Q: What is a File Search and how do I request one? Is there
a charge? A: A file search is when our office searches the
State Antiquities Database to see whether or not archaeological or
historic sites have been recorded in a particular location. The file
search also includes a search of any previous inventories that may have
been conducted in a particular location. To request a file search please
fill out a File Search Request form and mail, or
email it in to Damon Murdo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
along with a copy of a map showing the project location.
Q: How do I request a Smithsonian Number? A: Please contact the SHPO Site Records Office at (406)
email@example.com. You will
need to complete the required information portion of the Cultural
Resource Information System
(CRIS) form and attach a copy of
a 7.5' Quad map showing the site location to receive a number.
Q: How do I request copies of previous Inventories and Site
Forms? A: To request copies of previously
conducted cultural resource inventories you can contact Damon Murdo,
firstname.lastname@example.org. A: To
request copies of site forms, please fill out a
Site Form Request and email it
to email@example.com. The site
forms will be sent to you as pdf’s via email, CD, or ePass. Each request
will cost $5 and $1/Site Form. Paper copies can be provided for
Q: How do I find a list of Consultants in Montana? A: The MT SHPO maintains a list of consultants who meet
the Secretary of Interiors standards for Archaeology and Historic
Preservation. To view the list
click here. If you would like to be added to our list of consultants
please send your address, the services you provide (see consultants
list), and a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How do I get a property listed in the National Register
of Historic Places/ or Is my property Listed on the National Regsiter of
A: To get your property listed in the National Regsiter please
click here. A: To see if your property is already listed please
click here , and then click on the corresponding County.
Q: How do I find historical information about my property?
A: To find out ways to research your property
Q: What is Section 106?
A:Section 106 is the portion of the National Historic
Preservaiton Act where Federal Agencies are required to take into
account, during the planning process, the effects of their actions on
Historic Properties and to afford the Advisory Council on Historic
Preservation a reasonable opportunity to comment on that agency
consideration. Federal Agencies, then, are required by law to take steps
to identify Historic Properties which may be affected by their actions
and to follow procedures to minimize or avoid effects. To learn more
about Section 106 or how to consult with the Montana SHPO please see our
Guidelines and Procedures planning bulletin.
Q: What are the procedures for Section 106 as it relates to
Cell Tower construction?
A: Cell tower construction may have visual impacts on historic
resources and may effect archaeological sites. FCC licenses and
certifications for cell towers are federal actions subject to compliance
with Section 106 of the National Historic Presrvation Act (NHPA), and
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Click here for the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's "Learning
Unit" which will assist interested parties in understanding the National
Programmatic Agreement for Review of Effects on Historic Properties, or
Click here to view the
Montana SHPO Guidlines for cell tower review.
Q: How do I know if I have an undertaking that requires me
to do consultation under Section 106?
A: An undertaking means a project, activity, or program funded
in whole or in part under the direct or indirect juisdiction of a
Federal agency. Undertakings requiring consideration under the National
Historic Preservation Act are: (A) those carried out by or on behalf of
the agency; (B) those carried out with Federal Financial assistance; (C)
those requiring a Federal permit, license, or approval; and (D) those
subject to State or local regulation administered pursuant to a
delegation or approval by a Federal agency.
Q: Does the SHPO have a grant program for owners of historic
A: The SHPO does not administer a grant for historic home
preservation. The only grant programs for homeowners that we are aware
of are from HUD and USDA-RD. Homeowners looking for financial assistance
should contact these agencies directly with inquiries.
Q: What tax incentives are available for preserving my
A: The SHPO administers the
Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit at the state level and is
the liaison between applicants and the Federal Government. This tax
credit equals 20% of the applicant's rehab investment in their historic
income producing building. The State of Montana offers a state tax
credit equal to 5% of the applicant's rehab investment.
Local governments may adopt a
property tax abatement program for the rehabilitation of historic
buildings. Contact your local government to determine if they offer this
Q: I want to do work on my National Register listed
property; do I need to consult with the SHPO?
A: Owners of National Register listed properties may do what
they wish with their private property and private funding. If property
owners use federal dollars, federal incentive programs, or do work that
requires a federal permit, the federal agency must consult with SHPO
under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. State
agencies that own historic properties must consult with SHPO under the
Montana State Antiquities Act. Local governments might also have design
guidelines that property owners are required to follow.
Q: I want to rehabilitate my historic building; how can I do
that and maintain the property's historic character?
A: Property owners are encouraged to contact the SHPO with
questions about best practices in preservation and historically
sensitive rehabilitation. The SHPO reccommends and will advise owners to
let the building's history and architecture speak for itself and not be
the subject of conjectural embellishment. We recommend that owners
planning a rehabilitation project review the
Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic
Q: What is the role that Tribal Historic Preservation
Offices have in projects off their reservations?
A:THPOs take the place of SHPOs on reservation lands - meaning
that agencies must consult with the Tribe and have their concurrence
before proceeding with a project unless the agency instead gets that
concurrence from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Tribes
have an important consultation role for non reservation lands they
traditionally used and/or have reserved Treaty rights in. That means an
agency must consult with them about projects on those patrimonial lands
but Tribal concurrence is not required when deciding to proceed or not.
Q: What do I do if I find a unmarked/marked burials or human
Q: Do I own the artifacts on my land? What about on public
A:In Montana, artifacts belong to the landowner; therefore
private land means private owner and public land means public agency
owner. If you find an artifact on land you do not own you should always
contact the land owner before doing anything else. There is one
important legal exception to this basic ownership rule. If artifacts
were left with a human burial they are not owned by the land owner.
Neither the human remains or any artifact found with them can be owned -
they are not property abandoned. If you think you have found something
like that you are required by law to contact the local coroner and/or
the State Archaeologist (444-7719) after securing the site as best you
Q:Does my Cultural Resource Consulting firm need a Montana
A:The Montana State Antiquities Act applies to projects on
state lands only. The Act provides, in part, for the review of agency
proposed projects and mitigation plans by the SHPO and the issuance of
Antiquities Permits (required only for the excavation, removal, or
restoration of any Heritage Property on state lands). If you are working
on state lands e.g. Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Universities or the
Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation, etc., you must consult
directly with that agency. If a need for an Antiquities Permit develops,
the agency will consult directly with the State Archaeologist. Inventory
and testing work generally does not require a state Permit. If you work
on federal lands you will likely need an ARPA permit from the land
managing agency but no Montana state permit is necessary.
Q: Where can we find out about "digs" happening in Montana?
A:There is no single place to check. The best bets would be
local land management agencies like the BLM or Forest Service and their
Passport in Time program. There is also a program called Project
Archaeology which acts like a clearing house for much of that kind of
information you should check with - Crystal Alegria at:
2-128 Wilson Hall
PO Box 170570
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-6925 email@example.com