This website is an interactive outreach tool to recent and past Cultural Resource projects at U.S. Army Garrison, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey (USAG Picatinny). Picatinny Arsenal is situated in the northwestern section of Morris County in the New Jersey Highlands near Dover. Picatinny Arsenal was established in 1880 as the Dover Powder Depot. Prior to its creation by the Federal government, this region had two (2) types of land use: prehistoric subsistence activities conducted by Native Americans demonstrated by the presence of prehistoric camp and rockshelter sites, and pre-Arsenal industrial and agricultural activities associated with iron mining and production endeavors during the Colonial Period by European-American settlers.
The New Jersey Highlands have been a focus of historical development and settlement since the early-18th Century, when the region's potential as an iron producer began to be exploited. The Green Pond Brook valley of Picatinny was the site of several iron forges, which operated from about 1750 until just after the Civil War. Land alterations associated with these forges includes the creation of both Lake Denmark and Picatinny Lake, as well as early historic tree-clearing and plowing related to both the erection of farmsteads and the making of charcoal for local forges and furnaces. The fires for these forges were extinguished prior to the conclusion of the Civil War when the related iron extraction industry was in decline. Initial construction activities at Picatinny Arsenal occurred in the 1880s when the Army began purchasing tracts of land in the vicinity of Picatinny Lake. Additional construction has proceeded through to the present as the installation has adapted its facilities to meet the demands of the military mission.
Picatinny Arsenal Timeline:
Overall, the U.S. Army as a Federal Agency has management responsibilities concerning the protection and preservation of Cultural Resources on land it controls or uses. Federal laws and regulations authorizing the Army to undertake this responsibility include: National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), as amended through 2000 (16 U.S.C. 470-470w-6) and 36 CFR 800 which includes the Section 106 and 110 processes, and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979. Army Regulation 200-1 (December 2007), “Environmental Protection and Enhancement” and Dept. of Defense Instruction 4715.16 (September 2008), “Cultural Resource Management” dictate Army policy toward compliance with Cultural Resource laws and regulations.
Historic Research Documents
Management Documents and SHPO Consultation
Decision to Implement Army Alternate Procedures to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
• Construction and demolition undertakings to support military mission construction projects (currently totaling over 35 projects);
• Increase in operations and redevelopment of existing facilities to include the demolition of surplus buildings as part of the Army Facility Reduction Program (FRP) (currently totaling over 250 structures); and
• Development associated with the Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) initiative.
The RPMP at Picatinny has been in effect since 2004 and Section 106 requirements for these projects have been addressed on a case-by-case basis. The need for the RPMP Programmatic Agreement (PA) is to ease the installation’s consultation process for the FRP building demolition list as this demolition program affects a variety of structures within National Register Eligible Historic Districts. The majority of these historic districts are industrial facility complexes previously used for the manufacture and storage of explosives; this resulted in high levels of contamination throughout the buildings which have fallen into disrepair.
The signed RPMP FRP PA (May 17, 2010) moves away from traditional documentation practices (as described within the Secretary of Interior’s Standards as Historic American Building Surveys [HABS] and Historic American Engineering Record [HAER] documentation) and allows for the development of comprehensive user-friendly components for the public such as creation of historic district viewsheds (by GIS mapping and photography- complete), historic district signage (installed and complete), a regional/traveling temporary museum exhibit and display (exhibit pending completion with locations pending determination from Interested Parties), cultural landscape analyses (started in September 2012), and an interactive website (completed). Questions or comments please see contact information below.
-- Completed RPMP FRP PA
USAG Picatinny has finalized their consultation efforts to implement Army Alternate Procedures (AAP). AAP is a streamlined procedure Army installations can elect to follow to satisfy the requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) set forth in 36 CFR Part 800. The AAP allows installations to implement standard operating procedures for historic properties in their Integrated Cultural Resource Management Plans and to implement actions for five years without formal project-by-project review by the SHPO.
-- Streamlines NHPA consultation with the NJ Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) programmatically, instead of on a case-by-case basis with public Stakeholders (i.e. Federally-recognized Tribes and interested regional historical organizations)