BLM Preservation Board Report
June 2-4, 2009
In attendance: Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Preservation Officer Robin Burgess (WO), Deputy Preservation Officers (DPO) Robert King (AK), Gina Jorgenson (CA-Acting), Dan Haas (CO), Troy Ferone (Eastern State), Stan McDonald (ID), Gary Smith (MT), Tom Burke (NV), Signa Larralde (NM), Byron Loosle (UT), and Ranel Capron (WY), District Manager Becky Heick (AZ), Field Office Managers Thomas Heinlein (UT) and Mark Storzer (ES), Ralph Thomas (OR), and Field Office Specialists Brooke Brown (OR) and Zane Fulbright (MT). The Arizona DPO, Michael Johnson, was unable to attend and the Oregon SO has a vacancy.
Also Attending: Milford Wayne Donaldson, CA State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO); Rob Thomson, Robert Wallace and Erick Blind, The Presidio Trust; and Jerry Cordova and Rebecca Lasell, BLM WO. Kirk Halford, National Coordinator, Cultural Resources Data Sharing Partnership (CRDSP) and Acting Bishop Field Office Manager, joined the meeting by conference phone.
Location: The Presidio, San Francisco, CA.
Gina Jorgenson and Rob Thomson welcomed the Board. Gina introduced guest Wayne Donaldson, CA SHPO, and Robin Burgess introduced the new Board members, Becky Heick, Thomas Heinlein, Mark Storzer and Zane Fulbright.
California State Historic Preservation Officer, Milford Wayne Donaldson
Wayne Donaldson gave the Board an overview of the California SHPO organization and perspectives. The 8 compliance staff members review more than 8,000 projects per year. Dwight Dutschke is responsible for the BLM projects. When Mr. Donaldson was appointed in 2004, the SHPO notified the BLM it was terminating the CA protocol under the national Programmatic Agreement. The BLM CA office and Mr. Donaldson successfully developed a new protocol, instituted regular management and staff level meetings and now have an excellent working relationship. Since 2005, the CA protocol has been amended to address program specific compliance needs, including for livestock, routes of travel, and solar and wind applications. If necessary, protocol implementation problems may be addressed by removing a District or Field office from the protocol.
CA is facing budget reduction and has instituted a two day furlough. In consideration of this and in anticipation the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) compliance workload, the CA SHPO has partnered with State and Federal agencies to supplement staff through term appointments.
CA has actively promoted reliance on renewable energy resources since 2006. They currently see compliance challenges due to the scope of solar development. There are 639,000 acres under application at this time. The requirement for a flat surface entails extensive grading that impacts archaeological sites. In addition, the Native American use of geothermal resources for religious and/or medicinal purposes often puts their development in potential conflict with the values that tribes place on these same locations. The CA SHPO has an initiative with tribes on data base management and will host their second meeting on July 17th, 2009.
Robin congratulated the Board for its accomplishments since the meeting in December: (1) completion of the 2009 tribal consultation outreach listening sessions; (2) execution of an addendum to the national Programmatic Agreement (PA); (3) publication and distribution of the new brochure, Split Estate: Cultural Resource Requirements on Private Surface-Federal Minerals for Oil and Gas Development; and (4) receipt of a Preserve America award from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) for the BLM 2008 Preserve America Section 3 report.
Robin directed the Board’s attention to the copy of Instruction Memorandum (IM) No. 74-290, Compliance with Section 106/2(b) Procedures Regarding the Protection of Cultural Resources, published July 23, 1974 and included in the meeting binders for its historical interest. She then reviewed the agenda and goals of the meeting. Dan Haas asked for time on the agenda to discuss metal detecting on the public lands.
Robin then summarized the Preserve America provisions in the Public Lands Omnibus Bill and reviewed the recommendations in the Preserve America Expert Panel on the Structure of the Federal Historic Preservation Program. She also reported the Preserve America Steering Committee news that First Lady Michelle Obama will sign Preserve American Community and Steward designation letters.
Bekki Lasell directed the Board’s attention to the copies of the BLM’s FY2008 Secretary’s Report to Congress, included in the Binders. She passed out the draft data call IM. She also explained why there would be some changes in reporting requirements for FY09 and why collections will be treated differently this year.
Action Item: Bekki will send the draft data call to the Board electronically and talk with Felicia Probert on the reporting field for Archaeological Resources Protection Act law enforcement activities.
