The Local Government Initiative

Local governments have an invaluable role to play in the preservation of British Columbia’s past. Local governments are ideally situated to identify developments that may threaten protected archaeological sites and notify developers of the need to plan for and manage potential damage to these sites.

The Archaeology Branch is leading the Local Government Initiative and has developed tools and approaches to help local governments better manage protected archaeological sites within their jurisdiction.  Local governments are able to use the British Columbia Archaeological Site Inventory to determine where overlaps between development and archaeological sites may occur.

A central tool allowing access to the British Columbia Archaeological Site Inventory is the Remote Access to Archaeological Data (RAAD) application. You can find out more about RAAD or, if you have approved access, you can go directly to RAAD.

A standardized notification letter gives local governments the ability to notify developers of archaeological concerns, while all associated questions, permitting and studies are directed to the Province. The early identification of overlaps between development and archaeological sites helps to protect archaeological resources, reduce costs associated with development delays and maintain positive relations with First Nations.

The Branch is also available to help local governments develop Archaeological Overview Assessment (AOA) studies.  These studies produce mapping of an entire jurisdiction which identifies areas with significant potential to contain archaeological sites.  Funding for AOAs is available through the Heritage Branch’s Community Heritage Context Planning Program.

The Local Government Initiative is summarized in the Archaeological Resource Management Handbook for Local Governments Adobe Acrobat Required [1675kb]. The handbook contains information on the legislative and administrative framework, the role for local governments in archaeological site resource management in both planning and development approval processes and a summary of the archaeological impact assessment procedures.

The Archaeology Branch is making a number of presentations to local governments in late 2007 and early 2008. For more information concerning your local government initiative, call the Archaeology Branch at (250) 953-3334.

Relevant Documents
Other Online Resources