BLM Preservation Board Report
December 3-5, 2008
In attendance: Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Preservation Officer Robin Burgess (WO), Deputy Preservation Officers (DPO) Bob King (AK), Michael Johnson (AZ), Ken Wilson (CA), Troy Ferone (Eastern State), Gary Smith (MT), Signa Larralde (NM), Tom Burke (NV), Byron Loosle (UT), Richard Hanes (OR) and Ranel Capron (WY), District Manager Glen Carpenter (UT), Field Office Manager Dayne Barron (CA), and Field Office Specialist Brooke Brown (OR).
Also Attending: Nancy Schamu, Executive Director, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), Barbara Pahl, Director, Mountain District, National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), Denise Ryan, Brian Turner, Ty Hays, and Rebecca Schwindler (NTHP), Jeff Jarvis and Marietta Eaton, National Landscape Conservation Service (NLCS), Linda Resseguie (WO 350), Jerry Cordova (WO 240), Rebecca Lasell (WO 240), Emily Palus (WO 240), Kit Muller (WO 200), Kirk Halford, National Coordinator, Cultural Resources Data Sharing Partnership (CRDSP) and Rolla Queen (former ACHP-BLM Liaison) joined the meeting by conference phone.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Robin welcomed the Board and then reviewed the agenda and goals of the meeting. Richard Hanes went over logistics and plans for the field trip on Thursday.
Preservation Program Update
Robin Burgess, Jerry Cordova and Richard Hanes reviewed key achievements of the past year. BLM has been working with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the ACHP Native American Advisory Group (NAAG) on the most effective way to review and find opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the BLM’s tribal consultation policy and practices. We have also been working with the NCSHPO and NCSHPO BLM Task Force to ensure any actions are fully coordinated with SHPOs. We have taken two key actions to date. One, on March 18, 2008, the BLM issued IB No. 2007-057, Online Training in Working Effectively with Tribal Governments, to encourage all BLM field personnel to complete on-line training in tribal consultation. This is in addition to training that is offered by the BLM National Training Center. Two, on August 21, 2008, the BLM initiated a large scale tribal outreach to ascertain the views of tribes themselves on the BLM’s consultation policies and practices and how we can be more effective.
The BLM tribal outreach was initiated with a letter from the BLM Director to 610 tribal leaders. It described the BLM’s consultation policies, discussed the relation of our policies to the BLM 1997 Programmatic Agreement (PA). The letter forwarded the BLM’s 8120 manual on tribal consultation, the H-8120-1 handbook on General Guidelines on Tribal Consultation, the BLM PA and the state-specific protocol that applies in the tribe’s home state. The specifically asked tribes if the were interested in the following:
A consultation protocol with a BLM State or Field Office on how and when we contact you?
A written agreement with a BLM State or Field Office on the types of resources and projects in which your tribe does and does not have an interest?
More regular direct interaction about pending projects?
More efficient notification of pending projects using the internet?
Meeting with the BLM to discuss consultation policies and procedures, including our manual section, handbook, the PA, or the protocol in effect between the BLM and the SHPO in your state in more detail?
The letter also committed to follow-up listening sessions and said additional information would be forthcoming. The first listening session was held on October 22, 2008, in Anchorage, Alaska.
Finally, the BLM, ACHP and NCSHPO are drafting an addendum to the PA that outlines a process for addressing the results of the outreach effort and the efforts to date of the ACHP and the BLM to review the PA itself for opportunities for improvement.
Tribal Outreach Initiative Status
Robin briefed the Board on the status of the ongoing outreach initiative. The WO has confirmed delivery 571 packets, with over 79% received between September 15 and 18. The BLM made follow-up phone calls or held meetings with 46% of addresses in the Lower 48 States, to confirm receipt and answer initial questions. In Alaska, 100% of tribes received follow-up invitations to a listening session.
The majority of responses to date have been requests for duplicate packages or the intention of responding in depth in the future. The limited number of substantive responses have been expressions of interest in attending a listening session, interest in more frequent meetings, interest in pursuing tribe specific agreements or protocols, interest in specific policy issues or projects and positive feed-back on consultation with a specific BLM office. There has not been much concern expressed regarding the PA itself.
