Reliable baseline information is the foundation for good planning. Cultural resource surveys provide a basis to make informed decisions about managing historic and other property. Reconnaissance-level surveys identify areas that appear likely to have significant resources; intensive-level surveys examine these areas to determine if properties meet national or local criteria for historic designation. In either case, these inventories require high-quality research, diligent fieldwork, and critical evaluation of physical and archival data.
Preservation planning encompasses a wide variety of activities addressing immediate and long-term issues. Tools such as design guidelines help owners preserve and improve their historic properties. Outreach to organizations with compatible goals can result in alliances to solve problems and promote strategies to encourage preservation.