Idaho National Laboratory is committed to the respectful and inclusive management of cultural resources. The lab’s Cultural Resource Management Office has a dedicated team of archaeologists, historians and preservationists who safeguard the rich history of the eastern Snake River Plain. These experts work closely with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to preserve cultural resources representing 13,500 years of human use on the 890-square mile site.
The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 made federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), responsible for the preservation of the cultural resources on the lands they administer. As such, all work conducted at the site requires consideration of potential impacts to cultural resources and is informed by federal and state laws and regulations, DOE policies and legal commitments with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, the Idaho SHPO and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
On behalf of DOE, the Cultural Resource Management Office at INL is responsible for effectively integrating cultural resource considerations into project and land use planning and implementation for lab projects and programs. There are special challenges associated with balancing the preservation of history with the management and operation of an active scientific laboratory, but INL is committed to supporting lab mission while preserving the cultural heritage at the lab for future generations.
INL’s desert Site sits on land that during World War II was home to the Arco Naval Proving Ground where gun barrels from naval battleships were test fired before being deployed for use in combat. Learn about the region’s history during the war before the founding of the National Reactor Testing Station in 1949.