A comprehensive legal regime governs the preservation of archaeological, historical and cultural sites within the United States.
All DoD personnel who operate within the United States should be aware of, and must obey, the following federal laws:
- National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 USC 470-470w);
- National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 USC 4321-4370c);
- Archeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (16 USC 469-469c);
- American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, as amended (42 USC 1996-1996a);
- Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (16 USC 470aa-470mm);
- Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987 (43 USC 2101-2106); and
- Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (25 USC 3001-3013) also known as NAGPRA.
In addition, DOD personnel must be aware of the following Executive Orders:
- EO 11593 Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment;
- EO 13006 Locating Federal Facilities in Historic Properties in our Nation’s Central Cities;
- EO 13007 Indian Sacred Sites;
- EO 13175 Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments;
- EO 13287 Preserve America; and
- EO 13327 Federal Real Property Asset Management.
All DoD personnel serving in the United States who have responsibility for environmental management on military lands should be familiar with the following federal regulations and guidelines:
- Advisory Council on Historic Preservation: Protection of Historic Properties (36 CFR 800);
- Council on Environmental Quality: Regulations for Implementing NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1500-1508);
- Department of Defense: American Indian and Alaska Native Policy;
- Department of Defense Guidelines for the Curation of Archeological Soil Samples;
- Protection of Archeological Resources (32 CFR 229);
- Department of the Interior: Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Regulations (43 CFR 10);
- Department of the Interior: Curation of Federally-Owned and Administered Archeological Collections (36 CFR 79);
- Department of the Interior: Determinations of Eligibility for Inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (36 CFR 63);
- Department of the Interior: National Historic Landmarks Program (36 CFR 65);
- Department of the Interior: National Register of Historic Places (36 CFR 60);
- Department of the Interior: Preservation of American Antiquities (43 CFR 3);
- Department of the Interior: Protection of Archeological Resources (43 CFR 7):
- Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Federal Agency Historic Preservation Programs Pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act;
- Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards (48 FR 44716, 1983);
- Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation;
- Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Architectural and Engineering Documentation: HABS/HAER Standards;
- Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation;
- Secretary of the Interior’s Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings; and
- Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (36 CFR 68).
Cultural heritage professionals who operate on military lands in the United States should also be familiar with the following guidance:
- Commanders Guide to Curation (PPT), Presentation (Legacy 00-107); and
- DoD Legacy Resources Management Program Archaeological Collections Management Procedures.
For cultural heritage professionals seeking additional information, the DoD Archaeological Curation and Collection Guidance Reports are listed here.