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34 CHAPTER SEVEN CONCLUSIONS Several common themes can be identified in the responses because they are nondestructive, they are appropriate for from state departments of transportation (DOTs), FHWA, properties about which tribes have cultural or religious state historic preservation offices (SHPOs), tribes, and concerns. Survey respondents, however, considered several cultural resource management firms. First, discussions and geophysical methods to still be experimental. As a result, consultations held outside of the requirements of individual some DOTs are testing the efficacy of geophysical investi- projects are an effective means of building trust and com- gations in the context of different environmental settings munication. This is especially the case with tribal consulta- and site types. Although several DOTs and other agencies tion, where general discussions on protocols and important employ some form of predictive modeling as a planning issues are best held without the constraints and potential tool, there has been no consistent approach to the crea- conflicts inherent in specific transportation projects. tion, use, and maintenance of these models. Such models The FHWA, DOTs, and tribes often formalize these proto- may not operate as originally expected and they are sup- cols in programmatic agreements and memoranda of plemented with judgmental criteria to increase their ac- understanding. curacy, thereby reducing their systematic and objective character. These pre-planning and nonproject-specific discussions, however, take time and a commitment from all parties The final theme has to do with marginally eligible sites involved. They also require activities that are not linked to and sites for which no historic context exists. A number of specific projects. It is often difficult for agency staff to par- the states surveyed have turned the challenge of dealing with ticipate in nonproject-specific activities given scheduling these types of sites into opportunities for creative mitigation constraints and agency priorities. However, DOT, SHPO, measures. By dealing expeditiously (or not at all) with these FHWA, and tribal representative responses to the survey sites and "sliver takes" of clearly significant sites, a number demonstrate the long-term benefits of these nonproject- of DOTs have found a way to fund historic contexts and other specific communication efforts. studies that are needed for better evaluation and management of archaeological sites that will be affected by transportation A second theme is the usefulness of programmatic agree- projects. ments (PAs) as opposed to case-by-case approaches. This theme appeared throughout the responses, but especially in The effective practices discussed in this report can also be reference to productive approaches to coordinating Section grouped into four broad categories: 106 compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Use of these agreements reduces project 1. Communication (includes tribal consultation and costs and review time, allows greater flexibility in Section engaging the public), 106 compliance, focuses Section 106 compliance on sub- 2. Internal business practices and the project delivery stantive issues and site types, and results in predictable proj- process, ect and preservation outcomes. It should be noted, however, 3. Pre-project planning, and that creating and maintaining these agreements takes both 4. Innovative approaches to the steps in the Section 106 time and a strong commitment from agency staff, including process. upper management. Some practices establish opportunities for regular and The third theme was a general enthusiasm for using tech- continuous communication; therefore, project issues and nology as a planning tool. Information technology and pre- concerns can be dealt with quickly. This results in increased dictive modeling, for example, are viewed as cost-effective trust and cooperation among agencies and with the public ways to evaluate alternatives for transportation projects and and tribes. Other practices, especially those under the cate- to target survey and testing dollars on the areas where they gory of pre-project planning, provide a clear framework for will yield the most important information. Geophysical conducting archaeological investigations and complying techniques are cost-effective ways of improving archaeo- with the requirements of Section 106. As a result, project logical resource identification and evaluation efforts and, activities are predictable and project outcomes are known

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35 early in the project development and regulatory compliance Some states are beginning to quantify the results of using processes. These practices focus on outcomes and not rote innovative approaches. The Georgia DOT, for example, is implementation of processes. starting to collect this type of information in response to FHWA's "Vital Few" initiative and a directive from upper In general, these practices are used uniformly across the management within the department. Both the DOT and country (see Appendix D). There are, however, some FHWA want to demonstrate a reduction in adverse effects regional preferences. None of the western states responding per project mile as a measure of the effectiveness of the to the survey (i.e., Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, state's streamlining efforts. Wyoming, and all states to the west of these states) use arche- ological predictive modeling or phased approaches to Another goal of this synthesis study is to identify future archaeological surveys. The survey responses do not provide research needs for improving the management of archaeo- an explicit reason for these regional differences. It can be logical investigations. The survey questionnaires asked inferred, however, that phasing and predictive models are respondents to list the types of studies or research that they used in eastern states because of the difficulty of locating felt were important. As noted in chapter four, the majority of archaeological sites in the agricultural and forested lands the responses focused on pre-project planning. The respon- common to this area. In the west, sites are generally visible dents identified the need for: on the surface. In eastern states, these two practices reduce the time and cost of evaluating the impacts of project alter- Historic contexts, especially for problematic sites such