Programmatic CE for JOTR Cultural Resources Operations

Joshua Tree National Park » Programmatic CE for JOTR Cultural Resources Operations » Document List

Annually the park will complete tasks that are anticipated to reoccur on a routine basis. These actions could have a potential for minor measurable impacts and must be formally documented. Routine actions are distinguished from project work by their cyclic nature, and limits in scope, duration, and intensity. These routine actions are completed to survey, record, assess condition, and prevent and mitigate damage to cultural resources.

This programmatic compliance documentation is extended only to those routine activities identified below. Any other activities will require a separate environmental screening review.

1) Plans, studies, and reports.

2) Actions related to archeological and paleontological field survey:
• Walking across the landscape
• Collecting of diagnostic and/or at-risk artifacts and fossils (e.g. projectile points, painted or embossed ceramics, complete or near complete ceramic pots or bowls, etc.). All items will be cataloged into the park's museum system and curated at the park collections' facility

3) Actions related to prehistoric and historic archeological site recording:
• Repeated walking in a localized area while recording a site
• Measuring features
• Use of pin flags and flagging tape
• Collecting of diagnostic and/or at-risk artifacts (e.g. projectile points, painted or embossed ceramics, complete or near complete ceramic pots or bowls, beads, embossed historic artifacts, etc.)

4) Actions related to emergency testing of archeological sites:
• Limited (less than a cubic meter per delineated site) test excavation of threatened archeological sites or features when a delay in action would result in the loss of the resource

5) Actions related to preventive maintenance of archeological sites, historic structures, cultural landscapes, collections:
• Placement/replacement of signs at archeological sites or historic structures (e.g. "No Climbing" signs, ARPA signs)
• Repair and replacement of modern fencing around historic structures that pose no effect on wildlife movements (e.g. Cottonwood Arrastra, Lost Horse Mine, Wall Street Mill, Keys Ranch)
• Implementing IPM plan items (e.g. cleaning historic structures [as per existing plans] utilizing approved hanta virus protection methods, removing packrat nests, plugging holes, etc.)
• Trimming (not removing) brush threatening cultural resources (e.g. rock art, milling features, structures, etc.)
• Hammering in loose nails on historic structures

6) Actions related to mitigating damage at archeological sites:
• Removing climbing chalk or charcoal from areas near, not on, rock art
• Raking or filling in unauthorized excavations at sites after notification/ documentation by law enforcement

7) Actions to routinely maintain collections for processing and storage as directed by NPS Museum Management Guidelines:
• Accessioning and cataloging museum objects
• Routine maintenance of objects and storage environment (e.g. inspections, cleaning, packaging, inventory)
• Minor preventative maintenance of Keys Ranch collections, as per preservation plans (e.g. wax metal, borate treatments [with IPM authorization], rotate wagon wheels)

Activities not identified here are considered project work and will be reviewed individually using the park established environmental screening process.

This programmatic action installs the Branch Chief of Cultural Resources as the responsible official for compliance with the dictates of this programmatic environmental screening document.

This programmatic determination for categorical exclusion of listed routine cultural resources activities will be audited and reviewed annually.

Contact Information

Jan Sabala
Branch Chief of Cultural Resources