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Historic Preservation Act, 1966

Box 40 of 76
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 190, United States National Museum. Office of the Director, Records
See more items in:
Records / Series 9: Legislative File, 1953-1972. Arranged alphabetically. / Box 40
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

General Accounting Office Working Papers Concerning Review of Federal Agencies and Implementation of Archeological Salvage Laws

United States. General Accounting Office  Search this
McGimsey, Charles R.  Search this
12 Linear feet
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
New Melones -- California -- Antiquities
New Melones -- California -- Archeology
Scope and Contents:
Included among the materials are transcripts and notes concerning interviews, letters, memoranda, policy statements, planning documents, model and sample forms, agreements concerning archeological work, copies of laws and regulations, budget material, charts, maps, photographs (mainly the New Melones project), archeological publications, newspaper clippings, tables of organizatin, and drats of reports. Generally most of the material is organized into budles, each budle usugally pertaining to general background work with a particular agency or tothe administration of the GAO project.
(1) Headquarters administrative material and draft reports; (2) headquarters bundles; (3) San Franciso office bundles; (4) Denver office bundles; (5) archeological publications concerning California ('grey literature')
Biographical / Historical:
Several pieces of federal legislation concerning archeological sites were adopted during the 1960s and 1970s. These included the Historical Preservation Act of 1966, National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Archeological and Historical Preservation Act of 1974, and the Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979. In addition, the president issued Executive Order 11593, dated May 13, 1971, insuring that federal agencies would record, preserve, and maintain cultural materials found on federal lands. In spite of these efforts, growing criticism developed among archeologists that the laws were not working well. A particular problem involved the New Melones Dam in California, a project whose start virtually coincided with the act of 1966. In May 1979, because of growing concern, the chairman of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs requested the General Accounting Office (GAO) to conduct an investigation into whether archeological resources were being adequately protected, how well the lasws were working, where problems existed, and approaches to resolving problems. Requested was a specific report on the New Melones project and, in addition, a report on the general problem.

To carry out the investigation, a team was formed with GAO personnel of the Washington (D.C.), San Francisco, Denver, and Atlanta offices, with each office assigned specific responsibilities. Archeologist Charles R. McGimsey III served as consultant.

Most of the New Melones investigation was carried out of the San Franciso office. The general investigation involved the examination of the operations of historic preservation offices of the states of California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Georgia and some state's water and transportation authorities. In addition, insofar as they were involved in archeology, there were exmainations into federal agencies and projects including the Bureau of Land Management, Water and Power Resource Service, Housing and Urban Development, Department of Transportation, Corps of Engineers, Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Soil Conservation Service, Advisory Council on Preservation, Interagency Archeological Service, National Technical Information Service, Tennesse Valley Tellico Porject, and the National Register. Many federal archeologist and leaders of nonfederal archeological organizations were interviewed in connection with this investigation.
By agreement with the General Accounting Office, pertinent agencies must give approval before researchers are allowed to examine the documents. Researchers should contact the archives concerning this requiremnt well in advance of a visit.
Historical Preservation Act,1966  Search this
National Enviromental Policy Act, 1969  Search this
Archeological and Historical Preservation Act, 1974  Search this
Archeological Resource Protection Act, 1979  Search this
Law -- Antiquities  Search this
General Accounting Office Working Papers Concerning Review of Federal Agencies and Implementation of Archeological Salvage Laws, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives

America's national park system : the critical documents / edited by Lary M. Dilsaver

Dilsaver, Lary M.  Search this
Physical description:
xviii, 487 pages ; 23 cm
United States
National parks and reserves--History  Search this
National parks and reserves--Law and legislation  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries

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