Tribal Listening Session, Anchorage, AK
Bob King briefed the Board on the Alaska Tribal Listening Session, held October 22, 2008 in Anchorage. The session was an open house format held in conjunction with the annual Alaska Federation of Natives Convention. The BLM Alaska State Director, District Managers, and other staff were present, for a total of 19 BLM staff members. The Alaska State Office booked a room in a hotel near the convention center, decorated the room, had copies of the mailing available for attendees and recorded all comments. There were approximately 26 attendees, including the State Historic Preservation Officer. Attendees spoke to the BLM about a wide range of issues including land issues, transportation infrastructure, rights of way, employment opportunities, subsistence, contamination and resource management planning.
2009 Tribal Listening Sessions
The Board developed draft strategy for scheduling the listening sessions in the Lower 48.
Format: The Board recommended that all follow Alaska model
Schedule: The States will look for opportunities to hold sessions at the same time as regularly scheduled tribal meetings and will aim to complete the meetings in May.
The Board recommended that all meetings include a State Director, someone from the WO. The SHPO and ACHP should be invited. The WO will cover the cost of meeting space. Additional meetings held in response to specific requests, including one in Boise, ID, and these may follow a different format.
Action: Jerry Cordova will coordinate with other agencies on currently scheduled consultation sessions; Deputy Preservation Officers will research the time and place of regularly scheduled tribal meetings; Robin and Jerry will ensure the Executive Leadership Team is aware of the meetings so they can be a priority on State Director schedules.
Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
Linda Resseguie Project Manager for the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) briefed the Board on the Solar PEIS being prepared jointly with the Department of Energy. The PEIS will identify BLM-administered lands that are suitable for utility-scale development in the six state study area, establish a solar program with best management practices, create an overarching document that will expedite subsequent site-specific environmental analysis documents and amend land use plans in six states to address solar development. The PEIS was kicked off in May 2008 and is scheduled for completion in summer 2010. More information may be found at: www.solareis.anl.gov
National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP)
Barbara Pahl, Director, Mountains/Plains District of the NTHP introduced the NTHP Public Lands team to the Board. Denise Ryan will be working on public policy out of the Washington Office, Rebecca Schwendler is a new Ph.D archaeologist who will be working out of Denver, Brian Turner works out of the San Francisco Office, and Ty Hayes is moving from Washington, D.C. to Denver. Barbara summarized the NTHP current initiatives and NTHP recommendations for the new Administration. This was followed by information sharing on potential impacts of renewable energy projects on cultural resources.
National Landscape Conservation Service (NLCS)
Jeff Jarvis and Marietta Eaton of the NLCS summarized current NLCS priorities and how they are developing their budget strategy from FY09 to FY10 to adjust to the changing budget framework. They explained that they would be putting out guidance in FY09 including interim management guidelines on new designations, and manuals and handbooks on management of National Trails. In addition the NLCS is preparing to develop guidance on completing wilderness inventories and how to consider the wilderness resource in Resource Management Plans.
A second priority will be outreach, including fact sheets, peer reviewed papers and a symposium in the spring of 2010. The NLCS is working with others to develop a research permit portal. In conjunction with this, research dollars will be available under assistance agreements.
The NLCS is actively pursuing Presidential Management Fellows who are looking for places to perform their rotations. The BLM provides office space, supervision and a project but do not compensate the Fellows for their time.
Welcome by BLM Assistant Director Ed Roberson
The BLM Assistant Director, Ed Roberson, welcomed the Board members, thank them for its support of the BLM and give them his perspectives on the cultural resources program. Ed then presented Nancy Schamu, Executive Director of the NCSHPO, with a letter of congratulations and her copy of the Special Achievement in Geographic Information Systems award given to the CRDSP by the ESRI, Inc.
National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers
Nancy Schamu then spoke to the Board about the importance of the CRDSP to the SHPOs. The BLM is the only Department of Interior agency that supports the SHPOs specifically with date management. She said that from the perspective of most SHPOs, the PA and protocols are working well. She reminded the Board that States have no role in the Government-to-Government relationship between tribes and Federal agencies. SHPOs, however, have different philosophies regarding facilitation of tribal consultation in general. The NCSHPO, as a signatory to the PA is reviewing the current draft addendum.
