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California Historical Resources Information System

Tribal Access Policy

The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) will host four regional public meetings to gain input regarding Native American Tribal access to cultural resource information maintained by the California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS). There also will be a teleconference meeting, and comments can be submitted in writing, as well. For more information about this effort and scheduled meeting dates, please visit our CHRIS Tribal Access Policy page.

Action Plan for the CHRIS Modernization and Sustainability Plan

The Maintenance and Operations Action Plan for the CHRIS Modernization and Sustainability Plan has been finalized. The Action Plan will cover the period from November 1, 2013, through April 30, 2015. The focus of the CHRIS’ efforts during this time period will be on accelerating CHRIS Inventory data conversion as part of maintenance and operations activities, thereby achieving a digitized statewide inventory by completing Phases 1 and 2 as identified in the CHRIS Modernization and Sustainability Plan. Questions about either the Action Plan or the Modernization and Sustainability Plan can be addressed to CHRIS Coordinator Eric Allison at  

The California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS) includes the State Historic Resources Inventory (SHRI) database maintained by OHP and the records maintained and managed, under contract, by  the regional Information Centers (ICs). Individuals and government agencies seeking information on cultural and historical resources should begin their research by contacting the regional Information Center which services the county in which the resource is located. The IC Roster identifies the locations, contact information, and counties served by each regional IC.

The State Historic Resources Inventory (SHRI) maintained by OHP includes only information on historical resources that have been identified and evaluated through one of the programs that OHP administers under the National Historic Preservation Act or the California Public Resources Code. The SHRI includes data on:

  • Resources identified and evaluated in local government historical resource surveys;
  • Resources evaluated and determinations of eligibility (DOEs) made in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act;
  • Resources evaluated for federal tax credit certifications;
  • Resources considered for listing in the National and California Registers or as California State Landmarks or Points of Historical Interest.

 Information Centers (ICs) 

  • Provide archeological and historical resources information, on a fee-for-service basis, to local governments and individuals with responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as well as to the general public.
  • Integrate newly recorded sites and information on known resources into the State Historic Resources Inventory (SHRI).
  • Collect and maintain information on historical and archeological resources developed under projects or activities which were not reviewed under a program administered by OHP, including:
  • information on individual resources identified and evaluated in CEQA documents;
  • archaeological surveys performed by academic or avocational groups which are not associated with federal projects; and
  • archeological and/or historical resource surveys conducted by agencies for planning purposes that do not involve an undertaking subject to review under Section 106 of the NHPA.
  • Maintain a list of consultants who are qualified to do work within their area.

  • CHRIS Digital Data Availability Information about what types of GIS data, non-GIS data, and electronic documents are available for CHRIS users. This will be updated any time more data are newly available for one or more counties . Where digital data are available, paper-based/hard copy info may still be available as well – check with the appropriate Information Center. Where digital data are not available, hard copy information is.

    NEW! CHRIS Data Request Form

    This updated form allows for requests of resource and report database records (subject to availability), and includes some usability improvements. You may use the old (1-1-13) form for the time being, but please begin using this form for CHRIS data requests as soon as possible.

    CHRIS Access and Use Agreements

    On January 11, 2013, the CHRIS Information Centers began using new Access and Use Agreements with their customers. CHRIS users should complete and submit a new agreement to one of the following CHRIS Information Centers, so their Information Center services may continue without interruption (this list may be updated, so check periodically):

    Central California
    Central Coast
    North Central
    San Bernardino Archeological
    South Central Coastal
    South Coastal
    Southern San Joaquin Valley

    Do not submit your agreement to an IC that is not on this list. If you do so, it may not be processed. Eventually, all ICs will be able to process the new agreements. Regardless of which IC processes it, your agreement will be applicable to all of the CHRIS Information Centers.

