U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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BLM Preservation Board Report

June 5-7, 2007

 
 

In attendance: Preservation Officer Robin Burgess (WO) Deputy Preservation Officers (DPO) Bob King (AK), Kathy Pedrick (AZ), Ken Wilson (CA), Troy Ferone (ES), Stan McDonald (ID), Gary Smith (MT, Stephen Fosberg (NM), Richard Hanes (OR), Richard Hanes (OR); Assistant District Manager Susan Will (AK), Field Office Managers Aaron Horton (OR), Dayne Barron (CA), and Field Office Specialists Lynn Harrell (WYO) and Signa Larralde (NM).  

 

Also Attending: Acting DPO Diana Hawks (UT), Acting DPO Ranel Capron (WYO), Richard Brook (WO), Kirk Halford (CA), Reid Nelson, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), David Mather, Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) Archaeologist, Rebecca Lasell (BLM-ACHP Liaison), and Lee Johnson and Walt Okstad of the Superior National Forest Heritage Resources Program.  Alice Baldrica, Nevada Deputy SHPO, Carolyn McClellan, WO-240 Division Chief, and Emily Palus, BLM National Curator attended by phone. 
 

Location: Duluth, MN

 

Welcome

Robin Burgess, Preservation Board Chair and BLM Preservation Officer welcomed the new Board members and guests, and expressed her gratitude to Kate Winthrop for serving as Acting Preservation Officer for CY2006.  Robin then introduced Rebecca Lasell, who has been detailed to WO-240 for 6 months to serve as a liaison to the ACHP.  Bekki, an archaeologist with private sector and BLM field and Washington Office experience, works for the BLM Budget Group.  Robin introduced Reid Nelson, ACHP Assistant Director, Office of Federal Agency Programs.  

 

Eastern States Regional Overview
Troy Ferone, Eastern States Deputy Preservation Officer, welcomed the Board to Eastern States and Duluth and introduced his guests from the Superior National Forest Heritage Resources Program, Lee Johnson and Walt Okstad. Lee Johnson and Walt Okstad gave a presentation on their program, including an overview of regional prehistory/history, cultural resource types, management challenges and initiatives.  
  
Preserve America Update

Robin Burgess, Richard Brook and Richard Hanes gave a brief overview of the ongoing Preserve America initiatives.  Robin briefed the Board on the Department’s commitment to the program, the results of the Senior Policy Official meeting in February, the activities of the Preserve America Steering Committee, and opportunities for BLM to support this initiative.  Richard Brook briefed on the BLM’s recent Preserve America activities.  The BLM recently completed a response to the Director’s request for information on opportunities to make use of National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 111 authority to retain revenues from leasing of historic properties; and to participate in recognition of new Preserve America communities.  Richard reminded states that the next triennial E.O.13287 Section 3 report is due to the ACHP and the Secretary of the Interior on September 30, 2008, and that states should gear up to respond to a data call in early FY 2008.  Richard Hanes discussed the activities of the ACHP Work Group that is drafting revised guidelines for use by agencies in preparing the 2008 report.   

 

Annual Reporting

Richard Brook summarized FY06 final program statistics.  The BLM completed close to 16,000 NHPA section 106 actions and recognized 623 active cultural resource permits.   The Instruction Memo (IM) requesting reporting of FY 2007 CRM annual report statistics will be released shortly to meet the continuing need for timely and accelerated reporting of numbers.  Richard discussed pending changes to the reporting process, how these may impact our CRM annual report and the relationship of the BLM annual and state protocol reports under the BLM nPA.  Pending changes include revisions to the National Park Service Secretary’s Report to Congress questionnaire and the need for agencies to develop Asset Management Plans per Executive Order 13327, incorporating data on heritage assets.  Richard explained why WO-240 has started to compile numbers on standing structures and the work of the DOI Heritage Assets Partnership.  

 

Collections Initiative

Carolyn McClellan and Emily Palus joined the Board by conference phone to discuss recent developments in curation policy and regulatory compliance and answered questions on the draft Instruction Memorandum (IM) recently distributed for informal comment.  The proposed IM would establish and reiterate BLM policy to preserve, protect, and document museum collections for public benefit, make collections available for scientific research, public education and BLM resource management activities; and adequately track, inventory and control collections to ensure access and accountability.  The Board requested more time to review the proposed IM, which implements the recommendations issued in the Office of Inspector General Audit 99-1-808.  Emily also briefed the Board that a second IM requesting data for four reports will be out soon.  

 

Tribal Consultation Initiatives
Carolyn McClellan briefed the Board on recent tribal consultation policy efforts, including BLM Tribal Coordinator, Jerry Cordova’s, participation in a series of interagency meetings hosted by the White House and consultation with tribes on the Western Energy Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.  In addition a training session for BLM regional tribal coordinators will be held July 10-12 in Salt Lake City.  Emily Palus updated the Board on Native America Grave Protection and Repatriation Act implementation.  Emily reaffirmed the BLM WO intention of preparing implementation guidance on the BLM’s new reburial policy. 

Action: Dayne Barron, Tom Burke, Dan Haas and Bob King will work with Emily and the Solicitor, WO Planning and Lands Groups, the BLM Tribal Coordinator and the WO-240 Division Chief to prepare implementation guidance on the new BLM reburial policy. 

