Connecting the Dots: Integrating Cultural and Natural Resource Management in the United States


  • Michael Heilen Statistical Research Inc.
  • Jeffrey H. Altschul SRI Foundation



Archaeological Modeling, Cultural Resource Management, Natural Resource Management, Landscape, Planning


Landholding agencies in the United States are under increasing pressure to integrate cultural and natural resource management approaches at a landscape level and to do so earlier and more comprehensively in planning processes. How to integrate management practices is poorly understood, however. An impediment to integration is that the laws, methods, and tools used in cultural and natural resource management differ significantly. Natural resource management protects or rehabilitates habitats and ecosystems that support endangered species, while cultural resource management focuses on identification and protection of individual sites. Agencies need to shift the focus from managing sites to defining cultural landscape elements and their relationship to natural resource management units and concerns. We suggest that agencies use archaeological predictive modeling, resource classes, and paleoenvironmental and cultural historical information to geospatially define cultural landscapes, predict resource distributions and values, and identify opportunities and protocols for collectively managing cultural and natural resources. As the United States faces increasing deregulation and limited preservation funding, we believe an integrated approach will be critical in preserving and protecting both cultural and natural heritage.


Aldenderfer, M., & Maschner, H. (eds), 1996. Anthropology, Space and Geographic Information Systems. New York (NY): Oxford University Press. DOI:

Altschul, J., 1988. Models and the modeling process, in: W. Judge & L. Sebastian (eds) Quantifying the Past and Predicting the Past: Theory, Method, and Application of Archaeological Predictive Modeling. Denver (CO): US Bureau of Land Management, 61–96.

Altschul, J., 2014. Landscapes: a tool for cultural resource management?, in: SAA Government Affairs and International Government Affairs Update, May 2014, 6–7. Electronic document,, accessed 3 August 2016).

Altschul, J., 2016a. The role of synthesis in American archaeology and cultural resource management as seen through an Arizona lens. Journal of Arizona Archaeology 4(1), 68–81.

Altschul, J., 2016b. The Society for American Archaeology’s task forces on landscape policy issues. Advances in Archaeological Practice 4(2), 102–105. DOI:

Altschul, J., Kintigh, K., Klein, T., Doelle, W., Hays-Gilpin, K., Herr, S., Kohler, T., Mills, B., Montgomery, L., Nelson, M., Ortman, S., Parker, J., Peeples, M. & Sabloff, J., 2018. Fostering collaborative synthetic research in archaeology. Advances in Archaeological Practice 6(1), 19–29. DOI:

Altschul, J., & Patterson, T., 2010. Trends in employment and training in American archaeology, in: W. Ashmore, D. Lippert, & B. Mills (eds), Voices in American Archaeology. Washington (DC): SAA Press, 291–316.

Altschul, J., Sebastian, L. & Heidelberg, K., 2004. Predictive Modeling in the Military: Similar Goals, Divergent Paths. Legacy Resource Management Program Project No. 03-167. Preservation Research Series 1. Rio Rancho (NM): SRI Foundation.

Amarosi, T., Buckland, P., Dugmore, A., Ingimundarson, J. & McGovern, T., 1997. Raiding the landscape: human impact in the Scandinavian north Atlantic. Human Ecology 25(3), 491–518. DOI:

Anderson, D., Bissett, T., Yerka, S., Wells, J., Kansa, E., Kansa, S., Myers, K., DeMuth, R. & White, D., 2017. Sea-level rise and archaeological site destruction: An example from the southeastern United States using DINAA. PLOS One 12(11): e0188142. DOI:

Barrett, G., Dingwall, L., Gaffney, V., Fitch, S., Huckerby, C. & Maguire, T., 2007. Heritage Management at Fort Hood, Texas: Experiments in Historic Landscape Characterization, in: L. Dingwall & V. Gaffney (eds). Oxford, England: Archaeopress.

