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About CRM

Cultural Resources Management (CRM) at NASA

Cultural Resources Management is the identification of culturally, historically, architecturally, and archaeologically significant properties, and the management of those properties in a manner that is consistent with applicable state and Federal laws and regulations and the NASA mission, and that is respectful of the intrinsic values of the properties.

NASA is a Federal agency, and as such, must comply with Federal cultural resources statutes and regulations.

NASA CRM Program

NASA’s CRM Program is managed by the Agency’s Federal Preservation Officer (FPO), Environmental Division, NASA Headquarters, and implemented by NASA’s Center Cultural Resources Managers (CRMs) at NASA’s 13 Centers and component facilities. The Agency-wide program provides the policy and procedures to ensure NASA complies with applicable CRM regulations, such as the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). NASAs CRM program is guided by NPR 8510.1, NASA Cultural Resources Management. Read more about NASA’s CRM Program.

National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)

The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 is the nation’s primary historic preservation law. The Act defines the legal responsibilities of Federal agencies for the management of historic properties. The law institutes a Federal policy requiring responsible stewardship of historic resources, asserting that “the spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and reflected in our historic heritage;” and, therefore, the country’s historic and cultural legacy should be preserved as a living part of our community life. The Act was amended by Congress in 1980 to affirm that preservation of our “irreplaceable heritage is in the public’s interest” and that protective mechanisms must be in place to safeguard this cultural legacy when threatened by development and growth, in particular, when these actions are Federally driven.

View the full text of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Section 106 of the NHPA requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impacts of their actions on historic properties. NASA follows the steps laid out in the implementing regulations for Section 106 of the NHPA, 36 CFR §800 for all Federal Undertakings, to ensure that potential impacts to historic properties are considered, and, in consultation with stakeholders, any adverse impacts are avoided, minimized, or mitigated.

Non-compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA poses a potential schedule and cost impact to NASA missions. The Center CRMs are responsible for completing the consultation process required under the NHPA, so that potential risks to mission are minimized.