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Federal Archeology Program > Secretary's Report to Congress > The SRC Questionnaire

The SRC Questionnaire: Background

The NPS Archeology Program solicits information about Federal archeology for the Secretary's Report to Congress through an annual questionnaire. Agencies also report on resolved cases of archeological resources law violations on Federal and Indian lands using case summary forms in support of the Listing of Outlaw Treachery (LOOT) Information Clearinghouse.

The clearinghouse is an important source of information about completed prosecutions of Federal cultural resource law violations. The NPS encourages Federal agencies who have information about cases involving destruction or removal of Federal archeological resources to send copies to the NPS Archeology Program by email (dca@nps.gov) or regular mail. Reporting cultural resource cases with the LOOT form fulfills agencies' ARPA Section 14(c) responsibilities.

Significant Changes in Data Presentation

The first questionnaire for the Secretary's Report to Congress requested information about FY1985. Since 1985, the questionnaire has been revised ten times, the last being in 2012. Revisions reflect changing priorities for data collection, and refinement of the survey instrument. Correspondence between the FY1998-2006 questionnaire and other questionnaires is illustrated in the Table “Comparable Data Fields, SRC- 1985-2013”. This table identifies the data fields from other versions of the questionnaire that correspond to data fields in the FY1998-2006 questionnaire.

Volunteer Contributions. The questionnaire for the Secretary's Report to Congress has included questions about partnerships and volunteers since 1998, soliciting monetary values for volunteer contributions (Question B4 of the 1998-2004 questionnaire). In order to standardize these values, a consistent monetary wage equivalent is applied to the reported volunteer hours. The private sector value figure, which changes annually, is used by the NPS Volunteers in Parks (VIP) Program to compute monetary values of volunteer contributions to the NPS. These values are shown in Question B4A. In 2006, Question B4 was dropped from the questionnaire, but the volunteer monetary values continue to be computed and presented in B4A.

Private Sector Values
1998 $14.56
1999 $15.09
2000 $15.68
2001 $16.27
2002 $16.74
2003 $17.19
2004 $17.55
2005 $18.04
2006 $18.77
2007 $19.51
2008 $20.25
2009 $20.85
2010 $21.35
2011 $21.74
2012 $22.14
2013 $22.55

Archeological Collections. The questionnaire for the Secretary's Report to Congress has requested information about Federal agency archeological collections since 1991. Question H1 asked agencies to report on the number of artifacts or the number of cubic feet of collections, without differentiating between the two. Combining the two measures indiscriminately produces erroneous estimates of Federal agency holdings. The 2005 questionnaire divided Question H1 into H1A (number of artifacts) and H1B (cubic feet of artifacts), facilitating more accurate quantification of archeological collections. Where possible, agency responses have been retroactively identified as artifact counts or as cubic feet.

Notes on the Questionnaires

The following text describes the changes in the SRC questionnaire over time.

General—Field Survey Questions. In early versions of the questionnaire, separate information was solicited about the number of acres that were completely surveyed and the number of acres that were partially surveyed for archeological sites. In later versions of the questionnaire, these two variables were combined and correspond to Question D3 Number of acres inventoried in the reporting year in the FY1998-2006 survey instrument.

Pre-1998 versions of the questionnaire solicited information about prosecuted cases (for example, Question B12 How many cases of vandalism, destruction, theft, etc. of archeological property that were prosecuted under other authorities? (FY1985)). The FY1998-2006 questionnaire requested information about prosecuted individuals (Question L6 Number of individuals prosecuted under authorities other than ARPA).

Questionnaires before 1998 solicited information about the number of prosecutions in all cases of documented vandalism or looting, and about number of prosecutions of non-ARPA cases. The FY1998 questionnaire solicited separate information about prosecution of ARPA (Question L5) and non-ARPA (Question L6) cases. While, theoretically, the number of non-ARPA cases subtracted from the number of all prosecutions should yield the number of ARPA cases, a number of agencies reported numbers of non-ARPA cases that exceeded the reported total number of prosecutions.

General—Agency Responses. Several agencies have reorganized during the past two decades, resulting in name changes (see list of agency acronyms). The Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service (SCS) became the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The Department of Agriculture Rural Electrification Administration (REA) became the Rural Utility Service (RUS). The Department of Agriculture Rural Business Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) (formerly the Rural Electrification Service (RES)) combine their responses with the Rural Development Service (RDS). Responsibility for Immigration and Naturalization Service submissions was transferred to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in 2003.

