Policies, Laws & Regulations

Pima County Board of Supervisors Policy C3.17

BOS Policy C3.17 - Protection of Cultural Resources: The purpose of this Policy is to establish guidelines regarding the protection and documentation of archaeological, historical, and other cultural resources that are on land owned by Pima County or that may be affected by County projects or ground disturbing activities by other entities on County-owned land.

Pima County Board of Supervisors Resolution 1983-104

BOS Resolution 1983-104: 1983- requires County public works projects to comply with state law as it pertains to the identification, assessment, and mitigation of impacts to archaeological and historical sites.

Pima County Historic Zone Ordinance 18.63

County Historic Zone Overlay Ordinance, Chapter 18.63: 1972, 1985- The purpose of a County historic zone is to:

  1. Promote the health, education, culture, and general welfare of the community;
  2. Insure the harmonious growth and development of Pima County, by encouraging the preservation of historic sites and structures located within historic zones; and
  3. Protect and perpetuate the unique character of a geographic district where existing sites, objects, architecture, archaeological remains, or other tangible records of past eras can be of enduring value to the people of the county in advancing education, general welfare, civic pride, and appreciation of their cultural heritage.

The Arizona State Legislature has passed three laws that aim to preserve and protect the historic and prehistoric heritage of Arizona for future generations:

  1. Arizona Antiquities Act of 1927 (amended 1960, 1973, 1990)
  2. Arizona State Historic Preservation Act of 1982
  3. Arizona State Burial Act of 1990

These laws have been adopted into Title 41 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS):

ARS Title 41, Chapter 4.1, Article 4- Archaeological Discoveries

ARS Title 41, Chapter 4.2, Article 1: General Provisions for Historic Preservation

ARS Title 41, Chapter 4.2, Article 2: Historic Property Rehabilitation

From 1906 to 1966, the Federal Government enacted numerous laws and regulations that govern the treatment of historic and archaeological resources located on federal and Indian lands. In Pima County, these lands include the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Pascua Yaqui Reservation, National Forests, National Monuments, National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Department of Defense. A selection of these laws and regulations that apply to historic and archaeological resources within Pima County include:

Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431-433)

The Antiquities Act of 1906 is the first federal legislation that sought to protect archaeological sites on federal land. This law requires that a federal permit be obtained in order to remove archaeological resources from federal lands. This law also authorizes the President of the United States to designate national monuments.

Historic Sites Act of 1935 (16 U.S.C. 461-467)

Following the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal created a range of federal programs which focused on recording local, state and national histories through the documentaton of historic buildings and engineering features, as well as archaeological sites. The Historic Sites Act of 1935 mandated that the National Park Service (NPS) administer these programs, as well as created the National Historic Landmark program which charged the NPS to document, record, acquire, and manage places that are important to our nation's history.

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.)

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) is the keystone of the historic preservation process in the United States. Section 110 of the law mandates that federal agencies act as good stewards of historic and archaeological resources under their jurisdiction, and Section 106 requires all federal agencies to consider any and all potential effects to historic properties eligible for or listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of agency project planning and decision making. 
  • Regulations for Section 106 of the NHPA: 36 CFR Part 800 (Protection of Historic Properties)
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Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation

201 N. Stone Ave., 6th FL
Tucson, AZ 85701

(520) 724-6940


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