BLM Preservation Board Report
Dec 4-6, 2007
In attendance: Preservation Officer Robin Burgess (WO) Deputy Preservation Officers (DPO) Bob King (AK), Michael Johnson (AZ), Ken Wilson (CA), Dan Haas (CO), Troy Ferone (ES), Gary Smith (MT), Tom Burke (NV), Stephen Fosberg (NM), Byron Loosle (UT), Richard Hanes (OR) and Ranel Capron (WY), Assistant District Manager Susan Will (AK), Field Office Managers Aaron Horton (OR), Dayne Barron (CA) and Glen Carpenter (UT), Field Office Specialists Lynn Harrell (WYO) and Signa Larralde (NM).
Also Attending: Richard Brook (WO), Reid Nelson and Nancy Brown, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), Rebecca Lasell (BLM-ACHP Liaison), and Bud Cribley (Deputy Assistant Director). Alice Baldrica, Nevada Deputy SHPO and Kirk Halford attended by phone.
Location: Washington, DC
Robin Burgess, Preservation Board Chair and BLM Preservation Officer welcomed the new Board members and guests. She then reviewed the agenda and purpose of the meeting, and reminded the Board that on Wednesday there would be a retirement dinner for Stephen Fosberg, DPO for New Mexico.
BLM national Programmatic Agreement (nPA) Update
Robin briefly summarized the events of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) quarterly meeting in November. At that meeting, the ACHP Native American Advisory Group reported an intention to submit a resolution to the ACHP Chair asking for the termination of the BLM nPA.
Richard Brook briefed the Preservation Board on the 1050 FY08 budget outlook. The president has requested $15.525M but the Senate and House have asked for $16.614M and $16.075M, respectively. He discussed the importance of working with the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) to ensure cultural work priorities are synchronized between NLCS units and the rest of the BLM. Richard also emphasized the importance to WO-240 of reducing the program elements available to charge to subactivities.
Richard Brook also gave the Board an update on reporting. The Federal Archaeology report for FY07 shows a cumulative total of 18.5 million acres inventoried and 295 thousand properties recorded. Fifteen thousand two hundred literature searches took place and 9,400 projects triggered on the ground inventory. Richard also discussed the work of the newly formed Cultural Heritage/Engineering Advisory Team. The team is working with the Facility Asset Management System to improve the way BLM identifies maintenance requirements for historic and prehistoric standing structures.
BLM-NCSHPO Task Force Initiatives Update
The Board was then joined by Alice Baldrica, representing the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), and Nancy Brown of the ACHP. Richard Hanes walked the Board through the proposed implementation plan for the BLM-NCSHPO recommendations for addressing BLM-NCSHPO Task Force issues and concerns with implementation of the BLM nPA. Under the proposed plan, issues concerning communication, public involvement, tribal consultation and Section 110 work would be addressed through correspondence, meetings, instructional memoranda, and establishment of work groups to develop more specific solutions.
Action: The Board and NCSHPO approved most items for implementation with minor changes; Alice Baldrica will provide further clarification on protocol report formats before plan is finalized; Robin will then initiate implementation.
Reid Nelson and Nancy Brown briefed the board on the ACHP perspective on the six months since the June 2007 Preservation Board meeting in Duluth, MN. Reid emphasized the success of the relationship between BLM and the ACHP and growth in that relationship through the institution of the Liaison position and the work being done by Bekki Lasell. He said that some of the achievements will have lasting benefit even if the Liaison position were to end, but that the Liaison is an important force multiplier for both agencies. Reid noted continuing challenges and discussed the Nov 07 resolution of the ACHP Native American Advisory Group. Nancy Brown gave an overview of the current case involvement of the ACHP, listed case-specific achievements of the past six month, and compared the BLM case load with agencies.
BLM Cultural Heritage Program Training
Bob King presented a briefing prepared by himself and Stan McDonald. He also provided handouts prepared with assistance from Pat Walsh of the National Training Center (NTC), including the Strategic Training Plan. The 8100-01 Fundamentals of Cultural Resources Management class held in May received one of the highest ratings of any class offered at the NTC in 2007. It is not scheduled for 2008 so Bob suggested that Board members advise him or the NTC if there are archaeologists or managers who need Fundamentals training.
Bob reported on changes at NTC, including goals for distance learning. He also alerted the Board that a new Cultural Heritage Program skills/needs survey will be done in conformance with NTC policy in FY 2008. Aaron Horton and Glen Carpenter noted that with the retirement of many experienced managers, there is a need for a short course aimed at managers. Bob mentioned that there is a managers’ cultural resources module under discussion by the Training Committee and the Board urged that this be completed as soon as possible. New modules are also under development or consideration in tribal consultation, permitting and historic era resources; but completion of any new modules will take a significant investment of time and resources. Bob handed out the draft cultural resources Strategic Training Plan and requested any comments by February 29, 2008. The Education Committee predates the nPA and teaches as well as designs the BLM NTC curriculum. It recently lost two key members: Garth Portillo and Tim Nowak. Current Education Committee members are: Bob King, Stan McDonald, Troy Ferone, Richard Brook and Connie Stone. Bob invited interested Board members to volunteer.
Action: Board will complete review of Strategic Training Plan by February 29, 2008.
A template for an ACHP training module developed by Bekki Lasell under the ACHP Liaison work plan was introduced and comments were invited. The Board emphasized the importance of showing the ACHP role within the BLM Section 106 process.
Action: Board will complete review of ACHP training module template by January 31, 2008.
