What is a CRMP?
• identify documented cultural resources within management boundaries;
• assess the potential for cultural resources that have not yet been identified within management boundaries;
• identify threats to the resources; and
• provide management procedures and best practices to ensure that the resources’ key characteristics are preserved, as well as to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws.
Why are CRMPs important?
More generally, proper management and protection of the cultural resources ensure that the cultural and historical resources which make a place unique and convey its story are preserved. These resources can have immense value to the local community, other communities which may be connected to the resources but reside outside of the area, and visitors who come to learn about and experience their unique characteristics.
How are CRMPs accomplished?
CRMP development starts with an overview and analysis of existing cultural resources and documentation of their current condition. It is important to determine the relationship of these resources within the landscape. Review relevant laws pertaining to the cultural resources that are present.
In the next phase, identify management strategies for resources. What are the key challenges to cultural resource management? What are the potential solutions? Develop an implementation strategy and understand what legal exemptions there may be to provide a tool for staff regarding activities that can proceed without regulatory review. Identify and map specific management units within the site. Synthesize the results of previous investigations in these areas to guide future activities; you don’t want to repeat work already done. Finally, share the planning process and outcomes with stakeholders. Pay particular attention to how best to reach out to Native American tribes who may have ancestral connections to your area. Archaeological and cultural resources may be part of their history. The process finishes with the completion and sharing of a plan and staff training in its use.
When should they be completed?
Whether a property contains or has the potential to contain culturally or historically significant buildings, landscapes, or cultural and/or archaeological sites, a CRMP will inform management of the site and help ensure its cultural and natural resources are protected in the future.