Nancy summarized some of the NCSHPO broader priorities and initiatives, including things they would like to see emphasized by the new administration.
Cultural Resources Data Sharing Partnership Update
Kirk Halford gave an update on the CRDSP. Kirk is working with the States to develop strategic two to five year goals. They are making good progress, but four States, AK, ID, UT, and OR still need to provide input. Kirk told the Board that the National Park Service (NPS) is moving forward with a proposal for Federal Geographic Data Standards (FGDC) for metadata. Their proposal closely mirrors the CRDSP metadata standards. The NPS will host the first interagency meeting to begin discussions about the standards in conjunction with the NCSHPO annual meeting in March 2009. Once the standards become codified, each agency will need to implement them.
Kirk reported that the data stipulations that CA added to their cultural resources permit last February, have been working well. CA notified permittees that they must implement the standards or have their permit revoked. They trained about 90 people and have had good compliance with the new policy. This was a model program for the BLM and Robin recommended we move forward on a national policy.
BLM Cultural Heritage Program Training
Stan McDonald and Bob King updated the Board on the National Training Center (NTC) cultural heritage training program. Stan told the Board the NTC has focused on deploying the introductory classes and briefed the Board on on-going changes at NTC. NTC has difficulty getting people to in-house training and plans to move as much as 80% of training to distance learning. NTC has reorganized into three separate units, Knowledge Resource Center, Instructional Services and Administration and is defining core competencies. Gary Stumpf won a contract for filming a script on tribal consultation, with modules on meeting requirements, effective consultation, and consulting under multiple authorities, improving government-to-government relations and tribal consultation for managers. The Training Committee consists of: Bob King, Tom Burke, Troy Ferone, Stan McDonald, Emily Palus and Bekki Lasell.
Brainstorming on Heritage Asset Management and Performance Elements
Emily Palus gave the Board an overview of Heritage Assets Management, beginning with the financial statement reporting requirement, going through definitions and criteria, and reporting standards. Emily briefed the Board on the KPMG Audit, the work of the Heritage Assets Partnership and the BLM Cultural Resource Heritage Engineering Advisory Group established in 2007.
Action: The Board will revive the Cultural Heritage Engineering Advisory Group and open channels of communication with engineering divisions of Field Offices on disposals and other actions with the potential to affect historic properties. Team members are: Bob King, Ranel Capron, Ralph Thomas and Dan Haas.
Bekki Lasell introduced the discussion on performance and program elements. Lucy Kuizon briefed the Board on BLM paleontological performance elements and performance measures from the DOI strategic plan. Bekki noted that there had been recent changes to the heritage PE/SA combinations, and that the field needed to be sure coding was correct. She also mentioned that some PE definitions might need to be updated. Emily Palus led the case study using PE AK (NAGPRA), and the board members discussed their use of this PE. The variation in interpretation illustrated that some clarification is necessary. Bekki suggested formation of a team to look closely at all the relevant PE definitions.
Action: The Board will establish a new work group on PEs. Team members are: Ranel Capron, Byron Loosle, Brooke Brown, and Michael Johnson.
ACHP Liaison Feedback
Rolla Queen joined the Board by conference phone to relay lessons learned from his experience as the BLM-ACHP liaison from June 2008 through October 2008. Rolla shared tips on successful preparation of correspondence and coordination of agreement documents. He emphasized the need to build a better understanding of the workings of each agency. He emphasized the ACHP focus on procedure and the necessity providing them with well organized and complete information, so in turn could be responsive and efficient. He said that of the BLM’s 16,000 undertakings, about 30 were adverse effect determinations and the ACHP was highly involved in only about 15.
Review Meeting Goals and Establish New Priority Action Items
Robin reviewed the meeting goals and open action items from the June Board meeting and updated the list.
The next Board meeting will be at the Presidio, CA on June 2-4, 2009. The December 1-3, 2009 meeting will be in Washington, DC.
Rebecca Lasell gave a lunchtime talk on her recent trip to Africa and Glen Carpenter gave a lunchtime talk on Paleoindian sites in the BLM Salt Lake City District Office, UT.
Hunter Hollins, of the Department of Interior Museum gave the Board a tour of the Main Interior Building Museum and historic murals.