›› The Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) is working on an update to its web- based cultural resources management platform based on the Arches open source software program, the Information and Resource Inventory System, to add a module to facilitate Section 106 compliance workflow and increase Section 106 efficiency while drawing on the extensive data in the AFRH historic resources inventory. ›› While integrating different categories of historic property information and documentation into single systems improves identification and management efforts for federal agencies, some agencies are further developing the capabilities of their historic property databases to enable document exchange and communication with stakeholders, including consulting parties in Section 106 reviews. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has undertaken comprehensive updates to its cultural resources database, adding functionality so that it now operates as the agency’s Cultural Resources Management System. In addition to functioning as a database, the system also offers file sharing with consulting parties, task automation, and a mobile app. After entering 9,000 legacy records into the system, cultural resources staff were able to create a project screening GIS layer based on the data that enables project managers to see where cultural resources surveys have been carried out in the past and thus anticipate Section 106 compliance needs.
INNOVATIVE IDENTIFICATION EFFORTS
Federal agencies also report using digital tools to carry out their identification efforts. For some agencies, technological tools like drones enable survey in areas that were previously impossible or difficult to access through traditional pedestrian or vehicle-based survey methods. HIGHLIGHTS ›› Several Forest System units use LIDAR (light detection and ranging, using a laser mounted in an aircraft) to identify historic properties. LIDAR offers archaeologists a remote way to identify cultural landscapes such as the Boise Basin historic mining district which dates to the gold rush that began in 1862 in Idaho. Since the 1970s, Boise National Forest archaeologists have documented hundreds of mining sites on Forest lands in the basin. However, the relationship of these sites to each other across the large, complex cultural landscape remained unknown until using LIDAR. The National Forest entered into an agreement with Northwest Nazarene University for drone surveys of mining landscapes in the area. The drone footage is being combined with LIDAR imagery collected by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to enable a more comprehensive understanding and interpretation of the area’s cultural landscapes and to enable more informed planning for areas that could be affected by federal undertakings. ›› The Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) Upper Colorado Basin Region, Provo Area Office, signed an agreement with Utah State University to collect and interpret geospatial data to investigate modern, historic, and pre-contact irrigation systems and patterns within Utah using multiple lines of evidence such as LIDAR, photogrammetry, aerials, and subsequently ground-truthing the data. BOR intends to share collected data with the Utah SHPO to facilitate broader access to the information.
IN A SPIRIT OF STEWARDSHIP: A REPORT ON FEDERAL HISTORIC PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 2021 | 21
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