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2.0 The Practice of Cultural Resource Management

Parks Canada will apply the principles of this policy within a practical framework of cultural resource management. The practice of cultural resource management is not itself a formal process distinct from the activities and processes already in place; rather, it integrates those activities and processes within an overall policy structure.

The practice of cultural resource management requires that four elements be in place in all decision-making that affects cultural resources:

i) the inventory of resources;
ii) the evaluation of resources to determine which are to be considered as cultural resources and what it is that constitutes their historic value;
iii) the consideration of historic value in actions affecting conservation and presentation; and
iv) monitoring and review to ensure that conservation and presentation objectives continue to be met effectively.

The practice of cultural resource management provides a framework for decision-making rather than a set of predetermined answers. Its aim is to ensure that the historic character for which resources are valued is identified, recognized, considered and communicated.

The practice of cultural resource management in Parks Canada recognizes those international conventions and federal policies that encourage the consideration of heritage value in management; for example, the World Heritage Convention, the Environmental Assessment and Review Process, the Federal Heritage Buildings Policy and the Federal Policy on Land Use.

2.1 Inventory of Resources
2.2 Evaluation of Resources to Determine Cultural Resources and Their Historic Value
2.3 Consideration of Historic Value in Actions Affecting Cultural Resources
2.4 Monitoring and Review of Ongoing Activities

2.1 Inventory of Resources

All resources administered by Parks Canada will be given initial consideration as cultural resources within the meaning of this policy.

Parks Canada will develop and maintain inventories of all the resources it administers for the purpose of determining which resources should be identified as cultural resources.

All buildings administered by Parks Canada that are 40 years old or older will be identified for the purposes of applying the Federal Heritage Buildings Policy.

2.2 Evaluation of Resources to Determine Cultural Resources and Their Historic Value

Evaluation enables Parks Canada to determine which resources are cultural resources and what constitutes their value; that is to say, what particular qualities and features make up the historic character of a cultural resource. An understanding of the historic character of a resource focuses the program's efforts at protection, presentation and appropriate use.

Ministerial plaques and monuments will be managed in accordance with this policy. Resources will be evaluated for their historical associations, their aesthetic and functional qualities and their relationships to social and physical environments, for purposes of determining which of the following three levels should be ascribed to a resource:

2.2.1 Level I:
National historic significance is the highest level assigned to a cultural resource in the custody of Parks Canada. National historic significance will be determined in accordance with the National Historic Sites Policy. It should be noted that there are national historic sites within the boundaries of national parks and that a number of the historic canals are also national historic sites.
Evaluation to determine national historic significance is undertaken by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Its recommendation to the Minister, and any subsequent Ministerial designation, may specify which resources within a designated national historic site are themselves of national historic significance.
Where a Ministerial designation is not specific with respect to the national historic significance of resources at a national historic site, the program will apply the commemorative intent of the designation to determine which resources are to be specifically considered of national historic significance.

2.2.2 Level II:
A resource that is not of national historic significance may have historic value and thus be considered a cultural resource.
Parks Canada will establish and apply criteria to determine which resources under its jurisdiction are Level II. A resource may be included in this category by virtue of its historical, aesthetic or environmental qualities. Criteria will also give consideration to such factors as regional or local association; or provincial, territorial or municipal designations.
Buildings that are designated "classified" or "recognized" in accordance with the Federal Heritage Buildings Policy will automatically be considered as Level II cultural resources, unless they meet the requirements that have been described for Level I cultural resources. Buildings may also be considered Level II cultural resources in accordance with criteria described in, above.

2.2.3 Other:
While all resources under the administration of Parks Canada deserve initial consideration as cultural resources, resources that are determined, upon evaluation, not to meet criteria established for Levels I and II are exempted from this policy, and will be managed under other appropriate processes and policies.
Resources evaluated and deemed not to be cultural resources for purposes of this policy may be re-evaluated at a later date.

2.3 Consideration of Historic Value in Actions Affecting Cultural Resources

Cultural resource management requires that the concept of historic value of cultural resources be fully integrated into the planning and delivery of conservation, presentation and operational programs.

Planning processes will recognize that resources of national historic significance are of highest value, and that resources of historic value are at the second level of importance.

In all actions that affect cultural resources, Parks Canada will consider the potential consequences of proposed actions and the cumulative impacts of those actions on the historic character of those resources, and will plan and implement measures that respect that historic character.

When a proposed action on lands or waters administered by Parks Canada requires an environmental assessment, that assessment will include consideration and mitigation of the impacts of the proposed action on cultural resources.

Interventions proposed to buildings designated "classified" under the Federal Heritage Buildings Policy will be submitted for review to the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office.

In the case of buildings designated "recognized" under the Federal Heritage Buildings Policy, proposed interventions will be reviewed by the department, except for disposals and demolitions which will be submitted for review to the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office.

2.4 Monitoring and Review of Ongoing Activities

Management processes will include the review and monitoring of activities that affect cultural resources and their presentation.