Barton, C., Bernabe u, J., Aura, J., Garcia, O., Schmich S. & Molina, L., 2004. Long-term socioecology and contingent landscapes. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 11(3), 253-295. DOI:

Butzer, K., 1982. Archaeology as Human Ecology: Method and Theory for a Contextual Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Chapin III, F., Kofinas, G. & Folke, C. (eds), 2009. Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. New York: Springer.

Chen, L., Comer, D., Priebe, C., Sussman, D. & Tilton, J., 2013. Refinement of a method of identifying probably archaeological sites from remotely sensed data, in: D. Comer & M. Harrower (eds), Mapping Archaeological Landscapes from Space. New York (NY): Springer, 251–258. DOI:

Chiras, D., & Reganold, ,2014. Natural Resource Conservation: Management for a Sustainable Future, 10th edition. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Clement, J., Belin, A., Bean, M., Boling, T. & Lyons, J., 2014. A Strategy for Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of the Department of the Interior: A Report to the Secretary of the Interior from the Energy and Climate Change Task Force. Washington, D.C. Electronic document, t i g ation-Repor t-to-the-Secretary_FINAL_04_08_14.pdf, accessed August 3, 2016.

Comer, D., & Harrower, M. (eds), 2013. Mapping Archaeological Landscapes from Space. Springer Briefs in Archaeology. New York (NY): Springer. DOI:

Council on Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience Climate and Natural Resources Working Group, 2014. Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources. Washington, DC: The Departments of Defense, Interior, and Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Council of Europe, 2000. European Landscape Convention, European Treaty Series No. 176, Florence, accessed 9 Dec 2019,

Crumley, C. (ed.), 1994. Historical Ecology: Cultural Knowledge and Changing Landscapes. Santa Fe (NM): SAR Press.

Crumley, C., Kolen, J., de Kleijn, M. & van Manen, N., 2017. Studying long-term changes in cultural landscapes: outlines of a research framework and protocol. Landscape Research 42:(8), 880–890. DOI:

Crumley, C., & Marquardt, 1990. Landscape: A Unifying Concept in Regional Analysis, in: K. Allen, S. Green & E. Zubrow (eds) Interpreting Space: GIS and Archaeology. London: Taylor and Francis, 73–79.

Cushman, D., & Sebastian, L., 2008. Integrating Archaeological Models: Management and Compliance on Military Installations. Preservation Research Series 7. Rio Rancho (NM): SRI Foundation.

Deal, K., 2017. Wildlife and Natural Resource Management, 4th edition. United States: Cengage Learning.

Denevan, W., 1992. The pristine myth: The landscape of the Americas in 1492. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 82(3), 369-385. DOI:

Doelle, W., Barker, P., Cushman, D., Heilen, M., Herhahn, C. & Rieth, C. 2016. Incorporating archaeological resources in landscape-level planning and management. Advances in Archaeological Practice 4(2), 118–131. DOI:

Fairclough, G., 2002. Steps towards the integrated management of a changing landscape: Historic Landscape Characterisation in England, in: G. Swensen (ed.), Cultural Heritage on the Urban Fringe. Oslo: Norsk Institut for Kulturminneforskning, 29–39.

Fairclough, G., 2003. ‘The long chain’: archaeology, historical landscape characterization and time depth in the landscape, in: H. Palang, & G. Fry (eds), Landscape Interfaces: Cultural Heritage in Changing Landscapes. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 295–318. DOI:

Fairclough, G., Lambrick, G. & McNab, A., 1999. Yesterday’s World, Tomorrow’s Landscape: The English Heritage Historic Landscape Project 1992-94. London: English Heritage.

Grayson, D., 2001. The archaeological record of human impacts on animal populations. Journal of World Prehistory 15, 1–68. DOI:

Green, P., Altschul, J., Heilen, M., Cushman, D., Homburg, J., Trampier, J., Hayden, W. & Lerch, M., 2012. Integrating Archaeological Modeling in DoD Cultural Resource Compliance. Final Report submitted to the Environmental Security Testing Certification Program, U.S. Department of Defense. Rio Rancho (NM): SRI Foundation.