    As of March 1, 2013, the old Access Agreements are no longer valid for conducting CHRIS business. If you need access to CHRIS information, you must have a Access and Use Agreement that has been processed through a CHRIS Information Center, with the following exceptions:

    1) Information requests from individuals pertaining to historical resources located on private property which they own; or

    2) Requests for summary information about historical resources, prepared by an Information Center; or

    3) Information requests for educational or scholarly research only; or

    4) Requests for information where the terms of access are specified in an agreement with the Information Center at which the information is being requested, and said agreement specifically excludes the requirement for a CHRIS Information Access and Use Agreement.

    For the above exceptions, you must use the new Access Agreement Short form for access to CHRIS information and services.

    A CHRIS Access and Use Agreement may apply to an individual, office, company, district, agency, or some other administrative or organizational unit. Make sure this organizational scope is made clear when you are completing the agreement, using the “Region/Office” space on the agreement’s first page. Only one CHRIS Access and Use Agreement should be completed by the agreement holder, and this agreement will apply through the entire CHRIS, at all Information Centers. In other words, if you submit one to an Information Center, once it is processed and accepted, the agreement will apply to all of the Information Centers, and you need not submit another until the current one expires (if it has an expiration date).

    Please allow for a processing time of several days during implementation of the new Access and Use Agreements.

    For some Information Centers, use of the new agreements will coincide with their initial sale of spatial (GIS) data, non-spatial digital data, and/or electronic resource records and reports as part of their records search products. For other Information Centers that are already selling these digital products, they will simply switch over to the new agreements, and continue providing the same products and services. For more information on digital product availability, check with individual Information Centers.

    There are several related forms which will come in to use at the same time as the new Access and Use Agreements. NOTE: These forms are only valid if you have an active Access and Use Agreement.

    1) CHRIS Data Request Form – for use with all records searches submitted by holders of active Access and Use Agreements.

    2) CHRIS Data Authorized User Form – for identifying each user that will be submitting information requests or conducting records searches under the terms of an Access and Use Agreement. The initial submittal of these forms should occur simultaneously with submittal of the Access and Use Agreement for processing at an Information Center. Any subsequent submittals of this form to add authorized users under an active Access and Use Agreement should be made by an individual who is already an authorized user, and should be made in advance of the new authorized users making CHRIS information requests. Updated to include a “Print Name” space on 1-29-13.

    3) CHRIS Information Center Conditional Use Agreement – for use when the holder of an active Access and Use Agreement desires to temporarily share CHRIS data with another person or entity who is not covered under that same agreement.

    Additionally, there is a new CHRIS Access Agreement Short Form, to be used instead of an Access and Use Agreement, but only when at least one of the four above-listed exceptions applies. This form is very similar to Access Agreements in use by some Information Centers prior to January 11, 2013, and will be the same across all Information Centers as of March 1, 2013.

    CHRIS Access and Use Frequently Asked Questions are available here. Please contact your local Information Center if you have more questions about this announcement.

    CHRIS Electronic Fee Structure (Adopted 05-03-2012)

    This CHRIS Electronic Fee Structure replaces the previously-adopted 11-5-2010 structure. It applies only to computer-based records searches involving digital data or electronic documents. It does not apply to paper-based records searches, where digital data and / or documents are not used or provided. Since each Information Center is at a different stage of digital development, you should contact the relevant IC(s) to determine if any or all of the electronic fees will apply at that IC for your records search. You should also contact the relevant IC if you have questions about the fee structure itself.

    CHRIS Historical Resources Consultants List is available

    The CHRIS Historical Resources Consultants List is online at The Consultants List is searchable by county, discipline, and consultant name.

    The Consultant List is maintained by the Eastern Information Center on behalf of all the ICs. There is a fee for individuals to be listed (but not for users of the List), detailed in the CHRIS Information Center Rules of Operation Manual (2008). To be listed, a consultant must complete the Consultants List Format and Fee Worksheet, plus the appropriate discipline-specific form or forms (below), and submit them to the Eastern Information Center.  The forms may be completed using Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat, and handwritten forms will not be accepted.