Preservation Board Meeting
June 5 and 6, 2001
Anasazi Heritage Center, Dolores CO
Members in Attendance: Preservation Officer John Douglas (WO); Deputy Preservation Officers (DPO) Bob King (AK), Gary Stumpf (AZ), Russ Kaldenberg (CA), Dan Haas (CO), Stan McDonald (ID), Gary Smith (MT), Pat Barker (NV), Steve Fosberg (NM), Richard Hanes (OR), Garth Portillo (UT), and Tim Nowak (WY); Field Office Managers Greg Thomsen (CA), Helen Hankins (NV), and Kent Walter (UT); and Field Office Specialists Connie Stone (AZ) and Kirk Halford (CA).
Also Attending: Marilyn Nickels (WO), Richard Brook (WO), Alan Stanfill (WO), Dan Martin (WO), Megg Heath (WO), and Rich Fike (CO).
Recorder: Ranel Capron (WY)
Facilitator: Linda Clark (ID)
Budget Update. FY 2002 budget for cultural resources will be flat. In FY 2001 the program received $13.8M and in FY 2002 the program will get $14.1M. Direction for targets for FY 2003 budget should come out by the end of June.
Cost Management. A team led by Montana SD Mat Millenbach has looked into how much cultural resource (1050) money is incorrectly spent on support to other programs, and how much non-1050 money is incorrectly spent on the six core cultural resource program elements. Due to Field Offices' confusion about how to use the new codes, the team report could not draw meaningful conclusions. Analysis of the use of cultural resource program funds will continue, using Management Information System (MIS) data.
Action Item: DPOs determine who is going to the next MIS meeting from each State and make sure they are familiar with the cultural resource cost management report.
"Strategic Plan." The draft report that started out being called a "strategic plan" will be renamed along the "Resources At-Risk" theme. The report, which profiles the condition of significant, threatened cultural and paleontological resources in each State, is in final editing and should be available in July.
Action Items: Board members should consider how best to use this information in each State, including Web presentation. December meeting time should be devoted to discussion on what to do as follow-up, and whether a full strategic plan should be developed.
National Fire Plan (NFP). Twenty-three new archaeologist positions were anticipated for the NFP. To date, only about 15 positions have been or are being filled, and about half of those will be temporary employees. Proper consideration of cultural resources in the fire planning process and in implementation of fire projects is a serious concern. A network is needed among the employees hired to work in the fire organization.
Action Items: DPOs send Alan Stanfill the names of employees hired to work on the NFP. He will bring the employees together at the earliest opportunity for orientation. Washington Office will send the fire effects information that Kirk Halford compiled to the field in an Information Bulletin. Washington Office will prepare an Instruction Memorandum (IM) to Field Offices to guide strategy for fire management plans and how they address cultural resources. The IM should list particular kinds of information needed in fire plans. Possibly this IM and guidance could be integrated with the Vegetative Treatment EIS that is in progress.
BLM Energy Initiative. The cultural resource staff will be impacted by this initiative. Addressing Section 106 compliance issues earlier in the leasing process, especially in the pre-lease phase, is vital. Companies' wishes to segment right-of-way actions for Sec.106 review is a recurring problem. Gary Smith updated the Board on the Weatherman Draw ("Valley of the Chiefs") appeal in Montana. Working with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Section 106 issues for hydropower and pipeline projects is problemmatic.
Action Items: Washington Office meet with the NCSHPO staff to talk about energy concerns. Invite Del Fortner (Fluid Minerals Division Chief) to participate in the December Preservation Board meeting. Reissue guidance about when a project is connected for NEPA, it should be the same for compliance with Section 106. DPOs send examples of these projects to Marilyn and she will talk to planning and lands staffs.
Committee Established: An ad hoc committee was established to address the FERC issues. Members include: Richard Hanes, Pat Barker, Garth Portillo, Russ Kaldenberg, Stan McDonald, Greg Thomsen, and Bob King. Russ Kaldenberg will set up a conference call with Mel Berg (BLM lead for FERC issues) and the committee.
