BLM Preservation Board
Alexandria, VA
December 6-7, 2005
 
 
In attendance: Preservation Officer Robin Burgess (WO); Deputy Preservation Officers (DPO) Bob King (AK), Gary Stumpf (AZ), Ken Wilson (CA), Troy Ferone (ES), Stan McDonald (ID), Gary Smith (MT), Stephen Fosberg (NM), Richard Hanes (OR), Garth Portillo (UT), Richard Hanes (OR), and Tim Nowak (WY); Field Office Managers Mary Jo Rugwell (WY), Robert Towne (OR), and Phil Damon (ID); and Field Office Specialists Julie Coleman (CO) and Glade Hadden (MT).
 
Also Attending: Carolyn McClellan (WO), Richard Brook (WO), Kate Winthrop (WO), Mike Ferguson (WO), Phil Allard (WO), Jordan Pope (WO), Don Klima, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and Nancy Schamu, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO).
 
Facilitator: Linda Clark (ID)
Recorder: Ranel Capron (WY)
Location: Alexandria, VA
 
Welcome
Mike Ferguson, Acting Assistant Director for Business and Fiscal Resources (WO-800),
welcomed the Board on behalf of the Director and reminded the Board that he had spoken at the Board’s June 2002 meeting in Boise, ID.  He complimented the Board on their achievement in instituting the BLM national Programmatic Agreement and said that after eight years, it is widely recognized within BLM as a good instrument.  He told the Board that the next few years will be very challenging due to tight budgets and that we may see a lot of changes over the next 9-15 months.  Nevertheless, the cultural resource program is getting more recognition than in the past.  As an example, he mentioned that the Office of Management and Budget recently asked for a briefing from WO-240, which was presented by Carolyn McClellan, WO-240 Division Chief.  
 
Awards Presentation
Carolyn McClellan welcomed the Preservation Board (Board) on behalf of the Washington Office and thanked Mary Jo Rugwell, Robert Towne and Julie Coleman for their service to the Board.  Mary Jo, Robert, and Julie will be retiring from the Board at the end of May.
 
Department of Interior Perspective on Preserve America
Robin Burgess introduced Aimee Mikolajek, the Department of Interior Preservation Officer.  Aimee emphasized the commitment of the Department and, specifically, the Deputy Secretary, Lynn Scarlett, to the purposes of Executive Order 13287 Preserve America and the First Lady’s Preserve America initiative.  The Deputy Secretary is the Preserve America Co-Chair. Aimee said that the Department is making an effort to recognize the good work of the various Interior agencies, including BLM.  Aimee commended BLM for its E.O. 13287 Preservation America reports, its 2005 awards from the ACHP for Montana’s Undaunted Stewardship and from the ACHP and National Trust for Historic Preservation for the Arizona’s Site Steward Program.   Aimee also commended BLM for its 2004 America’s Priceless Heritage publication series and Adventures in the Past web site in celebration of the Centennial of the Antiquities Act.   
Aimee encouraged the States to take advantage of the Preserve America grants program administered by the National Park Service.  These matching grants range from $25K to $150K and can be used by gateway communities for research, marketing, education, and interpretation projects.  Information may be found at www.preserveamerica.gov and the first round is due on Dec. 15, 2005.  Board members from Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon said they were working with gateway communities in these states to apply for these awards.  Aimee is currently working on a partnership with the History Channel and she thinks there is a good potential for BLM to participate in this initiative. Finally, Aimee said that she has plans for a Departmental Preserve America web site. 
      
Budget
Richard Brook told the Board that feedback on the FY2006 PTA is due Dec. 16, 2005.  States were asked to submit their targets to MIS by Nov.25, 2005, and MIS should now have updated numbers. He reminded the States that after the end of the first quarter they would not be able to modify their target numbers, so they should be sure to get the system updated; it’s not clear how rescissions or reprogramming will affect units of accomplishment and how units in MIS will be updated.  Richard emphasized the importance of working with Field Offices to insure that the units put into MIS accurately reflect the amount to get done and the costs involved, inasmuch as possible. Richard discussed the impact of the 2005 Energy Policy Act and stressed that States must be vigilant in coding work that supports the energy programs to the right program element. 
Richard is currently working on the 2007 budget.  There is a potential for an increase in the cultural resources program for work on BLM collections, inventory, education, heritage tourism and paleontology and work with tribes on natural resources.   Colorado State Director Sally Wisely has been a strong advocate for our program in this process.
 
Richard also mentioned that auditors from the firm KPMG have asked him how program performance measures are determined for archaeological site, collections, and paleontological resource condition.  Richard is using the annual reports submitted by States and may need backup information. In any case, States and Field Offices should be prepared to justify the units they report in the annual report in case the auditors require further explanation.
 