Hargis, C., Bissonette J. & David, J., 1997. Understanding measures of landscape pattern, in: J. Bissonette (ed.), Wildlife and Landscape Ecology: Effects of Pattern and Scale. New York (NY): Springer-Verlag, 231–261. DOI:

Harkin, M. & Lewis D. (eds), 2007. Native Americans and the Environment: Perspectives on the Ecological Indian. Lincoln (NE): University of Nebraska Press.

Heilen, M., 2005. An Archaeological Theory of Landscapes. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Arizona. Ann Arbor (MI): University Microfilms.

Heilen, M., & Altschul, J., 2014. Modeling sustainability and resilience through the investigation of critical habitats: a view from the US southwest. Paper presented at the 20th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, Istanbul, Turkey.

Heilen, M., & Altschul, J., 2016. Cultural Resources Phase I Efforts for Modeling Site Location in Georgia. Report submitted to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division. Tucson (AZ): Statistical Research.

Heilen, M., Altschul, J. & Lüth, F., 2018. Modelling Resource Values and Climate Change Impacts to Set Preservation and Research Priorities. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 20(4), 261–284. DOI:

Heilen, M., Altschul, J., Reddy, S., Heckman, R. & Norris, S., 2016. Locational and Significance Modeling at San Clemente Island, California. Technical Report 15-58. Redlands (CA): Statistical Research.

Heilen, M., Leckman, P., Byrd, A., Homburg, J. & Heckman, R., 2013. Archaeological Sensitivity Modeling in Southern New Mexico: Automated Tools and Models for Planning and Management. Technical Report 11-26. Tucson (AZ): Statistical Research.

Heilen, M. & Reid, J., 2009. A landscape of gamble and guts: commodification of land on the Arizona frontier, in: B. Bowser & M. Zedeño (eds), The Archaeology of Meaningful Places. Salt Lake City (UT): University of Utah Press, 132–148.

Heilen, M., Reid, J. & Schiffer, M., 2008. Landscape formation processes, in: B. David & J. Thomas (eds), Handbook of Landscape Archaeology. Walnut Creek (CA): Left Coast Press, 601–608.

Heilen, M., Sebastian, L., Altschul, J., Leckman, P. & Byrd, A., 2012. Modeling of Archaeological Site Location and Significance at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Technical Report 12-06. Tucson (AZ): Statistical Research.

Heilen, M., & Vanderpot, R., 2013. Pathways to Preservation: A Research Design and Heritage Management Plan for the Barry M. Goldwater Range East. Technical Report 13-05. Tucson (AZ): Statistical Research.

Hood, J. E., 1996. Social relations and the cultural landscape, in: R. Yamin & K. Bescherer Metheny (eds) Landscape Archaeology: Reading and Interpreting the American Historical Landscape. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 121–146.

ICOMOS & IUCN, 2015. Connecting Practice Project: Final Report. Accessed 9 Dec 2019,

Johnson, S., Abrams, M. & Rush, L., 2012. Using Black Earth and Remote Sensing Of Indicator Plants for Identification of Prehistoric Archaeological Sensitivity and Potential Site Integrity in the Eastern Woodlands: Recommendations for Applying Results to DoD Modeling Initiatives. Final report, US Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program Project 10-416.

Judge, W. & Sebastian L. (eds), 1988. Quantifying the Past and Predicting the Past: Theory, Method, and Application of Archaeological Predictive Modeling. Denver (CO): USDI Bureau of Land Management, 61–96.

King, T. (ed.), 2011. A Companion to Cultural Resource Management. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI:

Kohler, T., 1992. Prehistoric human impact on the environment in the upland North American southwest. Population and Environment 13(4), 255–267. DOI:

Kotliar, N. & Wiens, J. 1990. Multiple scales of patchiness and patch structure: a hierarchical framework for the study of heterogeneity. Oikos 59, 253-260. DOI:

Kvamme, K., 1989. Geographic information systems in regional archaeological research and data management, in: M. Schiffer (ed.), Archaeological Method and Theory, Volume 1. Tucson (AZ): University of Arizona Press, 139–203.

