Cultural Resources

For over 10 years, IES has worked under contract and in coordination with numerous political subdivisions, federal agencies, and private sector entities to provide assistance in navigating the obstacles surrounding cultural resources requirements under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Sections 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT). The IES staff has project experience across North America, as well as portions of Central America and the Caribbean. While the cultural resources team specializes in rapidly conducting archeological surveys and report preparation for clients needing to maintain compliance with state and federal cultural resource regulations throughout Texas and Oklahoma; IES is also capable of providing these services throughout the Midwest. IES’ staff has proven experience in more intensive testing and data recovery level investigations, and our staff has successfully completed projects requiring the documentation, assessment, and resolution of adverse effects regarding historic-aged architectural resources. The team has an expert Geographic Information Systems (GIS) staff capable of compiling and manipulating spatial data to produce detailed cultural resources probability models and professional-grade mapping. IES believes that by becoming aware of cultural resources, and the potential pitfalls surrounding them, parties can more efficiently navigate the compliance process and complete projects without further delays. For this reason, IES spends a great deal of time and effort coordinating with their clients regarding the process, the compliance requirements, and what the best, most practicable options are moving forward. Through our detailed understanding of cultural resources regulations, and a developed rapport with state and federal agencies, IES has the expertise needed to effectively navigate the regulatory compliance world.

Archeological Services

Background Review and Agency Coordination

Many projects require coordination and comment from state and/or federal agency officials, but transpire within previously developed or highly disturbed settings that typically do not warrant formal field investigations. To facilitate this coordination, IES staff can utilize our established relationships with agency officials and present desktop level documentation and analysis that details no survey is warranted. This documentation includes:

  • Restricted archeological data search;
  • Historical records review;
  • Disturbance analysis; and
  • Cultural resources probability assessment and GIS modeling.

Pedestrian Survey

Depending on the nature, location, and regulatory nexus of the project, formal field investigations may be required to ensure compliance with cultural resources regulations. If field investigations are needed, IES staff can provide these services:

  • Obtaining state and federally authorized permits;
  • Systematic field surveys;
  • Deeply buried sites assessments;
  • Archeological site documentation;
  • Deed, census, and archival research;
  • Archeological significance evaluation; and
  • Regulatory coordination.

Testing and Excavation

When a site is encountered during a survey, the site’s potential significance may be unclear and require additional investigations. Although only a small percentage of sites have the potential to yield significant archaeological data; these sites are not always easy to avoid and may require large-scale excavation. If additional investigations are needed, IES staff can provide these services:

  • Eligibility coordination;
  • Eligibility testing;
  • Mitigation plan development and research design;
  • Site excavation/data recovery; and
  • National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nomination.

Land Management and Due Diligence Consulting

Many private developers and landowners have learned through previous project complications and public backlash that the climate for how cultural resources are perceived has become more sensitive and of increased importance. Whether it’s a private developer constructing on private property or a landowner developing a land management plan, understanding where and what cultural resources are present, as well as their potential significance can be a valuable source of information. IES can assist private entities by providing these services:

  • Probability assessment;
  • Potential regulatory compliance strategies;
  • Field surveys; and
  • Management plan development.

Historical Resource Services

As time moves on, the amount of architectural resources of historic-age (i.e. greater than 50 years in age) will become increasingly more abundant. State and federal regulations require that impacts to these resources be considered, and at times avoided, minimized, or mitigated. Depending on the needs of the project, IES may provide these services:

  • Historical records review;
  • Desktop evaluation and analysis;
  • Historical landscape assessment;
  • Architectural assessment survey;
  • Indirect effects analysis;
  • NRHP evaluation and nomination; and
  • Interpretive signage.