Update from WO-210 on New National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Handbook
Jordan Pope briefed the Board on what is ahead for WO-210, including recent NEPA initiatives.  WO-210, recently renamed Division of Planning and Science Support, has 42 Land Use Plans scheduled for completion over the next two years and expects to have a significant work load responding to public comments.  The Division is also revising its NEPA Handbook.  The Handbook is underway but may be delayed until the revision of Departmental Manual 516 is complete.  The new Handbook will address new Categorical Exclusions (CXs).  BLM had 12 new CXs to incorporate prior to the enactment of the 2005 Energy Policy Act and is in the process of revisiting these.  WO-210 plans to develop an interactive NEPA web site that includes examples of good NEPA documents.  The Handbook will incorporate Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and tribal consultation responsibilities, and will emphasize early and continuous public involvement.  Finally, Jordan mentioned that the BLM Determination of NEPA Adequacy form has been revised and will be more user friendly.
 
Update on Collections Issues
Carolyn McClellan and Richard Hanes brought the Board up to date on events over the past six months and the plan of action for the next year. The Collections committee formulated last June has had two conference calls.  The committee goals are to develop a plan for funding that does not compete with other requirements and to develop a plain English version collections manual for use by BLM Field Offices.  The committee is also discussing the types of data we need to collect from curation facilities and a plan for capturing that information electronically.  The Department will be putting an electronic collections management system in place in 2007 that will drive new information requirements.  BLM will be taxed to support this system and we are working with the Interior Museum Property Committee on development.  In view of the priority of this initiative, Carolyn has decided to fill the National Curator position vacated by Dr. Stephanie Damadio in FY06 rather than the Senior Paleontologist position.  The Paleontologist position will be filled in FY07. 
 
Carolyn also mentioned that the KPMG audit included Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) goals and that the cultural resources and paleontology programs have an opportunity to revisit how we want to define and report achievements under the Strategic Plan.
 
Action: Send an email to Carolyn if you are interested in helping to develop new language for GPRA elements that more accurately reflect what we can measure. 
 
2005 Energy Policy Act
Phil Allard, WO-300, gave the Board and guests Don Klima, ACHP, and Nancy Schamu, NCSHPO, an overview briefing of the 2005 Energy Policy Act.  The Energy Policy Act, passed on  August 8, 2005, is driving BLM priorities.  The Act did not repeal any existing legislation except for some technicalities related to geothermal activities, but gave BLM 39 new specific actions to complete.  Six of the 39 actions are being tracked as Management by Objective items at the Secretarial level. 
 
One of the key elements of this law is in Section 365, the Pilot Field Office Project.  This required execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the BLM, Forest Service and other federal agencies to streamline processing of Applications for Permit to Drill (APDs) in seven BLM Field Offices.  The MOU was executed and the BLM is working to give States the opportunity to participate.  Pilot Field Offices have identified additional manpower requirements and are hiring new staff.  Other key action items are the establishment of rights of way for an energy corridor within 24 months, for which BLM is a co-lead with the Department of Energy, and an oil shale/tar sands Environmental Impact Statement that will cover Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. 
 
The Energy Policy Act was passed after the BLM 2006 budget was established and BLM may need to consider reprogramming.  While there was new money connected with the bill, it was very targeted.  There is a possibility of funds for State Offices.  This will be worked on a State by State basis.
 
Review of FY05 Implementation of the BLM national Programmatic Agreement
Robin Burgess thanked Don Klima and Nancy Schamu for joining the Board in reviewing FY05 Implementation of the BLM national Programmatic.  Robin then briefly highlighted key FY05 events and achievements. Highlights included: issuance of the updated and finalized 8100 manual series and H-8120-1 Handbook on tribal consultation; a $350K contribution to the BLM/SHPO Data Sharing effort; the Antiquities Act Centennial web site; more outreach to professional associations and the public; and training classes offered in conjunction with the BLM national Training Center.  In addition to the Foundations class offered in May, Board members taught three Archaeological Law Enforcement classes, two Archaeological Damage Assessment classes, an Indian Self-Determination Act class and a Native American Coordination and Consultation class.
 
Robin also gave some preliminary statistics gathered by Richard Brook for the Federal Archaeology Report.  In FY05, BLM processed 16,637 proposed undertakings that triggered at least a literature search, a 20% increase since FY04.  A total of 13,485 of these undertakings required on the ground inventory.  Of total undertakings, 6,368 or 38% were in Wyoming and 25% were in New Mexico.  A total of 607,192 acres were inventoried and 7,474 properties were recorded.  In terms of protection activities, there were 607 signing, fencing, or stabilizing projects performed and 100 Archaeological Resources Protection Act incidents were detected.  There were 101 research projects conducted on 173 properties.  A total of 3,424 consultations were conducted with Federal Recognized tribes; 173 consultations were conducted with non-Federally recognized tribes.  There were also 970 public presentations, 66 professional presentation and articles, 253 heritage education publications and products.    
      
