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Central California District
Release Date: 09/01/09
Contacts: Kirk Halford , 760-872-5011  
  David Christy , 916-941-3146  
News Release No. CA-CC-09-84

BLM Receives Historic Preservation Award

The Bureau of Land Management has received a national award for a data-sharing system to help preserve archaeological and historic sites.

On August 19, BLM received the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Chairman’s Award for Federal Achievement in Historic Preservation for its cultural resources data sharing project (CRDSP) at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The project operates in conjunction with the state historic preservation offices of 11 western states and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO).

Ed Roberson, BLM’s assistant director, and Kirk Halford, BLM Bishop Field Office acting manager and data sharing partnership coordinator, accepted the award on behalf of the BLM.  Alice Baldrica, deputy state historic preservation officer (SHPO) for Nevada accepted a partner certificate on behalf of NCSHPO. 

“The chairman’s award was in recognition of a combined effort among the BLM and the SHPOs of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming that enables cultural resource professionals to have consistent, reliable, easy-to-use spatial information systems on their desktop computers to support informed federal decision-making,” Halford said.

The geographic information data describes archaeological information but also can include information on artifacts and historic structures. The project involves digitizing and automating BLM site records, locations, and surveyed space and making this information widely available and usable by multiple entities, he said.

The data-sharing project began in 1998 as a provision of the national programmatic agreement between the BLM, the advisory council and the National Conference of SHPOs. At that time it was viewed as a five-year project, but has evolved into a long-term partnership between the BLM and the SHPOs of the 11 western states where BLM has significant land administration responsibilities.

The project “embodies the true spirit of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), which tasks each SHPO with managing a statewide inventory of cultural resources information,” explained Halford. “The basic model is to invest in developing the SHPO data management systems, pursuant to the NHPA, creating a shared inventory of cultural resources data versus mutually exclusive systems, significantly reducing costs and redundancy.”

In 2008, the CRDSP received the Special Achievement in Geographic Information Systems award from the data systems developer ESRI, “For our efforts in data sharing and our vision,” explained Halford.  “Our collective accomplishment is propelling BLM and the SHPO into managing thousands of cultural resource sites uniformly, cohesively, and comprehensively.  The partnership demonstrates how federal and state interests can work together to advance shared objectives for the common good of resources and streamlined and efficient business practices.”

The ACHP, an independent federal agency, promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of the nation’s historic resources and advises the president and Congress on national historic preservation policy. (See for more information)

For more information on the project see:


Central California District   5152 Hillsdale Circle, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762  

Last updated: 09-01-2009