Interested Parties Consultation
Gary Smith reported to the Board on the result of the review by himself, Stephen Fosberg, Richard Hanes and Lynn Harrell of current BLM guidance on consulting with outside organizations and individuals. The workgroup recommended to the Board that BLM issue an Instruction Memorandum clarifying this legal requirement and recommending more aggressive efforts to identify interested parties in National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 consultation process; and revise its 8100 manual series accordingly.
Action: A task force of Gary Smith, Signa Larralde, Byron Loosle and Glen Carpenter will develop proposed guidance on interested party consultation as part of a related effort under the BLM-NCSHPO task force implementation plan.
Communications Improvement Initiatives
Troy Feroneintroduced the new Preservation Board sharepoint site that will be restricted to use by Preservation Board members. The site will allow posting of documents for review and resources for briefings and training, as well as real time web conversations. The Board asked Troy to load a set of file folders to organize the site before we begin posting files.
Action: Troy Ferone will establish a series of file folders on the Board Sharepoint site.
Robin then discussed two documents that were part of Bekki Lasell’s ACHP Liaison work plan and sent to the Board in advance of the meeting. The first is Frequently Asked Questions (draft) for external and internal websites. The Board was very favorable to development of this resource and will forward additional suggestions for questions. Once questions are completed, the Board will work with Bekki to develop answers for posting on the BLM web site. The second is a set of communications protocols (draft) for general communications, for developing Memoranda of Agreement and Programmatic Agreements, and for policy development. The Board also supported this effort and will review the draft protocols.
Action: The Board will review and comment on draft FAQs and the three communications protocols by 31 Jan 08.
BLM-ACHP Liaison Position
Bekki joined the meeting by conference phone for the first part of the session, to summarize the responses to her six month survey of the Board, BLM and ACHP staff and to answer questions on her position. She said that the BLM offices that had significant ACHP interaction particularly appreciated the benefits of the position. The Board expressed support of Bekki’s work over the last six months. The Board also expressed concerns over the cost to BLM and the importance of insuring that the work plan is appropriate to the position. The Board suggested that BLM review the possibility of sharing the cost of the position between ACHP and BLM or within the Department of interior. The Board also recommended that case-specific work performed by the Liaison be paid by benefiting sub-activities. The Board also expressed the view that the Liaison could be viewed as a temporary measure rather than a permanent fixture on the BLM organizational chart and that the work plan be developed with that goal.
The Board discussed the work plan for the next six months and suggested that the Liaison develop guidance for integrating NEPA and National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 requirements and coordinating an ACHP staff review of H-8120-1.
Action: Robin will carry forward the Board’s recommendations on exploring additional funding options; and on the Liaison work plan for 2008.
National programmatic Agreement Implementation – Field Reviews
The ACHP Liaison work plan also included development of a protocol for field reviews based on the protocol developed in California. Ken Wilson discussed his experience in conducting program reviews and use of provisional certification status to address deficiencies. Assignment of provisional status gives Field offices time to make needed improvements. Dayne Barron then discussed his experience with cultural resources program reviews from a Field Manager’s perspective. Robin walked through the goal of the draft and asked the Board to send comments by the end of January.
Action: Board will complete its review of the Field Review protocol and send comments to Robin and Bekki by 31 January 2008.
Cultural Resources Data Sharing Partnership (CRDSP)
Kirk Halford joined the Board by conference phone to discuss the status of the CRDSP. Kirk emphasized the importance of the role of the BLM Data Representatives, BLM support of the program, and training. He discussed the ongoing survey of BLM Data Representatives and intent to assist the SHPO representatives to perform a similar needs assessment. The Board requested that Kirk perform the survey of SHPO partners in tandem with the BLM survey so results could be reviewed together. The DPOs also asked for the opportunity to review the survey responses of their Data Representatives and a second opportunity to review the CRDSP proposal on the role of the Data Representatives. The Board also emphasized the importance of getting information on the existing backlog. Robin asked Kirk for the assistance of his group in developing information called for in the draft BLM-NCSHPO implementation plan.
Action: Kirk Halford will hold a conference call with the SHPO representatives on the CRDSP and coordinate proposed survey questions with the BLM DPOs by 18 Jan 08. DPOs will review responses of their State Data Representative to the BLM survey and the proposal on the role of the BLM Data Representative by 18 Jan 08. Kirk will resend the Data Representative role proposal to the Board. Robin will coordinate with Kirk on a role for the CRDSP in the BLM-NCSHPO implementation plan.
Priority Action Items
Robin then reviewed the open action items from the Board meeting and asked the Board to decide how to use the meeting time scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Most agenda action items had received Board approval to move forward. The Board decided to use Thursday afternoon to address strategic planning including the nPA. Robin asked for meeting feed-back and received positive comments on the agenda and conduct of the meeting. Robin invited members to send any additional comments to Carolyn McClellan or herself following the meeting.
The WO-200 Deputy Assistant Director, Bud Cribley, visited the Board on Thursday afternoon and talked about the priorities of Director Caswell and the importance of the work of the Board for BLM and its ability to achieve its mission. The Board proposed some general concepts to contribute to the Strategic Plan, to be developed by WO-240. It also discussed alternative next steps for the BLM historic preservation program, including the BLM compliance process.
Action: Robin Burgess, Richard Hanes, Michael Johnson, Stephen Fosberg, Bob King, Ken Wilson and Richard Brook will develop draft language for the WO-240 strategic plan.
The next Board meeting will be in Reno, Nevada, on June 3-5. The Board decided that it would return to the Monticello Hotel December 2-4, 2008 and asked Richard Hanes to make the necessary arrangements.
The Board visited Tudor Place at 1644 31st Street on Thursday morning, Dec 6, where the Executive Director Leslie Buhler and Jana Shafagoj gave the Board a tour of this important historical resource.