Archaeology/Historic Architecture/Native American Consultation
What are Cultural Resources?
Cultural Resources include prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, ghost towns, rock art, historic buildings, spiritual places, historic landscapes and even historic roads, such as the Lincoln Highway.
Why does NDOT have a section devoted to Cultural Resources?
NDOT’s Cultural Resource team works to balance the transportation needs of Nevada’s growing communities with protecting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of the state. To identify significant cultural resources that may be impacted by transportation projects, the Cultural Resource Section:
- Conducts archaeological surveys to identify sites of prehistoric and historic importance
- Examines architectural features, such as buildings, bridges and cemeteries
- Researches historical records such as old maps, historic photos and government reports and
- Consults with Native American tribes and organization
2014 Nevada Transportation Programmatic Agreement
On October 21, 2014, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation executed the 2014 Nevada Transportation Programmatic Agreement. Along with the Programmatic Agreement, the Handbook stands as guidance on how to perform certain tasks.
NDOT archaeologists are fortunate to have the entire state of Nevada as a study area. Human occupation of Nevada spans at least the last 10,000 years and includes prehistoric, indigenous and historic cultures. Our primary purpose is to guide department projects through Historic Preservation laws established by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) so that cultural properties are avoided or minimally impacted by NDOT projects and are preserved in some manner for the benefit of our common cultural heritage. The Cultural Resource team advises NDOT on how to balance the protection of the resource with the transportation needs of the public.
C. Cliff Creger, M.A., RPA – Chief ArchaeologistTelephone: (775) 888-7666
Beth P. Smith, M.A., RPA, GISP – Lead Archaeologist
Telephone: (775) 888-7488
Jennifer Riddle, M.A. – ArchaeologistTelephone: (775) 888-7489
Shannon Goshen, M.A. RPA – ArchaeologistTelephone: (775) 888-7897
David Rigtrup, M.A. - ArchaeologistTelephone: (775) 888-7746
Whenever federal money is involved with any Nevada Department of Transportation project, NDOT is legally required to comply with regulations set up by Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966. This important Act established rules for identifying historic structures and evaluating how projects will impact these resources. NDOT takes considerable lengths to avoid affecting historically significant structures and buildings. If it is not feasible to avoid impacting an historic structure, the adverse impact must be mitigated. Mitigation can take the form of moving an historic home to a new location, documenting a building for the Historic American Building Survey to be kept at the National Archives, or planting trees to create visual barriers.
The NDOT architectural historian conducts and reviews historic architectural surveys, consults with the State Historic Preservation Office on projects and conducts research on Nevada’s unique architectural history.
Elizabeth Dickey, M.S. – Lead Architectural HistorianTelephone: (775) 888-7478
Suzan Slaughter, M.A., RPA – Archaeologist, Architectural HistoryTelephone: 775-888-7585
Native American Consultation
Native American consultation is required by law for projects which receive federal funds. Most NDOT projects receive at least some federal funding. Native American consultation is conducted on a government-to-government basis and is undertaken by the Federal Highway Administration with the assistance of this program. This program addresses cultural issues, such as potential impacts to Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs) and other historic properties to which tribes may attach cultural or religious significance. Other concerns, such as environmental or economic justice issues, are forwarded to the appropriate individuals within the Environmental Services Division.
Sabra Gilbert-Young, M.A., RPA – Native American Consultation Coordinator, Archaeologist Telephone: 775-888-7483