The Central Arizona Project Historic Preservation Program: Conserving the Past While Building for the Future


On July 15, 1983, the chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) ratified a programmatic memorandum of agreement among the Arizona and New Mexico State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), the Bureau of Reclamation, and the ACHP. The subject of that agreement was the construction of the Central Arizona Project (CAP) and its impact upon historic properties. That agreement was negotiated in compliance with Section 2(b) of Executive Order 11593, "Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment," and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The agreement stipulated that Reclamation prepare a comprehensive, project-wide plan for historic preservation. This document constitutes that plan. It is designed to be a tool that will insure adequate consideration of historic properties as the CAP is completed and lead to appropriate treatment of significant historic resources that lie within the path of construction.

A broad review of the published literature on the prehistory and history of the CAP area was conducted. Relevant, ongoing research projects were also examined in order to become familiar with the current directions of historic and prehistoric research.

In order to ensure that the internal agency perspective developed through this review and assessment was not myopic, letters were sent out to more than 240 people and institutions actively involved with regional historic preservation activities and research. Those contacted included other Federal, state and local agencies who deal with historic preservation issues, CAP contractors or potential contractors who perform cultural resource studies, Indian communities, academic archaeologists, historians, historical architects, students, museums, professional and amateur archaeological and historical societies, and members of the CAP Ad Hoc Committee for Cultural Resources (organized by Reclamation in 1976). Those contacted were asked for suggestions of specific avenues of research or other measures that might be pursued as mitigation for the impacts which construction of the CAP is having upon cultural resources.

The advantages of a more coherent, project-wide approach to the CAP's historic preservation activities were recognized for quite some time before the memorandum of agreement was negotiated. In fact, steps to prepare such a plan had been set in motion prior to ratification, but coping with day-to-day compliance activities of the burgeoning historic preservation program of a project as large as the CAP was overwhelming. This is outlined in the second chapter that analyzes the history of previously funded CAP cultural resource studies. The third chapter presents a summary description of the types of historic properties that have been inventoried within the region in which the CAP is being constructed. The fourth chapter attempts to convey a sense of the significance of those resources, and the fifth chapter presents a strategy and proposal for conserving or preserving historic values in conjunction with the completion of the CAP.

This document was prepared to enhance the thoroughness, efficiency and productivity of the CAP cultural resource program. The nature of the document has changed somewhat during the course of its preparation. Originally it was conceived of as a mitigation research design that would attempt to identify and assign priorities to various research issues and propose relatively specific research methodologies for pursuing that research. It is instead a broader document establishing a framework and procedures for identifying research goals as well as other opportunities of historic preservation.

As might be expected for a historic preservation plan, this plan tends to emphasize the history of the CAP program to date. Such an emphasis led to a firm understanding and assessment of the context of the ongoing program. The plan is somewhat more tentative about the future. This document is meant to be a dynamic basis for starting a more comprehensive approach not a static document that would surely grow obsolete quickly.

The completion of this document represents a triumph of a larger perspective over day-to-day compliance paperwork. The evolving system which enabled this plan to be developed reflects growing sophistication of the Federal historic preservation program and a return to more ultimate goals.

Cite this Record

The Central Arizona Project Historic Preservation Program: Conserving the Past While Building for the Future. Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Region. Boulder City, NV: Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Region. 1986 ( tDAR id: 56513) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8S184C6


Investigation Types
Archaeological Overview Heritage Management

Axe Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad Bone (Animal) Bone (Small Mammal) Buckskin Mountains Tunnel Burnt Bone Buttes Dam Cap Cave Creek Water Co. Central Arizona Project Chandler Heights Citrus Co. Chaparrel City Water Co. Charleston Dam Computer Assisted Settlement Pattern Analysis Granite Reef Aqueduct Granite Reef Diversion Dam Havasu Intake Channel Havasu Pumping Plant Historic Preservation Hooker Dam Memorandum of Agreement Navajo Power Plant Navajo Power Project Navajo Project New River Water Co. New Waddell Dam Orme Dam Preservation Roosevelt Dam Salt-Gila Aqueduct Salt River Siphon Theodore Roosevelt Dam Transmission System Tucson Aqueduct Union Hills Water Treatment Plant X-Ray Florescence Show More

Geographic Keywords
04999 (Fips Code) Ak Chin Indian Reservation All Counties (County) Arizona (State / Territory) Buttes Reservoir Cave Creek Chaparrel, AZ Charleston Reservoir Fort McDowell Indian Reservation Gila River Glendale, AZ Harquahala Valley Irrigation District Hooker Reservoir Lake Roosevelt New Magma Irrigation District New Mexico (State / Territory) North America (Continent) Orme Reservoir Papago Indian Reservation Peoria, AZ Phoenix Basin Picacho Mountain Queen Creek Irrigation District Roosevelt Water Conservation District Salt River Salt River Indian Reservation San Francisco River San Pedro Valley Santa Cruz Valley San Tan Irrigation District Santa Rosa Canal Division A Santa Rose Canal Division B Scottsdale, AZ Tohono O'Odham Nation Tonopah Desert Tonopah Irrigation District Tonto Basin Tucson, AZ Tucson Basin Upper Gila River Valley Verde River Show More

Temporal Keywords
Cazador Stage Chiricahua Stage Classic Period Colonial Period Gila Butte Phase Historic Pioneed Period Prehistoric San Dieguito I San Dieguito II San Dieguito III San Pedro Stage Sedentary Period Sulphur Springs Stage

Spatial Coverage

min long: -114.817; min lat: 31.332 ; max long: -109.045; max lat: 37.004 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office

Contributor(s): Thomas F. King

Record Identifiers

NADB Citation ID No.(s): 000000166553

NADB Document ID No.(s): 2202449


General Note: The copy of this report from which the NADB citation was made is located at Bureau of Reclamation, Box 25007, Denver CO 80255.

File Information

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