Cultural resources

Tools and guidance to assist in the cultural resources documentation of a proposed project

The mission of WisDOT’s environmental process and documents is to balance the state’s transportation needs with cultural resources stewardship. This area reviews Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and state assisted WisDOT transportation projects for potential impacts to cultural resources pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, Wisconsin state statute 44.40 Historic Preservation and Wisconsin state statute 157.70 burial sites preservation. While the FHWA has delegated Section 106 responsibilities to WisDOT, the federal agency remains ultimately responsible for the process. In addition cultural resources reviews are conducted on rails, harbors, transit, aeronautics, and other federal/state assisted programs.

This staff works with federal, state and local agencies, tribal governments, the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and other stakeholders to ensure that impacts to Wisconsin’s historic and cultural resources are considered early in the transportation planning process. Early consideration of historic and cultural resources helps preserve the state’s rich historic heritage while eliminating and reducing project delays.

FDM references

FDM 5-5-25 coordination with Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)
FDM 5-10-5 coordination with Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS)
FDM 20-5-5 Section 4(f)
FDM 20-5-30 federal historic law
FDM 20-10-25 federal historic policies
FDM 20-10-35 state historical statutes
FDM Chapter 21 environmental documents, reports and permits

FDM 21-25-1 Section 4(f) evaluation
FDM 21-25-10 Section 106 reports 

FDM Chapter 26 cultural resource preservation (archaeology and history)


Refer to the Forms and tools page for factor sheets and guidance

General emphasis
DT1635 Section 106 review
 National Park Service (NPS) form 10-900 national register of historic places registration

History/structure emphasis

Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) survey manual
DT1635 - Section 106 review form

WHS determination of eligibility (DOE) website

WHS historical district determination of eligibility (DOE) template
NPS Form 10-900 National Register of Historic Places registration form
Minor involvement with historic sites FHWA programmatic 4(f) determination

DT1446 - Architecture/history survey form
Short form determination of eligibility (DOE) for bridges
Minor involvement with bridges FHWA programmatic 4(f) determination

Documentation for determination of no adverse effect template
Documentation for consultation (DFC) report
Toolkit for the development of Section 106 MOA for above ground resources
Initial notification by WisDOT to local historical societies and interested citizen groups

Archaeological/burial emphasis

DT1459 archaeological literature and records review
DT1919 archaeology survey information transmittal
DT1978 archaeological survey field report
DT1614 checklist of required documentation for cemeteries
Burial site inventory form completed by archaeologist (SHSW form)
Initial notification to landowner regarding proposed project

Notification by WisDOT to Native Americans
Notification by WisDOT to Native Americans design refinement/scope changes
Notification by WisDOT to Native Americans expedited review (screening list)

WisDOT archaeology guidebook


Most requested items

Section 106 screening list updated regularly
Native American distribution/address list and areas of tribal interest for project notification
Native American distribution/address list (mail merge tool)
Documentation for determination of no adverse effect template (history/structure emphasis) report format

Reference lists

WHS - directory of Wisconsin local historical societies
Native American distribution/address list and areas of tribal interest for project notification
WHS - qualified archaeologists