Public Lands Archaeology
Staff of the Public Lands Archaeology (PLA) program, formerly the Conservation and Recreation Lands (CARL) Archaeological Program, is responsible for assisting in the management of cultural resources located on state lands. Staff assess properties to identify areas of archaeological site probability, locate and record archaeological sites, and provide management recommendations for site conservation. To date, program archaeologists have surveyed between 800,000 and 900,000 acres of state property, with projects continuing to be conducted throughout the state.
PLA archaeologists work closely with the Bureau of Archaeological Research's Education and Research section. They assist in its Archaeological Resource Management (ARM) training program, designed to instruct land managers in archaeology and the protection of cultural resources. They also work to increase awareness, appreciation, and understanding for Florida's cultural resources by participating in Bureau supported public events, attending professional conferences, and publishing popular and scientific articles. In conjunction with other Bureau staff PLA archaeologists conduct damage and impact assessments of archaeological sites. The former documents the affects of looting, storms, forest fires, and other forces to archaeological sites after they have occurred. The latter evaluates the potential of development, such as road or campsite construction, to areas with cultural resources or with the potential for having them. Additionally, PLA staff assists in the preparation of archaeological site nominations for the National Register of Historic Places, a program run by the Bureau of Historic Preservation.