DPOs followed Robin’s WO overview by taking 5 minutes to provide an overview of FY05 in each BLM State, and in the Eastern States Office, although the latter does not fall under the BLM national Programmatic Agreement.  These updates touched on highlights or achievements of that State over the past year, key challenges faced, and any suggestions for improvements in the interaction between BLM, the SHPO and/or the ACHP that came to light during FY05.   Highlights included completion of cultural resource overviews and landscape studies, meeting increasing compliance workloads, accomplishing inventory, assisting ARPA investigations, internal and external training, including bilingual and international efforts, and partnerships with universities, tribes, State historical societies, State agencies, and non-profit organizations, for preservation, management, research and heritage tourism efforts.  Challenges included increased compliance workloads and difficulty in engaging States and tribes as active participants in the development and review of land use plans which incorporate land use decisions and establish the basis for subsequent ones.   
 
Nancy Schamu then thanked the DPOs for informative reports and added that as a fellow State based agency, BLM State Offices have a particularly good sense of the SHPO office workloads.  She thanked BLM for its support for data sharing and emphasized how beneficial this project has been for SHPOs. Nancy discussed the focus of the 109th Congress on the NHPA 106 process and the need to follow defensible practices, for instance in establishing archaeological survey requirements.  Nancy also briefed the Board on NCSHPO’s BLM Task Force.  The Task Force was established in response to the ACHP decision to review the BLM national PA.  The results of the Task Force survey of SHPOs in BLM States varied widely in their perception of the BLM national PA.  The NCSHPO has forwarded these findings to the ACHP and said it is ready to work with ACHP on its partner effort. The survey results identify issues that BLM State Offices and SHPOs may be able to address on a State by State basis.
 
Action: BLM States work with their SHPO counterparts to address and resolve State specific issues. 
 
Don Klima also thanked the States for their overviews of FY05.  Don expressed appreciation for the stewardship efforts of BLM States and also for the Board as an institution that was created by the national PA.  Don asked the Board to look ahead to the future and stressed the importance of staying true to the goals of the NHPA by being aggressive about planning efficient compliance and management strategies and limiting the need for on-the-ground reactive work survey.
Don said that, like other programmatic agreements that precede the 1992 amendments to the NHPA, the BLM national PA is due for maintenance.  He specifically emphasized the need to insure that tribal consultation procedures were consistent with the 1992 amendments.
 
Finally, Don discussed the closure of the ACHP Denver Office.  The decision to close the office is connected to changes in 36 CFR Part 800, which reduced the ACHP NHPA 106 caseload and establishment of several new ACHP-Agency partnerships and liaison positions.  Don’s office is in the process of hiring new personnel and will be ready to provide the same level of customer service as before in the near future.  ACHP will continue to participate in NHPA 106 consultations and agency training as needed and as requested by agencies, including BLM State Office training sessions.
 
The Board said it would consider the comments made by Don on behalf of the ACHP and by Nancy on behalf of NCSHPO and asked Don and Nancy to return next December.  Don and Nancy agreed that the BLM, ACHP and NCSHPO annual meetings have been informative and productive and accepted the invitation to return in December 2006. 
 
Implementation of IM 2005-227 
Tim Nowak led a discussion on the IM 2005-227 recommendation to perform large scale inventories of high priority areas for oil and gas development.  Glade Hadden briefed the Board on his effort to capture data on the NHPA 106 compliance process for Applications for Permit to Drill, in response to a June 2005 Preservation Board action item. 
 
Action: Tim will brief WO-310 on the Preservation Board comments and incorporate them into a proposed IM specific to this initiative.  Glade will send out a request for comments on his questionnaire and the best approach for collecting process information. 
 
Training Update
Bob King briefed the Board on the training accomplishments of FY05 and discussed the FY06 priorities.  The Education and Training Curriculum Committee decided to offer 8100-08 Introduction to Management of Historical Resources in June 2006 and 8100-01 Foundations for Managing the Cultural Heritage Program in fall of 2006.
  
Internal Review of BLM national PA Implementation and FY06 Challenges      
The Preservation Board reviewed the joint BLM, ACHP and NCSHPO discussion of the BLM national PA and its implementation over the past year.  The Board identified and discussed several alternative courses of action for addressing the ACHP and NCSHPO comments.   The Board reaffirmed its commitment to improving public understanding of the BLM NHPA 106 compliance process.  The Board is also committed to address State and National issues regarding implementation of existing policies and procedures.  Specific action items will be identified and assigned to work groups.    
   
June 2006 and December 2006 Preservation Board Meetings
Garth Portillo discussed the logistics for the June 2006 meeting in Utah.  The Board discussed the venue for the December 2006 meeting and decided to return to the Holiday Inn Select in Alexandria,VA.  Troy Ferone volunteered to hold the June 2007 meeting in Minnesota.  The Board recommended that we have quarterly conference calls as needed and Robin agreed to schedule these and circulate a call for agenda topics.  Calls will be cancelled if not needed.
The Board members Mary Jo Rugwell, Robert Towne, and Julie Coleman will complete their terms at the end of May 2006.  WO will send out a request for nominations to fill these vacancies.  Mary Jo suggested that the Board consider developing information for the Field Manager representatives on the Board and agreed to help prepare this.   
 
Action: The WO will schedule conference calls in March and September send out a request for agenda topics.  WO will prepare a request for nominations for two Field Managers and one Field Specialist.