In FY2000, the U.S. Marine Corps began to combine responses to the SRC questionnaire with the Department of the Navy. In order to facilitate comparability, the earlier, separate, responses by the Marine Corps and the Navy were combined in the data tables presented here.

The Mineral Management Service (MMS), was responsible for lands to the edge of the continental shelf and includes off-shore submerged lands in the yearly assessment of the number of surveyed acres. Because the methods used to survey and identify submerged sites are different from methods used to identify terrestrial sites, MMS data were not included in aggregate numbers in the 1998-2003 and 2004-2007 reports to Congress, although the original data are reported here. In 2011 MMS was dissolved and archeological reporting duties were transferred to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

The 1985-1986 questionnaire asked detailed questions about ARPA permits, public education, archeological resource protection and other professional training, in addition to those listed in the 1985-2007 spreadsheets. The early questionnaires also asked about the number of archeological sites eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and efforts to protect sites. These questions were dropped from subsequent questionnaires, but included again from 1998 forward. Questions from the first decade of questionnaires also included questions about expenditure for different types of archeological activities, and the number of archeologists employed in the Federal government.

FY1985-1986. The FY1985 questionnaire solicited information only about ARPA cases (Question B4 Documented violations of ARPA—Number of cases of documented vandalism; number of arrests? Number of citations?). Later questionnaires solicited information about both ARPA and non-ARPA cultural resource law violations.

FY1991-1992. The 1991-1992 survey form contained two new sections, Archeological Information Management, in which agencies were asked to provide narrative data about the use of computer resources, and Archeological Collections Management. Regarding the latter, agencies submitted quantitative information about the number of items or cubic feet of material in their archeological collections, and the percentage that the agency had catalogued.

FY1994-1995. The FY1994-1995 questionnaire solicited information about the number of convictions in all non-ARPA cases of documented vandalism or looting (Question K8). The FY1998 questionnaire solicited separate information about non-ARPA misdemeanor convictions (Question L8) and non-ARPA felony convictions (Question L10).

FY1996-1997. The FY1996-1997 questionnaire solicited information about the number of convictions in all non-ARPA cases of documented vandalism or looting (Question K8). The FY1998 questionnaire solicited separate information about non-ARPA misdemeanor convictions (Question L8) and non-ARPA felony convictions (Question L10).

FY1998-2006. The FY1998-2006 questionnaire included a new section on volunteer contributions to cultural resource activities in Federal agencies. The wage equivalents of volunteer hours are presented in the data tables as reported (Question B4). These reported numbers, however, were standardized by Archeology Program staff by multiplying the number of volunteer hours by a standard wage as reported by the NPS Volunteers in Parks Program.

Archeology Program staff also separated Question H1—Number of items/lots or cubic feet(curated) into two questions: H1A Number of items/Lots and H1B Number of cubic feet in the 2005 questionnaire.

The FY1998-2006 questionnaire is the benchmark for standardizing data in questionnaires administered prior to 1998 and after 2006 (see Comparable Data Fields, SRC 1985-2013).

FY2008-2011. The FY2008 questionnaire was re-organized to group questions relating to the same topic and added several new questions. One question documents the effects of compliance with NHPA on agencies by asking how many actions were prompted by Section 106. One question solicits information about the number of unpublished reports that were produced as a result of agency archeological activities. Two other questions focused on site condition monitoring. Two questions sought information about the National Register. The questionnaire also requested more information about archeological collections, asking about associated records, number gigabytes of records, and number of artifacts used for exhibit purposes. A spreadsheet, “Comparable Data Fields, SRC 1985-2013”, has been prepared showing which of the questions in the current SRC questionnaire are comparable with questions from earlier questionnaires.

FY2012. Several questions were added to the FY2012 questionnaire to solicit more detailed information about issuing Permits for Archeological Investigations (Permits). Federal agencies were requested to report separately the number of Permits issued to individuals, other Federal agencies, to commercial businesses, and to State, local, and tribal governments.

The links below open the PDF copies of past SRC texts to the first page of the SRC questionnaire in most—but not all—browsers. Page numbers correspond to the PDFs' pagination, not that of the original printed reports.