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Washington State Standards for Cultural Resource Reporting

The Washington State Inventory of Cultural Resources (herein after referred to as the Inventory) contains thousands of records documenting both archaeological and historic resources across the state. As such, this repository contains volumes of information revealing important insights into thousands of years of human activity within the present-day boundaries of Washington. The Inventory plays a critical role in cultural resource management and historic preservation planning activities statewide.

As stewards of the Inventory, DAHP is responsible for managing this large and complex database. In this role, the department strives to make the information as useful as possible. The Washington State Standards for Cultural Resources Reporting conveys general guidelines, specific requirements, and useful tips about the survey and inventory process. This document is intended to explain survey standards and expectations plus provide direction for preparing and submitting inventory forms (Archaeology Site Inventory Form, Traditional Cultural Property Inventory Template, Cemetery Inventory Form, Submerged Historic Archaeological Resource Registration Form, Historic Property Inventory Form) along with the survey reports that accompany them. The document’s intended audience includes survey project personnel charged with conducting survey activities and those completing inventory forms and writing the survey project reports. Readers should be aware that information in this document is guided in large part on National Park Service (NPS) directives as identified in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archaeological and Historic Documentation (Federal Register, Vol. 90, No. 140:44716).

Readers should also be aware that these guidelines do not set or interpret any policies, regulations, or permit requirements of any other public agency. These guidelines provide only technical information about the survey and inventory processes and completion of related reports. For questions about procedures and parameters of cultural resource legislation and regulations (such as Section 106 and related policies and protocols) contact should be made directly with the federal, state, or local decision-making agency. Agencies conducting multiple small-scale surveys are encouraged to contact DAHP regarding field strategies as well as reporting requirements for large classes of projects requiring cultural resource inventories.

Please note that this document is updated frequently. Always come to this web page for the most recent version. If you have a previous version stored in your own files, it may be out of date.