Transcon’s cultural resources staff has extensive experience conducting all types of archaeological investigations. Class I literature searches, Class III pedestrian surveys, monitoring, testing, and data recovery investigations are usually performed to comply with Section 106 and Section 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act. Federal agencies use our compliance documents in consultation with State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs), and Native American Tribes. Our senior staff meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards for Archaeology. Transcon always utilizes staff who meet these standards when recording archaeological and historical sites, districts, and objects.
Research & Survey
Our staff have conducted background research with numerous agencies throughout the country. They identify and record all cultural resources within the project area (including previously recorded sites, when applicable), evaluate the significance of the cultural resources, assess the potential impact of a project on significant cultural resources, and suggest measures to avoid or mitigate such impacts. Transcon’s technical reports are tailored to the land-managing agency and client with which we are working, while also following standards and guidelines established by the appropriate SHPO or THPO. We remain flexible in our project approach and are responsive to requests and suggestions made by land-managing agencies and clients.
Transcon staff have significant experience reviewing Section 106 documents submitted to agencies for approval through our previous and on-going government support contracts. We have also prepared Tribal consultation letters, prepared Memoranda of Agreement and Programmatic Agreements, and worked closely with other interested agencies, Tribes, SHPOs, THPOs, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to achieve successful conclusions to projects.
Transcon has inventoried, recorded, and reported on hundreds of federally owned buildings located throughout the United States. This included developing a methodology with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for identifying and choosing which structures should be recorded to assist the BIA with its Section 110 responsibilities and to assist with planning potential uses, demolition, or rehabilitation of recorded buildings. As part of reporting, we include drawings of buildings, photographs, and all appropriate forms. When necessary, we can also develop historic contexts against which a building’s eligibility can be evaluated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Transcon has also prepared Historic American Buildings Survey documentation to serve as mitigation for a building being demolished or transferred out of federal ownership.
Transcon staff has successfully worked with their Tribal counterparts in archaeology on numerous projects. We have worked directly for Tribes and Tribal entities, and for the BIA on behalf of Tribes. We have met and interacted with Tribal officials at all levels, including Tribal Council chairmen and members, District chairmen and council members, Tribal committees, resource specialists, and traditional leaders and practitioners. These interactions have been conducted in formal settings and informally during activities such as site visits.
Because of our vast experience working with and for Tribes, Transcon has developed a thorough understanding of Tribal sovereignty and the complicated legal relationship between the federal government and Tribes, including the overall federal trust responsibility. Critical lessons have been learned by interacting directly with the BIA and Tribes on numerous projects, such as Tribal sensitivities; Tribal regulatory requirements (separate from those of the BIA); roles of Tribal enterprises, Public Law 93-638 contracts, and compacting; and Tribal self-determination. A key component of Tribal support is mutual respect, which Transcon has established and works diligently to maintain with numerous Tribal employees throughout the southwest.
Transcon’s cultural resource staff has been involved in the production of several ethnographic studies, including Phoenix’s Chinatown; the Afro-American community of Mobile, Arizona; Pacific Islanders (mainly Tongans and Samoans) living within the Salt Lake Valley, Utah; Mormon farmers in southern Utah; hard rock miners in Utah; and transient dam construction workers in Arizona. Each of these studies has combined the use of archival histories (including historic photos), oral histories, and the archaeological record.
Transcon has prepared exhibits for public outreach programs, including posters, maps, brochures, and pamphlets. These documents have been used by agencies to conduct site visits and to provide interpretative information to recreationalists. In addition, we assisted in the design and development of an exhibit room for the grand opening of a new office location for the BIA. We have provided sensitivity training to construction staff working in culturally-sensitive locations for numerous projects. This was accomplished through the development of training materials (e.g., pamphlets, etc.) and providing training regarding archaeological regulations.