PRC) § 5024 and § 5024.5 as part of a larger effort to establish a state program to preserve historical resources. These sections of the code require state agencies to take a number of actions to ensure preservation of state-owned historical resources under their jurisdictions.
For project activities and permits that affect Caltrans-owned cultural resources, PRC § 5024 is handled under the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding Between the California Department of Transportation and the California State Historic Preservation Officer Regarding Compliance with Public Resources Code Section 5024 and Governor’s Executive Order W-26-92, effective January 1, 2015. Memorandum of Understanding Between the California Department of Transportation and the California State Historic Preservation Officer Regarding Compliance with Public Resources Code Section 5024 and Governor’s Executive Order W-26-92. The MOU identifies Caltrans HQ and District roles and compliance responsibilities, delegates some of SHPO’s PRC 5024 responsibilities to Caltrans, and expedites compliance.
When a federal undertaking includes state-owned historical resources within an undertaking’s Area of Potential Effects and the documentation is submitted to SHPO pursuant to the Section 106 PA, Caltrans uses the 106 PA in its entirety and notifies the SHPO that there are state-owned historical resources for which Caltrans is concurrently complying with PRC § 5024.
Guidance on using the MOU is found in Caltrans Standard Environmental Reference (SER), Volume 2 – Cultural Resources.
Annual reports for the 5024 MOU
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.
- Historic Property Survey Report (HPSR) (rev. 11/29/16)
- Historic Property Survey Report (HPSR) narrative format (rev. 11/29/16)
- Supplemental HPSR form (rev. 11/29/16)
- Supplemental HPSR narrative format (rev. 11/29/16)
- Historical Resources Compliance Report (HRCR) form (rev. 11/29/16)
- Historical Resources Compliance Report (HRCR) narrative format (rev. 11/29/16)
- Supplemental HRCR form (rev. 11/29/16)
- Supplemental HRCR narrative format (rev. 11/29/16)
- Caltrans/ACOE Section 106 PA Permit Compliance form (rev. 3/4/14)
- Letter Report Template (rev. 12/31/13)
- Letter Report narrative format (rev. 12/31/13)
- Native American Heritage Commission Sacred Lands-File and Contact Form (rev. 5/7/2014)
- Sacred Lands Inventory Form
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)
- A Historical Context and Methodology for Evaluating Trails, Roads, and Highways in California (2016)