DEPARTMENTAL REGULATION






Erection of Memorials, Plaques, and Cornerstones;

Naming of USDA Facilities



May 29, 2013


OPI:  Office of Procurement & Property Management, Property Management Division



1.            PURPOSE


This regulation prescribes the policy for erection of memorials, permanent plaques, and cornerstones; and the naming of facilities and projects under sole jurisdiction of the Department.





a.      This regulation replaces Departmental Regulation 5160-2, Erection of Memorials, Plaques, and Cornerstones; Naming of USDA Facilities dated April 4, 2002. 



3.            POLICY


a.              Memorials, Plaques and Cornerstones.  Memorials, plaques that are of a permanent nature, and cornerstones may be erected on buildings or building sites under sole jurisdiction of the Department, subject to conditions and limitations in sections 4 and 5.  This regulation does not pertain to the installation of non-memorializing recognition items on a non-permanent basis. 


The permanent/non-permanent distinction made in this regulation pertains only to items that are installed after the date this regulation is published.  Pre-existing items are permitted to remain in place, and are not subject to this distinction until they are significantly modified or replaced.  Minor updates and repairs, such as name plate replacement (with the same name) and similar upkeep needed to maintain the item is exempt.  Questions regarding this provision should be addressed to the Director, OPPM.


b.      Definition of Permanent and Non-Permanent.  For the purpose of this regulation “permanent” means that an item is installed in such a manner that its removal would significantly damage or destroy the item and/or its associated site or structure.


 “Non-permanent” means removal of the item would not significantly damage or destroy the item and/or its associated site or structure.  Examples of non-permanent items that do not require the Office of Procurement and Property Management’s (OPPM’s) approval include donor boards or walls with name plates or other markers that can be added and removed with relative ease and minimal impact.


c.      Naming of Facilities or Projects.  No facility or project of the

Department, such as research laboratory, national forest, resettlement project, building or station, shall be named after a living person, except as otherwise prescribed by law.


         No national forest or grassland shall be named after a deceased person until 100 years have elapsed since death and unless the name is firmly established in history or legend.





Erection of memorials and permanent plaques on buildings and building sites are subject to the following:


a.      Limitations.  Except in unusual cases, the erection of such memorials and plaques will be limited to:


(1)     Recognition of outstanding cooperation by a group;


(2)        The memorialization of a deceased person whose contribution to the activity and/or the Department is worthy of special recognition; or


(3)        Detail of historical association or tradition pertaining to the site or the community in general.


b.      Design, Material, Inscription.  The memorial or plaque shall be of such material, proportion, and detail that it will harmonize with its surroundings in a dignified and appropriate manner.  The inscription shall be held to the minimum necessary to effectively accomplish the purpose of the plaque.  It may be supplemented by appropriate artistic embellishment. Living individuals may not be referred to by name, but existing organizations may be.


c.      Approval.  No memorial or permanent plaque shall be erected unless the approval of the Director, OPPM, has been obtained.  Agencies in control of the premises on which it is desired to erect memorials or plaques shall submit to the Director, OPPM, the following information prior to committing the Department to approve:


(1)               Complete justification as to why the memorial or permanent plaque is necessary or desired; and


(2)        Sketches showing the design and location on the building or site, and photographs of the building or site.


d.      Permission to erect.  Permission to erect the memorial or plaque by private persons or groups may be granted only on a revocable basis.


5.            CORNERSTONES


Erection of Cornerstones shall be limited to major structures.  Cornerstones shall be of such material, proportion, and detail that they harmonize with the building in a dignified and appropriate manner.  Cornerstones may bear only the name of the building or station; the name of the President of the United States; the name and title of the Secretary of Agriculture; the name of the architect; the name of the general contractor; and the date of the erection.