Kvamme, K., 1990. The fundamental principles and practice of predictive archaeological modeling, in: A. Voorrips (ed.), Mathematics and Information Science in Archaeology: A Flexible Framework. Bonn, Germany: HOLOS-Verlag, 275–295.

Kvamme, K., 1999. Recent directions and developments in geographical information systems. Journal of Archaeological Research 7(2), 153–201. DOI:

Larsen, E., 2018. People, Fire, and Pines in the Border Lakes Region of North America. The Synthetic Report: Newsletter of the Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis 1(1), 3-4.

Lipe, W., 2009. Archaeological values and resource management, in: L. Sebastian & W. Lipe (eds), Archaeological & Cultural Resource Management: Visions for the Future. Santa Fe (NM): School for Advanced Research Press, 41–63.

Lock, G. & Stančič, Z. (eds), 1995. Archaeology and Geographic Information Systems: A European Perspective. London: Taylor and Francis.

McManamon, F. (ed.), 2018. New Perspectives in Cultural Resource Management. New York (NY): Routledge. DOI:

McManamon, F., Doershuk, J., Lipe, W., McCulloch, T., Polglase, C., Schlanger, S., Sebastian, L. & Sullivan, L., 2016. Values-based management of archaeological resources at a landscape scale. Advances in Archaeological Practice 4, 132–148. DOI:

Mann, C., Plieninger, T., Raymond, C., Tabbush P. & Tack, J., 2016. Report on Policy Briefs and Set of Recommendations for Landscape Policy and Practice, HERCULES Project Work Package 9. Accessed 9 Dec 2019,

Mayro, L., & Doelle, W., 2018. Heritage conservation: cultural resource management results for public planning, preservation, research, and outreach, in: F. McManamon (ed.), New Perspectives in Cultural Resource Management New York (NY): Routledge. DOI:

Mehrer, M., & Wescott, K. (eds), 2006. GIS and Archaeological Site Location Modeling. Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, Florida. DOI:

Mitchell, N., Rössler, M., Tricaud, P-M. (eds), 2009. World Heritage Cultural Landscapes: A Handbook for Conservation and Management. Paris, France: World Heritage Centre, UNESCO.

National Academies of Sciences, 2016. A Review of the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Pickett, S. & Rogers, K., 1997. Patch dynamics: the transformation of landscape structure and function, in: J. Bissonette (ed.), Wildlife and Landscape Ecology: Effects of Pattern and Scale. New York (NY): Springer-Verlag, 101–127. DOI:

Redman, C., 1999. Human Impact on Ancient Environments. Tucson (AZ): University of Arizona Press.

Rockman, M., Morgan, M., Ziaja, S., Hambrecht, G. & Meadow, A., 2016 Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy. Washington (DC): National Park Service.

Sauer, C., 1967a. The morphology of landscape (1925), in: J. Leighly (ed.), Land and Life: A Selection of Writings of Carl Ortwin Sauer. Berkeley (CA): University of California Press, 315–350.

Sauer, C., 1967b. Foreword to historical geography (1941), in: J. Leighly (ed.), Land and Life: A Selection of Writings of Carl Ortwin Sauer. Berkeley (CA): University of California Press, 351–379.

Schein, R., 1997. The place of landscape: a conceptual framework for interpreting an American scene. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 87(4), 660–680. DOI:

Sebastian, L., 2009. Deciding what matters: archaeology, eligibility, and significance, in: L. Sebastian & W. Lipe (eds), Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management, Visions for the Future. Santa Fe (NM): School for Advanced Research Press, 91–114.

Sebastian, L., Altschul, J., Rohe, C., Thompson, S. & Hayden, W., 2005. Adaptive Management and Planning Models for Cultural Resources in Oil and Gas Fields: New Mexico Pump III Project. Preservation Research Series 5. Rio Rancho (NM): SRI Foundation.

Sebastian, L., & Lipe, W. (eds), 2010. Archaeology & Cultural Resource Management: Visions for the Future. Santa Fe (NM): School for Advanced Research Press.

