BLM Preservation Board Report
June 8-11, 2010
 
In attendance: Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Preservation Officer Robin Burgess (WO), Deputy Preservation Officers (DPO) Michael Johnson (AZ), Robert King (AK), Charlotte Hunter (CA), Dan Haas (CO), Kirk Halford (ID), Gary Smith (MT), Tom Burke (NV), Signa Larralde (NM), Stan McDonald (OR), Byron Loosle (UT), and Ranel Capron (WY), District Manager Becky Heick (AZ), Field Office Managers Thomas Heinlein (UT), Mark Storzer (ES), and Tim Smith (CA), and Field Office (FO) Specialist Zane Fulbright (MT). The Eastern States DPO position and one specialist position are vacant. 
 
Attending in person from outside the BLM was Jan Biella, NM State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO).   Additional BLM attendees were: Richard Hanes and Emily Palus, WO-240; Veronica Maldonado, NM State Office, Neffra Matthews and Tom Noble, BLM National Operations Center, Megg Heath, National Landscape Conservation System, and Diana Hawks, Arizona Strip Field Office, UT.   Linda Resseguie, Minerals and Realty Management, and Britta Nelson, National Landscape Conservation Area, participated by teleconference.
Location: Hotel Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM
 
 
Welcome
 
Signa Larralde welcomed the Board to Santa Fe and then gave a PowerPoint overview of the BLM New Mexico office jurisdiction, cultural resources, management strategies, and challenges. BLM New Mexico’s multitude of significant historic and prehistoric resources include two National Historic Trails, Camino Real de Tierra Adentro and the Old Spanish Trail; four conservation areas; the Fort Craig National Historic Site, and special Congressional designations in Galisteo Basin and Chaco Canyon. 
 
BLM New Mexico has adopted some innovative management strategies such as the Permian Basin Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) among the BLM, the New Mexico SHPO and the New Mexico Archaeological Society. The MOA, which applies in parts of the BLM Carlsbad New Mexico FO, directs compliance resources into research projects, based on an established regional research strategy and the recommendations of an oversight committee. A relatively high percentage of survey coverage, well developed Geographic Information System (GIS), documented history of duplicative small scale Section 106-driven archaeological survey, heavy demand for oil and gas development, and long term vulnerability of sites that are flagged and avoided, were special circumstances that led to the development of the Permian Basin MOA approach for addressing National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 responsibilities for development application in geographic area.  
 
New Mexico State Historic Preservation Office
 
Jan Biella, the Acting New Mexico State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) gave the Board an overview the NM SHPO office. The office receives about 60% of its funding from the Historic Preservation Fund administered by the National Park Service and the remainder from state appropriations. The State budget cuts have required furloughs and permanent elimination of staff positions.
 
The SHPO responsibilities include the National Register of Historic Places (National Register), statewide inventory and tax act programs, grants to local governments, and public education, as well as the NHPA Section 106 review. SHPO Section 106 priorities include the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and renewable energy projects. BLM projects are reviewed under the 2004 protocol which eliminates SHPO review of some projects. Historically, the SHPO and the BLM have a high percentage of agreement on resource eligibility.
 
The SHPO is in the process of improving the New Mexico Cultural Resources Information System (NMCRIS) by upgrading the aged database and eliminating backlog, adding the buildings and other property types, facilitating remote transmission of site forms, and offering a project tracking function.  
 
Finally, Ms. Biella discussed the SHPO’s preparation of a National Register nomination of large portions of Mt Taylor as a traditional cultural property. 
 
National Operations Center Introductory Photogrammetry Training
 
National Operation Center (NOC) Resources Technology Section Geographer, Neffra Matthews, and Cartographer, Tom Noble gave a demonstration and training on photogrammetry for the Board.  Photogrammetry is the science of using two dimensional images to make accurate measurements in three dimensions. The requirements are two or more overlapping images, additional images for calibration, and a scale. Point and shoot as well as single lens reflex digital cameras may be used. Specialized software is available through the NOC and a less sophisticated version is becoming more readily available. This technology may be used to record rock art and other cultural resources. It can be applied to monitoring effects of grazing and other permitted uses.  
 
Following the lecture and demonstration, the Board went to La Cieneguilla Rock Art site where Ms. Matthews and Mr. Noble led the Board in a field exercise using photogrammetry techniques. Board members took their own photographs and Ms. Matthews and Mr. Noble converted Board photos into three dimensional images over night and presented the results to the Board on the results on Wednesday.    
 
WO-240 Budget Update and BLM FY2011 Priorities
 
WO-240 Division Chief Richard Hanes gave an update for the new budget. Monies are coming to states at the end of June. Funds have not been issued for the different projects yet. The most recent figure for FY2011 is $16.7 million for landscape adjustments. This is comparable to the 2009 budget.  In 2010, $7.3 million came in from challenge cost share.
 