Robin then provided some statistics on the age distribution and retirement eligibility of the GS-193 career series. In 2002, 9 of 12 DPOs were eligible for retirement and since then 4 retired and Garth Portillo and Tim Nowak passed away. At the end of April 2009, the average age of permanent GS-193 BLM employees is 49 and by the end of the year, 40% will be eligible to retire within 5 years. Robin and Bekki asked how WO-240 could help the States in workforce planning issues. The Board expressed a concern that some GS-13 Deputy Preservation Officer positions are being replaced at a GS-12 level. This adversely affects morale and recruitment, and represents a limited savings, for instance relative to the routine reimbursement of moving costs.
Action Item: Robin will share other agency’s workforce planning statistics with the Board, as soon as these are available from the National Park Service.
BLM Cultural Heritage Program Training.
Robert King provided an update on the 8100-01 class and other training-related matters. He emphasized the commitment to training and professional development in the BLM national PA. He also mentioned that the BLM's commitment to cultural resources training has a history that extends back over 20 years.
The 8100-01 class may be offered once more as a "live" class and the Board recommended that it be offered in March or February next year. It will be transitioned into a modular class offered though the National Training Center (NTC) website; or a modified shorter class with some filmed modules. Some of the latter have been, or soon will be, filmed this year at the NTC.
The NTC will be releasing a new training needs assessment soon. Bob encouraged all DPOs to take the assessment and to encourage everyone whose work involves cultural and paleontological resources, museum collection work, and Native American consultation and coordination to take it as well.
The NTC has completed filming the 5-module Tribal Consultation course. It is now being edited. The module on tribal consultation for managers will be piloted in Las Vegas in July and an Alaska module may be added to the series.
Bob welcomed Signa Larralde as the newest member of the Training Committee. The Training Committee now consists of: Bob King, Tom Burke, Stan McDonald, Signa Larralde, and Bekki Lasell.
Action Item: Robert will send the Board a link to the on-line training web site and a note when the assessment is released.
New Administration Tribal Priorities and Initiatives
Jerry Cordova provided an overview of his background and experience, including his responsibilities as traditional practioner at Taos Pueblo, as the Bureau of Indian Affairs Supervisor for Zuni Pueblo, a staff member with the New Mexico Governor’s Commission for Indian Affairs, and since 2000, the BLM Washington Office Tribal Coordinator.
Jerry noted the recent appointments of Hilary Tompkins as the Department of the Interior (DOI) Solicitor, Michael Connor as Commissioner for The Bureau of Reclamation, and Larry Echo Hawk as the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs. He said that the DOI Office of Intergovernmental Affairs had brought in good leadership and that DOI Tribal Liaisons were meeting regularly. As a result, Indian people are overall optimistic about the potential for improvements in Indian country during this administration. The General Mining Act of 1872, health care and economic development opportunities are key targets for change.
Jerry thanked members of the Preservation Board for their efforts and professionalism in hosting the listening sessions. As a result, Indian country’s perception of the BLM is changing. He noted that we are hearing specific ideas from tribes through our outreach effort and that we will bring to leadership at the end of this process. Jerry plans to hold a meeting for the BLM Field Liaisons this summer to inform them of new developments.
Action Item: Jerry will send out information on the Field Liaisons meeting this summer in Nevada.
New Administration Budget Priorities and Initiatives.
Bekki gave a semi-annual assessment and budget forecast, briefing the Board on the budget and other program matters. She provided a summary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the process for development of the BLM project list, including consideration of renewable energy, youth and other priorities. Bekki referenced the 1931 David Bacon Act. Bekki discussed the unique ARRA subactivity codes for ARRA projects and upcoming procurement deadlines. She also emphasized that ARRA expenditures were being closely monitored: ARRA watchwords are “Transparency,” “Competition,” “Follow Rules,” and “Do It Fast.”
Bekki then summarized the FY09 budget request and adjustments related to the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). Bekki discussed the impact of the passage of the Paleontological Resources Protection Act on March 30, and the development of new policy for the distribution of Challenge Cost Share (CCS) funds in response to an Office of the Inspector General findings and recommendations. Finally, Bekki briefed the FY09 funds from Planning and Abandoned Mine Lands, and contributions to the Cultural Resources Data Sharing Partnership (CRDSP).
The DOI will be putting together a strategic plan for 2011 through 2015 by the end of December 2009.
Robert King provided an update to his proposal at the December 2008 meeting, for a national celebration of the 1862 Homestead Act in the year 2012. This Act has a special connection to the BLM and a work group composed of Robert King, Mary Tisdale, Megg Heath, Wayne Rice, Derrick Baldwin, Richard Hanes, Michael Thomas, Bekki and Robin has begun to develop specific ideas. Robert noted that homesteading was possible in Alaska until 1986, 10 years later than in the lower 48, and that the BLM administered the last homesteads nationwide. Over the course of its long history, homesteading at times included special laws or provisions for African Americans and women, both as individuals and as heads of households. In total, ca. 800,000 individuals were successful homesteaders in 30 states with public lands of ca. 2 million people who initially filed for homesteads. Ideas for the 2012 anniversary celebration include a website, symposiums, a travelling exhibit, a new History Mystery, a Project Archaeology shelter supplement on homesteading, and kits to assist site-specific celebrations. Additional ideas are welcomed.
