County, State, and Federal laws, regulations, and policies may apply
to your project or property in unincorporated Pima County. Here we
provide the major laws, their purposes, and when and where they apply.
Pima County Policies
As a political subdivision of the State of Arizona, Pima County
ensures that all projects on County land or rights-of-way or any
County funded projects with the potential to impact cultural resources
comply with the Pima County Cultural Resources
Anyone applying for a County
Right-Of-Way Use Permit must comply with Pima
County Cultural Resources Requirements.
Pima County requires that private developments on private land comply
with County cultural resources requirements. The Pima County cultural
resources compliance process is explained in our compliance
section. On private land there are four situations in which cultural
resources compliance must occur:
Arizona State Lands
Lands owned or administered by the State of Arizona, or any of its
political subdivisions such as Pima County, are subject to State
law. The most important laws that protect cultural resources on these
lands are found in Title 41 of the Arizona State
as ARS 41-841 et seq. and ARS41-861 et seq. Human burials and their
grave goods on State lands are protected under ARS
Private Lands in Arizona
Human burials and grave goods located on private land are protected
from disturbance under Arizona State Statute ARS 41-865
Discovery of Human Remains
Anyone discovering human remains on State or private land in Arizona
that appear to have been buried more than 50 years ago must contact
the Arizona State Museum at
520-621-4795 or 621-6281.
Federal and Indian Lands
Federal laws apply to Federal and Indian lands, including those
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. The most comprehensive and important
of these laws and regulations are:
The National Historic Preservation Act provides
the framework for Federal historic preservation. It is a wide ranging
law that establishes the National Register of Historic Places, the
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Tribal Historic Preservation
Offices, and addresses the need to consider cultural resources when
federal agencies are involved in a project.
The Archaeological Resources Protection Act provides protections for archaeological sites and penalties for failure
to follow these protections on Federal and Indian lands.
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation
Act provides for the repatriation of cultural items, including human
remains and grave goods from museums and other institutions to
Indian Tribes, and protects Native American burials and funerary
objects located on Federal and Indian lands.
Any project on any land that has some Federal funding, is Federally
assisted, or requires a Federal permit or license, is an undertaking
and must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation
Act., regardless of land status. Any Federal undertaking must comply
106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
The Section 106 process, as it is called, is
regulated by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation .
Examples of federal undertakings are any project that requires an
Army Corps of Engineers permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water
Act, or a project that has federal funding such as Rural Utilities
funds, Federal Highway funds, or a Federal grant.
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places was established in the
National Historic Preservation Act. The National Register is a list
of particularly significant cultural resources throughout the nation.
It is maintained by the National Park Service,
which is located in Washington DC.
A list of all the properties in the National Register is maintained
by State and County.
The National Register office has many publications to assist people
wishing to list properties in the National Register. These National
Register Bulletins provide
information about the kinds of properties can be listed, how to list
them, and tax exemptions that may be applied to listed properties.
Anyone considering listing a property in Pima County should start
by contacting the Arizona
State Historic Preservation Office .