The Fiscal Year 2011 Planning Target Allocation has not been initiated yet, but is anticipated to be fairly flat for 1050 in comparison to recent budget years, with the exception of a $400,000 increase for conducting landscape inventories and assessments.  For comparison and a starting point, in FY2010 we made the following allocations: $874,000 for landscape assessments and inventories; $285,000 for resource management in the Wild and Scenic River corridors; $500,000 for Wilderness areas; $470,000 for Archaeological Resources Protection Act law enforcement operation in the Four Corners region; heritage education activities, including the Homestead Act celebration in 2012, Boy Scout Jamboree in August 2011, and Project Archaeology; $86,000 for curation projects; and $200,000 for implementation of the paleontological resources management section of the 2009 Omnibus Public Lands Bill. For 2011 we will need to continue funding some level of landscape assessments, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) collections management audit remedies, law enforcement actions, and the Omnibus bill implementation.
 
The Cultural Resources Data Sharing Project (CRDSP) anticipates funds from multiple program subactivities as usual. However this will likely be the last year that these funds will be available in this manner. All the monies are anticipated to be re-programmed into the 1050 account for FY2012.
 
Emily Palus, Acting Deputy Chief for WO240 then spoke on two priority issues related to budget planning: coordination with Law Enforcement and remedies for audits related collections and the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).  She gave a brief update on the Four Corners ARPA case, and that more people are turning in artifacts.  She reported that a term curator position, funded by Law Enforcement, had been established specifically to address the collections and NAGPRA concerns with that case.  She also noted that the BLM was an agency experienced with ARPA work, and that success requires coordination between programs.  She explained that to help sustain the cultural program’s support of law enforcement efforts, WO-240 had allocated specific 1050 funds for ARPA activities for the current operations in the southwest and Oregon.
 
Emily also briefed the Board on the status of audits of the cultural program and noted that weekly updates were required on all audit activities and remedies.  She reported that the OIG audit had characterized the Department of the Interior as a poor steward of museum collections.  The BLM leadership is focused on resolving audit issues; however WO-240 recognizes that the BLM is not equipped for this increase in museum collection management responsibilities. She briefly described a plan to establish regional curator term or contract positions, and said she was requesting input from the cultural leads, as well as the regional paleontologists and center curators.  She asked the Board for their views on the reasonableness of having a multi-year proposal for positions to address collections issues.  In general, the Board was receptive to this plan, and Emily agreed to host future conference calls to further discuss the details
 
Emily also reported that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit of Federal agency compliance with NAGPRA was due out shortly, and would require additional efforts by BLM to ensure full and complete compliance with the Act. She also offered that the regional curator term positions may also be able to support those efforts.
 
Historic Preservation Update
 
Robin gave an update on the process for revising the BLM national Programmatic Agreement (PA). She emphasized the achievements since the last Board meeting in December 2010, particularly IM 2010-037, Tribal Consultation Outreach Update and Next Steps, the December 29, 2010, Federal Register notice and December 23, 2010, correspondence to tribal leaders and State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs) on the draft revision strategy for the PA. Robin reported that the comments received in response to the Federal Register notice and letters are now posted on the BLM web site. She noted that a draft revised PA based on the revision strategy and comments was being prepared for the Director to send to tribal leaders and SHPOs. Under the current addendum milestones, a revised draft must be presented to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) by August 4, 2010. 
 
Robin also noted the Administrations’ leasing reform initiative, particularly IM 2010-117, Oil and Gas Leasing Reform – Land Use Planning and Lease Parcel Review, published on May 17, 2010. This has addressed a phased 106 compliance process that requires the agency to demonstrate that it has taken some steps to consider the effect of the undertaking on potentially eligible sites, as required by NHPA Section 106, in each phase, as noted by Judge Holt at the Board’s December 2009 meeting. 
 
Programmatic Agreement Revisions and Implementation of a Revised PA
 
The Board discussed the August 4, 2010, deadline for the PA revision schedule. It expressed grave concern about the length and timing of the proposed tribal comment period. Potential conflicts with summer subsistence and ceremonial activities for some tribes were noted, as well as the need for additional time to get on tribal meeting schedules and otherwise meet tribal consultation responsibilities. The Board recommended that the BLM work with the ACHP and NCSHPO to change the milestones to facilitate opportunities for meaningful input from tribes.   
 
