The Importance of Monitoring and its Hidden Benefits

By Alison Haller, M.S., Director of Marketing and Communications at Commonwealth Heritage Group, Inc.

Monitoring is commonly used in the cultural resources management (CRM) world. However, many companies still don’t understand the vast benefits of the service and the positive platform it can provide for their projects and in their communities.

Within the CRM world, we use monitoring to identify archaeological materials in a project’s excavation footprint when they are uncovered during construction. When the project stakeholders (proponent, agencies, and other community parties) approve the methodology, it allows construction work to proceed without a full scale archaeological investigation that may be both expensive and impractical. It is through monitoring that companies can take effective steps to preserve significant remains if they are present.

Monitoring can be an ideal solution for a wide array of projects including:

  • Ones with a small footprint, such as a utility trench;
  • Where archival research and preliminary fieldwork is inconclusive regarding the presence of archaeological remains; or
  • Where it is not practical to complete an identification survey prior to construction, such as areas covered by pavement.

Although not every State Historic Preservation Office or federal regulatory agency requests monitoring or even uses it as a valid mitigation strategy, this approach can be a valuable preservation tool when approved. It demonstrates that project proponents are attempting to protect cultural resources. Monitoring provides companies with the means to be proactive leaders by demonstrating their eagerness and effort to protect local communities and their history.

If you have questions on how monitoring services can benefit your project, contact us today at or call us at 517-788-3550.


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