Workforce Planning. Discussed the need to address workforce planning in each State by identifying scarce skills (e.g., historians, historical archaeologists, cultural anthropologists), positions that will soon be vacant due to employees retiring, and vacancies that have not been filled. Identified the need to look at contracting out more Section 106 compliance work so BLM employees can spend more time doing proactive work in the cultural resources program.
Action Item: Each DPO work with the State management team, as States approach this issue, to establish State-specific cultural resource workforce planning goals.
National Trust MOA. The BLM has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The first task directive is for a brochure to help field managers explain the goals of historic preservation requirements. Kate Winthrop has the lead on this project.
Collections Management. Issues are (1) the continuing presence of collections in a minority of Field Offices, and how to ensure that they are properly processed and curated at the earliest possible date in the absence of funding; and (2) the problem of dwindling space in approved curatorial facilities.
Action Items: Washington Office issue an Instruction Memorandum reemphasizing the DOI requirement for collections to be curated in approved facilities. Produce a Manual Section for collections. DPOs analyze the collection management problems in individual States and determine future funding needs for curating collections presently held in Field Offices.
Heritage Web Site. The external national heritage web site is online. The web site address is <http://www.blm.gov/heritage/>. The intranet site it was developed from is dormant pending redesign.
Action Items: Send comments and ideas, more visual images and text, and Field Office links to Dan Martin and John Douglas. Dan Martin will begin reconfiguring the intranet site.
Land Use Planning.
Action Items: Each DPO review the State's prep-plans to make sure cultural resource issues will receive appropriate consideration in the planning process, and ensure that Field Office cultural staff and the SHPO are involved from the plan evaluation stage.
Heritage Education Strategic Plan. Handouts included Heritage Education Strategic Plan, Project Archaeology brochure, and a list of coordinators for comments or changes. Intrigue of the Past will be revised and copyrighted under new partnership with Watercourse, Bozeman MT. Watercourse will also do a booklet on the National Monuments, starting with Canyons of the Ancients.
Training Plan. The Board committee for Training drafted a four-track plan: (1) introductory courses for new hires; (2) courses to enhance proactive management strategies and skills; (3) courses regarding professional expertise and technical field skills; and (4) courses on regional research or management issues.
Action Items: Washington Office send the draft plan out for field office review.
Use of Technical Assistants. Discussion identified the pros and cons of using technical assistants (para-professionals) in cultural resource work, comparing how they have been used in several States. About half the States do not use them and are not interested; about one-fourth have used them but are allowing the practice to fade away; and the remainder currently use technical assistants and are satisfied to continue. The national PA and State protocols closely limit the ways that less-than-professionally-qualified personnel may be employed (see Manual Section 8110.6 and I.M. No. 99-140).
Data Sharing Project. Update on data sharing with SHPOs and the future direction of that initiative. A team of Field Office representatives was identified to help determine what is and is not working at the field level. The need to develop input and output standards for transferring electronic data (tables, shape files, etc.) among SHPOs and contractors and the BLM was discussed.
Action Item: Board review handouts on data sharing and discuss at the December meeting.
2002 Society for American Archaeology (SAA). Dan Haas and Tim Nowak will organize a BLM workshop to be held in conjunction with the 2002 SAA Annual Meeting. Pat Barker will organize a BLM symposium with help from Sarah Schlanger, Bryan Hockett, and Stan McDonald.
Presentations and Tours
Colorado's Service First program presentation by Cal Joiner
Tour of the Anasazi Heritage Center
Tour of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Tour of Alpine Loop Scenic Byway and Historic Sites
September 11, 2001. Conference Call at 1 p.m. eastern time. Purpose is for a status check, agenda items for December Board meeting, and any time-sensitive issues.
December 4-5, 2001. Alexandria, Virginia
Agenda Items for December's meeting identified at the June meeting:
Cultural Heritage At-Risk Resources report
June 2002. Boise, Idaho