The Board then discussed alternative approaches for addressing the specific goals of the PA revision described in the December 29, 2009, Federal Register Notice of Intent. It recommended that when the draft revised PA is released for comment, the Washington Office brief the Executive Leadership Team, update the communications plan, and schedule a conference call for the Board. 
 
 
Action Item: WO-240 will recommend to WO-200 that the proposed comment period be extended a minimum of six months. Prior to transmittal of the draft revised PA to tribes and SHPOs, Robin will provide information on state office responsibilities for the ELT, update the WO communications plan for the PA revision, and schedule a Preservation Board conference call. 
 
The Board also initiated development of a strategy for implementing the PA and identified the following tasks:
  • Issue an IM identifying key policy and procedural changes and guidelines for meeting new commitments on BLM-SHPO protocols and tribal outreach.
  • Initiate BLM-SHPO protocol review and revision.
  • Train BLM managers and staff and SHPOs as soon as protocols are reviewed and revised. States will organize training and invite the WO as needed.
  • Establish a core team to bring together plans for training, guidance associated with the rollout of the revised PA, including changes in the 8100 manual and handbook series. The states will use the Board SharePoint site to post materials for sharing.
  • Initiate 8100 Manual revisions.
 
Museum Collections Issues and 106 Activities
 
Emily Palus moderated a round table discussion on future curation needs and highlighted examples of curation projects being included as creative mitigation in Section 106 MOAs. Tom Burke identified a need for clarification of policy on authorization to collect under FLPMA and ARPA permits issued for survey activities. Emily also introduced several subjects for further study on using and tracking new collections, and asked for volunteers to assist with work groups to explore this subject further:
 
Action Item: Robin and Emilywill schedule a conference call on the formation of 1-2 work groups on curation and collecting issues. Tom Burke, Bob King, Michael Johnson, and Byron Loosle volunteered to be part of that group or groups. 
 
CRDSP Update
 
Kirk Halford gave an update on the CRDSP, now in its 12th year. He noted that the CRDSP budget continues to increase and that CRDSP received $435K in 1050 in FY10. Data representatives are responsible for meeting with the SHPO at least once a year and travel dollars are reserved for SHPOs. The CRDSP is assembling best practices for Geographic Positioning Systems and for the use of GIS. The ability to move data between SHPOs and the BLM remains an issue. Areas for improvement include communication among data representatives, their field counterparts, and SHPOs; and better defined statements of work with SHPOs for future BLM dollars. 
 
Solar PEIS Section 106
 
Linda Resseguie joined the Board by conference phone to discuss the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). She presented the alternatives being analyzed, the schedule for preparation of the PEIS, and the structure of the document. Linda discussed the tribal consultation and Section 106 progress to date and asked for state updates and perspectives. The Board then discussed the possibility of completing selected ethnographic studies and recommended that states gage feasibility of studies with affected tribes before the BLM obligated money. 
 
Action Item: Deputy Preservation officers in solar states will contact tribes to gage their support for accomplishing ethnographic studies connected with the solar PEIS. Concurrently, the BLM tribal liaisons group will complete the statement of work for the proposed study. 
      
Renewable Energy/Fast Track Projects
 
Richard Hanes moderated a roundtable discussion on renewable energy and implementation issues with special emphasis on the Section 106 process. Board members mentioned numerous challenges in completing Section 106 consultation requirements, including accelerated project schedules, mid-course changes in project scope that require additional tribal consultation and new cultural resource surveys, conflicts in defining Areas of Potential Effect (APE) in relation to visual impacts, definition of consulting parties, and synchronizing BLM requirements with California Energy Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission processes and requirements.
 
Tribal Consultation Roundtable
 
Richard Hanes gave the Board an update on the Department of the Interior tribal consultation policy initiative. The initiative has identified a twelve member tribal advisory group and one aspect of the initiative is likely to be streamlining of the codes and rules surrounding tribe-Federal government relationships and responsibilities. The biggest issue to date has been the accountability of agency management and staff. Richard then hosted a roundtable to solicit recommendations and Board members offered the following subjects for consideration by the Department under this initiative:
 
  • Staffing limitations related to tribal consultation, including turnover, lack of training, need for clarification on the tribal liaison role in government-to-government consultation, and overall manpower.
  • Variation between tribal consultation policies of different Federal agencies, including among the ACHP, SHPOs, and the BLM for tribal consultation requirements under Section 106.
  • Variation between tribal consultation practices and lack of coordination among BLM programs that carry out tribal consultation.
  • Clarification on the uses and limits of the 638 process outside of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Enhanced use of existing tools for tribal engagement in the BLM activities, including land use planning and the BLM’s Resource Advisory Committees. 
  • Differences among tribes and regions and in particular the distinctive features of the Alaska villages and corporations.
  • Need for sensitivity training for Federal agency staff and training of tribes in governmental bureaucratic processes.
  • Clarification of the application of the National Register criteria of eligibility to landscapes, including traditional cultural properties of value to tribes.
 