Simpson, I., Guðmundsson, G., Thomson, A. & Cluett, J., 2004. Assessing the role of winter grazing in historic land degradation, Mývatnssveit, northeast Iceland. Geoarchaeology 19(5), 471–502. DOI:

Stinchcomb, G.E., Messner, T.C., Driese, S.G., Nordt, L.C. & Stewart, R.M., 2011. Precolonial (A.D. 1100–1600) sedimentation related to prehistoric maize agriculture and climate change in eastern North America. Geology April 2011, 363–366. DOI:

Taylor, K. & Lennon, J., 2011. Cultural landscapes: a bridge between culture and nature? International Journal of Heritage Studies 17(6), 537–554. DOI:

Turner, M., Gardner, R. & O’Neill, R., 2001. Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice: Pattern and Process. New York (NY): Springer-Verlag.

Turner, S., 2006. Historic landscape characterisation: A landscape archaeology for research, management and planning. Landscape Research 31(4), 385–398. DOI:

van Andel, T., Zangger E. & Demitrack, A., 1990. Land use and soil erosion in prehistoric and historical Greece. Journal of Field Archaeology 17, 379–396. DOI:

van der Leeuw, S. & Redman, C., 2002. Placing archaeology at the center of socio-natural studies. American Antiquity 67, 597–605. DOI:

Vanderpot, R., Altschul, J., Lerch, M. & Heilen, M., 2008. Nonriverine Native-Plant Exploitation in the Sonoran Desert: A View from the Western Papaguería, in: J. Altschul & A. Rankin (eds), Fragile Patterns: Archaeology of the Western Papaguería. Tucson (AZ): SRI Press, 63–75.

Wandsnider, L., 1998. Regional Scale Processes and Archaeological Landscape Units, in: A. R. Ramenofsky & A. Steffen (eds), Unit Issues in Archaeology: Measuring Time, Space, and Material. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 87–102.

Wescott, K., & Brandon R. (eds), 2000. Practical Applications of GIS for Archaeologists: A Predictive Modeling Kit. London: Taylor & Francis. DOI:

Whittlesey, S., 2004. Mesoamerica, the Hohokam, and the Tucson Basin, in: S. Whittlesey (ed.), Pots, Potters, and Models: Archaeological Investigations at the SRI Locus of the West Branch Site, Tucson, Arizona: Vol. 2. Synthesis and Interpretations. Technical Series No. 80. Tucson (AZ) and Redlands (AZ): Statistical Research, 509–530.

Wu, J., 2010 Landscape of culture and culture of landscape: does landscape ecology need culture? Landscape Ecology 25(8), 1147–1150. DOI:

Young, D., 2008. The Archaeology of Shifting Environments in the Great Salt Lake Desert: A Geoarchaeological Sensitivity Model and Relative Chronology for the Cultural Resources of the US Air Force Utah Test and Training Range. Davis (CA): Far Western Anthropological Research Group.

Zedeño, M., 1997. Landscapes, land use, and the history of territory formation: an example from the Puebloan southwest. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 4, 67–103. DOI:

Zedeño, M., 2000. On what people make of places: a behavioral cartography, in: M. Schiffer (ed.), Social Theory in Archaeology. Salt Lake City (UT): The University of Utah Press, 97–111.

Zedeño, M., Austin, D. & Stoffle, R., 1997. Landmark and landscape: a contextual approach to the management of American Indian resources. Culture & Agriculture 19(3), 123–129. DOI:

Zeanah, D., Carter, J., Dugas, D., Elston, R. & Hammett, J., 1995. An Optimal Foraging Model of Hunter-Gatherer Land Use in the Carson Desert. Report prepared for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of the Navy, under the U.S. Department of Defense Legacy Program (Legacy 92-0497).

Zeidler, J. (ed.), 2001. Dynamic Modeling of Landscape Evolution and Archaeological Site Distributions: A Three-Dimensional Approach. Fort Collins (CO): Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands.




How to Cite

Heilen, M., & Altschul, J. H. (2020). Connecting the Dots: Integrating Cultural and Natural Resource Management in the United States. Ex Novo: Journal of Archaeology, 4, 31–51.

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.