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Journal of American Planning Association

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Historic preservation -- Government policy, Heritage tourism


Problem, research strategy, and findings: The fate of archaeological sites in cities, towns, and county jurisdictions are greatly affected by the decisions of local governments and planning departments, which usually operate with little formal guidance regarding archaeological site stewardship. What strategies do local governments use to effectively manage archaeological sites in their jurisdictions? Which ones work best? To address these questions, we carried out an exploratory study of mechanisms used by local government planners for archaeological resource protection in 24 states between 2008 and 2015, obtaining information from 69 local governments. We use questionnaires and interviews with local government staff, Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs), and State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), identifying the range of practices employed. Within the jurisdictions we studied, the most elaborate programs a) have local ordinances protecting archaeology, on-staff archaeologists, and use special archaeological districts and zoning overlays, survey, and development guidelines linked to archaeological site probability models; b) maintain cost-saving partnerships with SHPOs, THPOs, universities, and local nonprofit heritage organizations; c) or use a combination of these practices.


© 2016 Douglas Deur and Virginia L. Butler. Published with license by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.



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