Cultural resources are a fragile, limited resource with potential public and scientific uses. They are an irreplaceable part of our Nation's heritage.
Management of cultural resources on the public lands is primarily determined by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA). Consistent with FLPMA, the BLM follows the same multiple use principles and the same planning and decision making processes that are followed in managing other resources on the public lands.
The BLM manages cultural resources as mandated by other federal laws and policies as well, like the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Section 106 ensures that cultural resources are managed according to their relative importance, and that the BLM works to protects these valuable resources against impairment, destruction, and inadvertent loss, while encouraging and accommodating the uses determined appropriate through planning and public participation.
In 2012, the BLM Director, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers signed a national programmatic agreement explicitly framed "to emphasize the common goal of planning for and managing historic properties under the BLM's jurisdiction or control in the public interest." This agreement calls for cooperation and enhanced communication among state historic preservation offices and BLM States as well as "a protocol specifying how they will operate and interact under this agreement."
Each BLM State that operates under the national programmatic agreement has a "Protocol" agreement