Richard asked the Board to send him copies of all state-specific consultation policies and non-sensitive consultation protocols.
 
Action Item: Board members will send state-specific tribal consultation guidance and non-sensitive tribe-specific consultation protocols to the WO-240 Division Chief and also post them on the Board SharePoint site. 
 
NLCS National Scenic and Historic Trails Manual Series
 
Britta Nelson briefed the Board on the National Scenic and Historic Trails (NSHT) manual series development effort and asked for a volunteer to act as a liaison between the Board and the manual series team. Byron Loosle volunteered to be the liaison. The efforts of the manual series team will result in the first unified policy for the Bureau's NSHT program. The NSHT Manual Series will address the inventory, planning and management for NSHTs. 
 
Draft Grazing Policy Implementation
 
Byron Loosle updated the Board on implementation of the Utah grazing and Section 106 policy. The Board discussed the need for national policy similar to that issued May 17, 2010 for Section 7 (Instruction Memorandum 2010-127).  The Board noted significant BLM state and SHPO variability and recommended that a decision be deferred until December 2010 meeting. 
 
In the mean time, the Board recommended that the Board proceed with the development of best management practices. 
 
Action Item: 06-10-4, Grazing permit renewals and NHPA 106. Ranel, Signa, Tom Heinlein, Tom Burke, and Charlotte will assemble best management practices. In addition, Bryon Loosle will post field office strategies for compliance with Utah’s new policy Instruction Memorandum on grazing permit renewals and NHPA Section 106 compliance on the Board SharePoint site. Robin will create a grazing folder for this purpose and also send the new policy on Section 7 and grazing permit renewals to the Board. The Board will reevaluate the need for national policy at their December meeting.
     
Heritage Training Program
 
Stan McDonald and Robert King gave the Board a brief summary of the background on the BLM heritage training program and noted that the National Training Center (NTC) began the program by asking each program to identify its core competencies. This information fed into priority program elements and helps provide the priorities for training classes. He also noted the NTCs on-line resources for BLM employees at www.ntc.blm.gov/krc and the aggressive goal of the NTC to move 80% of training programs to distance learning.
 
Stan also reviewed the 8101 Fundamentals for Managing Cultural Resources class that was piloted in March 2005, and offered again in March 2007 and 2010. The most recent offering received the highest student evaluations of all time and the Board strongly recommended this class continue in a classroom setting. The modules available on-line through the Knowledge Resources Center are a Department of Justice Cultural Resources Protection Law class and a Tribal Consultation for Managers class. Three additional modules in tribal consultation are in preparation, including one for Alaska by Brenda Takes Horse, BLM Alaska State Office, and one by Thomas Bird Bear, Department of Interior Office of the Special Trustee. The NTC plans to drop the modules on ARPA damage assessments and ARPA for Law Enforcement Officials. Michael Johnson reported that the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center will soon offer both a revised and an advanced class in ARPA enforcement.  He recently previewed the new classes. Stan also mentioned the NAGPRA Workshop that Emily had developed, and Emily reminded the group that the Committee had developed a list of cultural training opportunities offered by other organizations, including museum and NAGPRA courses.    
 
Action Item: The Board will send any feedback on the 8100 class outline to the Heritage Training work group. The WO-240 Division Chief will communicate the Board’s strong recommendation that the NTC continue to teach the 8100 in a classroom setting and not convert it to a distance learning format.  
 
National Landscape Conservation System Heritage Education and Homesteading Celebration
 
Megg Heath gave a presentation for the Board on the role and initiatives of the Heritage Education team. She noted recent publications and products, including the new format for the History Mystery series and recent publication on Lighthouses, as well as the continued expansion of the Project Archaeology shelters series.  Megg stressed the all-BLM mission of the Heritage Education and its interest in working with state program leads. 
 
Robert King gave the Board an update on the Homestead Act celebration and preparations for the 2010 Boy Scout Jamboree. He noted that 2010 is the one hundredth anniversary of the Boy Scouts and the fiftieth anniversary of his Boy Scout initiation. The Jamboree will feature four cultural components and offer the opportunity to earn a merit badge.    
 
Future Meetings
 
The June 2011 Board meeting will be hosted by Michael Johnson in Arizona and details will be forthcoming. The December 2011 meeting will be in Washington, DC. Rooms will be in the Monticello Hotel and the conference facility will be in the Hotel Latham. The Board requested off-quarter conference calls and Robin agreed to schedule these, in addition to as-needed conference calls.