natives on archaeological resources. as lithic scatters, 19th-century farmstead, and 20th- century archaeological sites. One of the goals of this synthesis study was to examine Protocols for geophysical investigations and deep test- how DOTs and FHWA quantify the benefits of innovative, ing for buried archaeological sites. effective practices. The questionnaires for DOTs and FHWA A repository or clearinghouse for archaeological infor- asked if they had quantified the benefits of implementing mation, data, and documentation, which should be these practices and, if so, what measures they used--cost, web-based. timeliness of project delivery, number of sites avoided, or A nationwide study on the use of site burial as a form other factors. Unfortunately, very few states collect this type of mitigation. of information. The last item listed requires an initiative that is beyond the The Texas DOT reported that it has been able to keep his- capabilities of a single state DOT, as would the creation of a toric preservation compliance costs down as a result of national archaeological data/document repository. The effec- implementing various innovative practices over the previous tive practices described in this report, however, can be used 5 years. It noted that the cultural resource management office to create needed state historic contexts, testing protocols, and budget had doubled over that period, whereas the DOT's state-specific repositories or clearinghouses. overall construction budget had increased fourfold. The Illi- nois DOT stated that their statewide archaeological survey Several DOTs, such as those in Georgia, Nevada, Penn- budget had not increased in the previous 5 years. This bud- sylvania, and Texas, have addressed the need for historic get includes all of their "run-of-the-mill" inventory and sur- contexts by using creative mitigation to fund and develop vey projects and some National Register eligibility testing contexts, syntheses of archaeological work in a given area, efforts. The DOT keeps finding better and more efficient and studies of specific categories of sites. As for state- ways of doing its historic preservation compliance work, specific repositories of archaeological information and doc- using such tools as programmatic agreements, smarter arti- umentation, Arizona has developed an internal web-based fact collection strategies, and surveys that are postponed until portal for the storage and retrieval of electronic cultural they are really needed during the NEPA and project design resource survey data and documentation. Florida DOT's process. Geographic Information System/Internet-based Efficient Transportation Decision Making process not only serves as The Oregon DOT noted that in its state, nontraditional a repository for cultural resource data, but also provides an approaches are seen as ways to reduce project cost and electronic platform for decision making and information improve project delivery, even when initial start-up costs exchange among agencies. The creation of these types of appear to be substantial. These initial costs are viewed as information management systems, as well as computerized appropriate, given the long-term benefits of these practices. site inventories, requires funds outside of the project devel- The Wisconsin DOT noted that all of these efforts and opment process. Funding sources for creating and maintain- approaches pay off by reducing future costs. Furthermore, ing these state-focused information technology tools and many of these approaches are low cost, given that they systems include Transportation Enhancement funds, FHWA predominantly deal with improving and enhancing commu- streamlining project funds, and other special funding nication among parties. sources.

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36 Additional research needs identified during this synthesis Early and more efficient coordination and integration of study include: overlapping and at times conflicting regulatory and compliance procedures (i.e., Section 106 and NEPA). Synthesizing and evaluating past archaeological inves- Contextual information for evaluating resource signifi- tigations to better define significant archaeological cance, determining what the "context" is in context- resources, and to identify the most effective methods sensitive solutions, and defining and meeting local and for managing such resources. regional historic preservation goals, plans, purpose, and Evaluating the public benefit of archaeological investi- needs. gations. Constructive public input in the creation and use of this Determining whether centralized versus decentralized contextual information (tribal and minority communi- state DOT programs impact the effectiveness of these ties in particular need to be partners in this effort). streamlining and stewardship efforts. Direct and tangible public benefit from historic preser- Evaluating the effectiveness of agency-generated vation actions. manuals, guidance, and training. Quantifying the benefits of innovative, effective practices. This NCHRP synthesis study demonstrates that several state DOTs, state FHWA division offices, SHPOs, and tribes As noted in chapter one, transportation and historic are effectively implementing these and related actions. preservation professionals repeatedly call for better integra- Although the survey findings suggest that it is somewhat dif- tion of historic preservation compliance and transportation ficult for agencies to quantify the benefits of these activities, project delivery. Those interviewed for this synthesis identi- the survey responses do highlight several qualitative measures fied the following actions that would improve integration and of success. These include reducing or eliminating conflict project outcomes: among agencies, improving relations and trust between agen- cies and tribes, meeting project schedules and objectives, Better access to, analysis of, and use of cultural reducing public opposition to transportation projects, and pro- resource data for making sound transportation ducing tangible public benefits of transportation-funded decisions. archaeological investigations. These and other qualitative ben- Early and more efficient coordination among all parties efits are all desirable outcomes and justify the continued use involved in all stages and components of transportation and expansion of practices that streamline project delivery and programs. improve stewardship of our nation's archaeological heritage.