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Cultural Resource Preservation and Natural Resource Development

Sherry Hutt, Proceedings of 48th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (2002)

Interest in cultural resource management has intensified in he last decade. This may be due in part to attention given to cultural resources in the press where they are portrayed as imperiled vestiges of national history, and it may in part be due to he development of additional tracts of land which puts previously pristine areas into the public view. Whatever the impe??us, Congress has responded to the public interest with its own expression of concern for preservation and protection of cultural resources and culturally important places by passing new [20-3] laws, and the federal land management agencies have followed that lead by promulgating additional regulations to existing laws. There has also been activity in the courts with varying, and in some cases inconsistent, results. It is inevitable that those who are involved in natural resource development will be faced with cultural resource issues. Some knowledge of the cir-cumstances that are likely to occur and methods to deal with them can make a difference in the efficient management of a project. It is the purpose of this paper to offer some insight into the area of cultural resources as a basis for land use planning. This paper will track the recent developments in cultural resource preservation and attempt to reconcile the messages of Congress, government agencies, and the courts.

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