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  Who is required to have an archaeological investigation conducted on their property?   In the State of Wisconsin there are three reasons you may be required to have an archaeologist conduct investigations on the parcel upon which you plan a development.

First, if you require a federal permit  - a wetland permit from the US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS for instance - or if your project is receiving federal funding - from HUD for instance, you will be required to have an archaeological investigation conducted as part of the permit process. This is the normal Section 106 Process outlined elsewhere on this web site.

Second, you may be required by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to have an archaeological investigations completed. This and other state agencies requires that all undertakings that need a state permit or license, or any project that receives state funds, must have an archaeological investigation completed before a permit or funding can be issued if a known archaeological site or burial site is located within the project area.

Third, a number of local government agencies require an archaeological survey as part of their permit requirements.  For instance the Dane County Planning Commission requires developers to conduct a Phase I Archaeological Investigation prior to issuing permits.

  How do I know I am required to have an archaeological investigation conducted prior to development?   In most cases the permitting agency is the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  They have a check list you must complete before they will issue you a permit. You may need to contact the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.  They have a list of items they need from you in order to determine if you need to complete an archaeological investigation.  These requirements can be found on their web site under  historic preservation and project reviews. If you provide them with the appropriate material they will let you know!    
  Dane County Requirements   Developers working in Dane County should note the the planning and permits department now require a Phase I Archaeological Investigation prior to issuing permits.  This is a new requirement and does not follow all the procedures of the Section 106 process.  For further information please call our office at 1-800-243-9391.    

The criteria set forth by the National Park Service are the minimum qualifications. Not all archaeologists have the experience, background, or staff to complete your Section 106 evaluation.  Most State Historic Preservation Officers keep a current list of individuals who have notified them that they meet the minimum qualifications for a professional archaeologists or historian as outlined by the National Park Service.  This list does not include all qualified archaeologists in your state.  It does not certify that an individual on the list is familiar with the Section 106 process.  In choosing an archaeological consultant, you should keep the following questions in mind:

1) Has the consultant successfully completed similar Section 106 evaluations in the past?  Is the consultant familiar with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) which will evaluate his/her report? 

2) Get references! Check with other engineering firms or developers. Every archaeological and historical consultant should be able to provide you with names of clients you can contact for references.

3) Has this archaeological consultant completed projects in a timely fashion?  

4) Is the consultant more interested in conducting archaeological or historic research than in helping you get through the process? Has the consultant and members of the archaeological staff completed Section 106 workshops conducted by either a federal agency or the State Historic Preservation Office?  Many archaeological consultants meet the minimum requirements outlined by the National Park Service; however, they may be unaware of the numerous laws and regulations that guide a project to successful completion.  If their staff is unaware of the process they may not be representing you interests.

5) Are any of the archaeologists on staff Registered Professional Archaeologists?

6) Does the consultant carry an adequate amount of insurance?