Cultural resources can be defined as physical evidence or place of past human activity: site, object, landscape, structure; or a site, structure, landscape, object or natural feature of significance to a group of people traditionally associated with it.
Types of cultural resources often found in national parks:
- Archeological resources: The remains of past human activity and records documenting the scientific analysis of these remains.
- Historic structures: Material assemblies that extend the limits of human capability.
- Cultural landscapes: Settings we have created in the natural world such as vista management.
- Ethnographic resources: Sites, structures, landscapes, objects or natural features of significance to a traditionally associated group of people.
- Museum objects: Manifestations of human behavior and ideas.
Examples of cultural resources found at Acadia National Park:
- Native American: Shell middens, camps, portage paths, ceremonial and/or sacred sites, plant gathering areas
- 17th -19th century settlement: Farms, mills, quarries, estates, cemeteries, lighthouses, shipwrecks
- Park development era: Park Loop Road, carriage roads, hiking trails, campgrounds, Schoodic Peninsula.
Cultural resource management involves:
- Research: Identifying, evaluating, documenting, registering, and establishing other basic information on resources.
- Planning: Ensuring that information on resources is well integrated into management decisions and setting priorities.
- Stewardship: Ensure that planning decisions are carried out and resources are preserved, protected, and interpreted to the public.
Recent park cultural resource projects:
- Archeological Overview and Assessment
- Native American Traditional Use Study
- Reinterment and forensic study at Saint Croix Island cemetery
- Hiking Trails Cultural Landscape Report
- Schoodic Peninsula Historic District National Register Nomination
NPS History and Culture
Library of Congress
Maine Historic Preservation Comission
Native American Resources
Aroostook Band of Micmacs
Houlton Band of Maliseets