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BLM>California>What We Do>Cultural Resources>Use Permits
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Cultural Resource Use Permits for Archaeological & Paleontological Projects

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

What types of approvals will I need for my archeological or paleontological project on BLM-administered lands?

The Bureau of Land Management issues Cultural Resource Use Permits in order to authorize cultural resources studies for research, for compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act, and for compliance with the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) and to authorize palaeontological research. When specific projects are proposed, applicants who already possess a Cultural Resource Use Permit must also obtain a Field Use Authorization. When a proposed project involves ground disturbing work at a prehistoric archeological site, an ARPA Permit must be approved before work begins. Other administrative questions are answered at the bottom of the page.

Who needs to apply for a Cultural Resource Use Permit?

Any individual or organization wanting to perform archeological or paleontological fieldwork, such as survey, excavation or site conservation, on any California land administered by BLM. Permits are issued to individuals and organizations that have the appropriate education/experience and capability to perform professionally acceptable cultural resources studies. This permit establishes the basic qualifications of the permittee(s) before any specific projects are proposed.

How do I apply for a Cultural Resource Use Permit?

First, complete the downloadable form Cultural Resource Use Permit Application. Second, submit the form with evidence of a Curation Agreement with an acceptable curation facility, a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ), and resumes or curricula vitae for Principal Investigators and Supervisory Field Personnel (Crew Chiefs). Electronic submittals are accepted but the signature of the prospective permit administrator must be included (pdf format is acceptable).

How long does it take to get a Cultural Resource Use Permit?

Your permit will be sent by mail approximately two weeks after the BLM has received your completed application.

Where do I get a Cultural Resource Use Permit?

Download a Cultural Use Permit Application (Microsoft Word format)

Who needs to apply for a Field Use Authorization?

Any individual or organization wanting to perform specific archeological or paleontological fieldwork, such as survey, excavation or site conservation, following the receipt of their approved Cultural Resource Use Permit. This form requests specific information on the location, schedule and nature of the archeological fieldwork and allows BLM to communicate specific constraints on a project type, schedule or location. An approved Field Use Authorization might notify permittees of seasonal road closures near the project area, advise them of potentially conflicting activities, such as game hunting near the project area, require permittees to avoid sensitive species habitat near the project area, or advise permittees on seasonal fire restrictions.

How do I apply for a Field Use Authorization?

Contact the Archeologist at the Field Office for the area in which the project will occur, then complete the downloadable form Fieldwork Authorization Request and submit it to the Field Office for approval. Electronic submittals are accepted but the signature of the permit administrator must be included (pdf format is acceptable).

How long does it take it take to get a Field Use Authorization?

Allow a minimum of 30 days for receipt of your approved Field Use Authorization.

Where do I get a Field Use Authorization?

Download a Field Use Authorization Form (Microsoft Word Template format)

Who needs to apply for an ARPA Permit?

Any individual or organization wanting to perform any archeological excavation beyond simple testing, on a known prehistoric site, must also apply for an ARPA Permit following the receipt of their approved Cultural Resource Use Permit.

How do I apply for an ARPA Permit?

First, complete the application steps for a Cultural Resource Use Permit. Second, provide a research design and plan of work for the research project. Electronic submittals are accepted but the signature of the prospective permit administrator must be included (pdf format is acceptable).

How long does it take to get an ARPA Permit?

ARPA permits take longer because they require a program of Native American consultation prior to their issuance. Applicants for an ARPA permit should allow a minimum of 60 days for the permitting process.

Where do I get an ARPA Permit?

Download a Cultural Use Permit Application Form (Microsoft Word format)

 

How long will the Permits and Field Authorizations be valid?

Cultural Resource Use Permits can be issued for any period up to three years. Typically, these permits are issued for the full three years. Field Use Authorizations and ARPA permits are issued for the time frame established in the plan of work.

When do Permits or Field Use Authorizations need to be modified?

Whenever there are deletions or additions in personnel from the original application, changes in personnel contact information, or changes in the type, schedule or location of the proposed work already permitted.

How do I modify a Permit or Field Use Authorization?

Complete the downloadable form Request for Modification of Cultural Resource Use Permit and submit it with supporting documentation. Electronic submittals are accepted but the signature of the permit administrator must be included (pdf format is acceptable). This form may also be used to modify the Field Use Authorization and the ARPA Permit.

Download a Request for Modification Form (Microsoft Word format)

Who do I contact for more information?

For more information, contact Dr. Charlotte Hunter 916-978-4648.

Permit documents may be mailed to:

Cultural Resources
Bureau of Land Management
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
Sacramento, CA 95825