Action Item: Board members will send site-specific projects or ideas as candidates for local celebrations. They will also provide available information on homestead-related resources in their states, such as interpreted homesteads, National Register nominations. Byron, Zane and Tom will work with Robert and the rest of the team on this initiative.
Results of 2009 Tribal Outreach Listening Sessions
An additional six BLM tribal outreach listening sessions had been completed by May 20, although tribes may request individual meetings. The following host state leads and co-leads gave reports to the Board on these sessions:
§ Phoenix, AZ (April 8, 2009): Signa
§ Billings, MT (April 15, 2009): Gary and Capron
§ Albuquerque, NM (April 24, 2009): Signa, Dan, and Jerry
§ Boise, ID (May 6, 2009): Stan
§ Reno, NV (May 19, 2009): Tom
§ Palm Springs, CA (May 20, 2009): Gina
Robert had reported on the October 22, 2008 session in Anchorage, AK at the December Board meeting.
As agreed at the December 2008 Preservation Board meeting, the sessions were planned in conjunction with already scheduled tribal meetings to the extent possible. The Phoenix session was scheduled with a Traditional Cultural Property Workshop, the Reno session was scheduled with a meeting of the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest, and the Albuquerque meeting was scheduled with the Gathering of Nations Native American Powwow. One or more State Directors attended 5 of the 7 sessions. District and Field managers and members of WO staff attended all the sessions. The format of the meetings varied from open house to a facilitated meeting, as determined by the host state or states, sometimes in coordination with tribal attendees.
Host states are preparing summaries of each session and will send meeting summaries to interested attendees in draft before finalizing for inclusion in a national report.
Action Item: The summary reports for all 2009 sessions will be prepared by the host state or state and circulated in draft to attendees who left their contact information.
Tribal Consultation Policy Implementation
Ranel Capron reported to the Board on her concern that the Field Offices need clarification on implementation of existing BLM policy in H-8120-1, Policy on Compensation to Native Americans for Their Participation in the BLM’s Administrative Process. She recommended that the Board develop some examples of when compensation is and is not appropriate.
Action Item: Board will develop examples to help foster consistent implementation of the policy on compensation for participation in the BLM administrative process.
Tribal Outreach Initiative and PA Revision Next Steps
Robin and Jerry reviewed the calendar milestones in the PA addendum, executed on February 4, 2009, by the BLM, the ACHP and the NCSHPO:
§ 60 days from date of appointment of new Director: Initiate public notification the BLM’s intent to update the PA to incorporate further the role of Indian tribes.
§ August 4, 2009: Meet to discuss preliminary findings of listening sessions and begin developing revisions to the PA consistent with 36 CFR Part 800 and Section 101 (d) (6) of the NHPA
§ October 4, 2009: BLM shall provide signatories with report on findings, including recommendations from listening sessions on PA and all signatories shall report any new emphases resulting from change in Administration
§ February 4, 2010: BLM, in consultation with tribes, shall develop mutually agreeable revisions to PA to provide appropriate opportunities for tribal consultation and a process for developing subsequent implementing actions.
§ March 4, 2010: PA signatories shall: (1) Adopt the revisions; (2) Determine that significant progress has been made to reach mutually agreeable revisions and allow additional time for such revisions to be made or a process for implementing actions to be developed; or (3) the BLM shall revert to operations under 36 CFR Part 800.
The Board worked as a group on recommendations to incoming leadership on how DOI and the BLM might respond to the ideas and issues from listening sessions. The Board then separated into two work groups to discuss ideas for responsive changes to the PA and a process for meeting the addendum milestones.
Idaho energy corridor planning and compliance initiatives.
Stan McDonald provided an information update on the work of a small task team formed in 2008 to develop guidance and information for implementing BLM’s Section 106 compliance responsibilities related to large energy transmission projects. The team, composed of Stan, Ranel, Dan, and Michael developed an outline for an Information Bulletin (IB) or IM. However, in lieu of developing and gaining approval for what is envisioned as rather lengthy IB or IM, and because the information would not be presenting new direction, McDonald presented an alternate proposal for providing useful information through the Cultural Heritage website. This follows an approach used by the Emergency Stabilization and Restoration Program to discuss issues, topics and helpful tips. The concept, format, general content, and benefits of this approach are outlined in a power-point presentation along with excerpts from the ESR program’s webpage. The Board reacted favorably to the proposal. McDonald will work with the task team and WO in developing the information and determining the feasibility of hosting this information on the WO-240 webpage.
