DHR Matrix for Ground Disturbance on State Lands

Archaeological Resource Management (ARM)-trained monitors are no longer permitted to perform any "pre-testing" or to collect any artifacts. In 2013 DHR sent a memo to each state agency describing changes to ARM training for agency-wide distribution. If you were trained prior to 2012, we encourage you to take a refresher course as the matrix has changed. The most significant change to the matrix is the elimination of the "moderate" category. Reclassifying undertakings formerly termed "moderate" resulted in a simpler, more effective matrix. Archaeological Resource Management courses now focus on promoting awareness of historical resources and documenting sites through field notes and photographs.

The matrix is a tool designed to help streamline the Division of Historical Resources Compliance and Review process for state land managers. Ground disturbing activities are part of regular and necessary land management, and these activities have the potential to permanently damage historical resources. According to Chapter 267.061(2)(a,b) of the Florida Statutes, state agencies shall consult the Division of Historical Resources prior to undertakings and allow the Division a reasonable opportunity to comment.

How to use the matrix:

  1. Determine if a disturbance is Minor or Major by consulting the lists of undertakings:
    Bicycle racks Prescribed burns (initial)
    Cable burial with blade-type devices Mechanized exotic plant removal (not hand pulling)
    Campsite markers Concrete slab installation
    Emergency holes (for safety, accident or emergency repairs) Docks
    Fireplaces/grills Dredging
    Flagpoles Public utilities (trenched)
    Garbage can or recycle bin posts New fire line construction
    Gardening (existing activity) Beach construction
    Horse hitching posts Initial roller chopping
    Kiosks on post Sewage treatment plant construction
    Lifeguard stands Water/sewer line installation
    Lightning arresters Tree trunk removal (big trees)
    Plantings (shrubbery, seedlings or plugs) Tree or big plant planting or root ball removal
    Poles for utilities, lights, speakers Drainage swale construction
    Prescribed burns (not initial)* Foundation repair or stabilization
    Road/trail barriers & signs Mobile home installation
    Roller chopping (light-empty tank) Telephone lines (trenched)
    Sign posts Terracing for erosion control
    Fire ring installation Water retention area construction
    Boardwalks, catwalks or piers Septic tank/drain field installation (new or enlargement)
    Equipment racks Bridge Construction
    Fire lane maintenance* Garden installation (new areas)
    Playground equipment installation Animal burials
    Temporary open shelter construction Trenching
    Septic tank/drainage (replacement, no enlargement) Clivis (restroom) installation
    Stabilizing existing unpaved roads (not historic roads)* Sidewalk installation
    Unpaved road maintenance (disking, harrowing, plowing, etc.) Picnic shelter with slab
    Decks or Platforms Borrow pits
    Drainage swale maintenance*
    Fence posts and railings
    Parking lot boundary posts
    Monument construction
    Tower construction
    Well drilling (includes catchment basins)

    *If the matrix calls for monitoring, long or linear projects are best monitored by doing a walkover before or after the undertaking.

  3. Determine if the project area has been surveyed and if archaeological sites exist by contacting the Florida Master Site File.
  4. Consult the ground disturbance matrix:
  5. Extent of Disturbance Known Sites Un-surveyed Area Surveyed Area, No Site
    Major Consult DHR Consult DHR Monitor
    Minor Consult DHR Monitor Proceed with Project
  6. If you need to consult DHR or monitor, fill out the appropriate form and send it to Compliance and Review.

Consult DHR = Fill out a DHR Consultation Form and send it to at Compliance and Review.

Monitor = Actively observe ground disturbance and, if needed, stop construction and alert DHR. Report your results to DHR by sending a Monitoring Results Transmission Form to at Compliance and Review. Only professional archaeologists and land managers who are ARM-Certified (have successfully completed DHR's Archaeological Resource Management Training course) may act as archaeological monitors. ARM Monitors shall not collect artifacts but will document them in place with photographs and notes.

If any questions arise call BAR at 850-245-6340.