Action Item: Stan will post his presentation on the SharePoint Site.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Robin informed the Board about IM 2009-125, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Policy, Allocation, Directives and Guidance (May 15, 2009), and the ACHP and National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) ARRA web sites and tool kits. She also informed the Board about the ACHP commitment to process requests for program specific alternative processes, such as program comments, quickly. She asked if, given the scope and speed with which these projects would be executed, WO-240 should initiate development of any special tools or policy. The Board view is that based on present knowledge, these projects should not require any additional tools.
Action item: Robin will send the Board members a link to the ARRA project listing on the internet and the links to the ACHP and NTHP tool kits.
Renewable Energy Initiative and Energy Update
Robin pointed the Board’s attention to the information in their binders on the renewable energy “fast track” project list, the renewable energy teams, and a PowerPoint on the overall initiative. The Board discussed the implications of the zone concept on the 106 compliance process and integration of 106 and the National Environmental Policy Act compliance process. Robin said that Rolla Queen has developed language for incorporation into Notices of Intent.
The Board brainstormed on strategies for using additional study area funds to meet cultural resources information needs. Recommendations included assistance to the field for SHPO file searches similar to what was done for the Western Energy Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, ethnographic studies, incorporation of National Historic Trails and vision quest sites into VRM work, and better incorporation of the Alaska SO into opportunities afforded by this initiative.
§ Robin will forward suggestions to WO-240 Division Chief to inform discussions with WO-300; and send WO-300 updates on the renewable initiative to the Board.
§ Robin will send the language developed by Rolla Queen for the Solar PEIS to the Board for use as a model.
Robin reminded the Board that the Western Energy Corridor PEIS was signed in January and that as a result 92 Resource Management Plans were amended. Implementation guidance will be developed and Robin asked the Board if there are any issues they would like addressed in that guidance. The Board asked if there had been any legal challenges to the PEIS. They also asked that the implementation guidance address the amount of flexibility the BLM has in reviewing applications and the applicability to wind energy transmission and development.
Action Item: Robin will bring the Board’s questions and requests to the attention of WO-300.
Dan Haas briefed the Board on the Oil Shale/Tar Sands PEIS status. The PEIS was signed last December. The small number of projects have been authorized following the standard 106 compliance process. Additional leasing and development is on hold pending Departmental guidance. CO is developing a PA for future phases of this program.
Neffra Matthews and Tom Noble of the National Operations Center (NOC) briefed the Board via conference phone on the photogrammetry capabilities of the NOC. The Board was interested in having more specific information, including cost. The Board discussed the advantages of a pilot project and the Board suggested we find a project that would provide research or other benefit to the BLM.
Action item: Signa will evaluate the potential for a pilot project in New Mexico in conjunction with the June 2010 meeting.
Cultural Resources Data Sharing Partnership Update
Kirk Halford gave an update on the CRDSP via conference phone. Kirk briefed the Board on the CRDSP action items and the work of the Federal Geographic Data Standards (FGDC) for cultural resources metadata. Kirk reported that the CRDSP will draft an Instruction Memorandum to stress the importance of the work of the BLM Data Representatives. He and Gina will also send copies of the policy and instructional materials that the CA State Office used in instituting their new cultural resource permit standards.
§ Kirk will draft an IM emphasizing the role of the BLM Data Representative.
§ Kirk and Gina will send CA materials as models for national adoption of the CA standard and Robin will revise the draft IM on adoption of the DOI cultural resources permit form.
§ Robin and Kirk will invite a member of the Enterprise Team to participate in CRDSP teleconferences and meetings.
Metal Detectors on the Public Lands
Dan briefed the Board on the lack of good public information on the rules for using metal detectors on BLM managed lands.
Action Item: Dan will work with Brook, Gary, Troy and Bob to review the manual guidance and consider development of supplemental information as needed, including public information materials.
The next Board meeting will be in Washington, D.C. on December 1-3, 2009. The following meeting will be in New Mexico on June 8-10, 2010. This meeting is shifted from the first full week in the month to the 8th, due to the Memorial Day holiday on the 31st.
Action Item: Robin will check on the availability of the hotel meeting room for a day and a half program meeting in conjunction with the December meeting.
§ Zane Fulbright narrated his recent video release, Pride and Perseverance: Settlers in the Missouri River Breaks, featuring interviews with the descendants of four homesteading families.
§ Robert King showed a PowerPoint prepared for a recent public talk on Homesteading, with a focus on Alaska.
Rob Thomson, Historic Architect Robert Wallace and Archaeologist Erick Blind of The Presidio Trust gave the Board a tour of the Presidio.