 

BLM National Programmatic Agreement Implementation – SHPO Activities
Richard Hanes and Alice Baldrica (by conference phone) briefed the Board on the activities of the BLM-SHPO task force composed of Richard, Tom Burke, Glen Carpenter, Stephen Fosberg and Ken Wilson.  The task force recommended actions that respond to the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) BLM task force list of issues.  The matrix of issues and responses has been circulated to the NCSHPO task force and the response to date has been positive.  The ACHP also provided comments.  Richard asked for any further comments from Board members by 30 June.  Key proposed actions include:    
  • Increase awareness of tribal consultation and public involvement activities by incorporating into existing reports; consider expanding Project Tracker;
  • Consult with tribes and the public on a programmatic basis regarding resource types that will require evaluation for routine authorizations; 
  • Improve consistency and efficiency of eligibility determinations by collaborating on development of historic contexts;
  • More fully report on and include SHPOs as partners in Section 110 work;  
  • Routinely include host State SHPOs in Preservation Board meetings;
  • Collaborate with BLM State SHPOs on a uniform format for protocol reports under the BLM nPA; build this on increased real time reporting capabilities;   
  • Systematically involve SHPOs in BLM State protocol training; 
  • Develop strategies to help SHPOs prioritize their involvement in land use planning;
  • Systematically include SHPOs in BLM field office reviews;   
  • Continue to support the CRDSP

Action: Richard Hanes invited additional comments on the proposed fixes for the NCSHPO task force issues matrix.  He will prepare a final for the Board’s review and then work with Alice on a detailed plan for implementation.  (DD: 30 Jun 07). 

 

BLM National Programmatic Agreement Implementation – ACHP Activities

Reid Nelson expressed the ACHP appreciation for the establishment of the new liaison position and presented an ACHP perspective on implementation of the BLM nPA over the past year.  Reid noted that the ACHP provides technical assistance to BLM State and Field Offices on a regular basis.  He then reviewed the recent cases in which the ACHP has a formal role for the benefit of the Board, including Programmatic Environmental Impact Statements (PDEIS) required by the 2005 Energy Policy Act (EPA).  Reid also discussed the division of roles and responsibilities of ACHP staff for 106 review, the role of ACHP liaisons with other agencies, and the new BLM liaison’s 106 role.  Reid identified an ACHP interest in successes of the Energy Policy Act Sec. 365 Pilot Field Office project and better understanding of the Preservation Board operations.  He also expressed ACHP interest in developing a plan for communication to identify and address issues not addressed by the NCSHPO-BLM task force. 

 

New ACHP Guidance – Alternative Procedures and Archaeology
Reid Nelson briefed the Board on new ACHP guidance for archaeology and for alternative procedures.  The new archaeology guidance to assist federal agencies in meeting their responsibilities under Section 106 of the NHPA will be posted at www.achp.gov/archguide in the near future.  This guidance is designed to assist federal agencies and stakeholders in making effective management decisions about archaeological resources within the NHPA Section 106 review process. It is presented in a Question and Answer format and the ACHP encourages users to submit comments and questions to keep it timely and relevant. 

The ACHP has also recently completed more detailed information on alternative procedures issued under 36 CFR 800.14.  This includes a short description of each of the five program alternatives, with links to related ACHP guidance and examples of ACHP approved alternatives.  This guidance may be found on the ACHP website at: www.achp.gov/progalt/.  Additional guidance on standard treatments is under development and will be available in the near future. The ACHP is developing an electronic system to notify tribes when such procedures are proposed.   

 

Interested Party Consultation
Diana Hawks briefed the board on background to the ACHP request to the BLM Preservation Board for clarification on the BLM policy in responding to requests from organizations and members of the public for, “consulting party status,” a term that derives from the current 36 CFR Part 800 regulations.  While ultimately this is an agency decision, made by BLM Field Managers, the Board established a work group to examine existing BLM manual guidance and consider the need for further emphasis, clarification, and/or revision.   

Action: A work group composed of Stephen Fosberg, Dan Haas, Richard Hanes, Lynn Harrell, and Gary Smith will examine current guidance on identifying consulting parties to see if it should be revised and/or clarified and emphasized in an IM. 

 

Budget Update

Richard Brook provided a recap of how the BLM's cultural resource management (CRM) program appropriation played out for FY 2007, including how much funding the CRM program received for its Cultural Resource Enhancement Initiative (CREI).   BLM received an additional $1.5M rather than the $3.0M the President proposed in his FY 2007 Budget Justification.  Richard explained how the year-long Continuing Resolution that the Democratically-controlled Congress imposed affected how much the CRM program was allocated in FY 2007, and how the BLM was able to provide the $1.5M that it did for CREI.  Pending Congressional action in FY 2008, this $1.5M increase represents only a one-time increase, which has been taken away from states in the 2008 PTA.  The money that states received in 2006 for the Antiquities Centennial (+$1.0M) from 1220 was lost to the CRM program in 2007, but will be partially restored in FY 2008 through a formal reprogramming of $400K.

 

Richard then gave an update on House Action for FY 2008 vis a vis the 1050 mark, and some history of how WO-240 WMs and operations dollars are covered and how action to restore funding to subactivities 1010/1020 in FY 2008 will affect state allocations next FY.  He noted that the President's NPS Budget Justifications in FY 2008 include funds for which the BLM could compete.  Finally, he described WO-240 efforts to increase the pool of funding available for the Cultural Resources Data Sharing Project (CRDSP) from right-of-way reimbursable funds (5101/5102) and from Energy Policy Act 9141 funds; and to have a budget theme included in FY 2009 that would allow the CRM program to actively compete for funds, and our lack of success.

 

Finally Richard mentioned policy to go in to effect in FY08 requiring the use of grants.gov, including for all Challenge Cost Share projects.  

Action:  A work group composed of Troy Ferone, Stan McDonald, Kathy Pedrick and Ranel Capron volunteered to work with Richard Brook on a presentation explaining the use of Grants.gov for Challenge Cost Share projects for the Dec 07 Board meeting. 

 

SHPO Perspective (David Mather)
The Minnesota SHPO National Register Archaeologist David Mather gave the Board a regional overview from the perspective of the Minnesota SHPO.  David discussed the organization and management challenges and initiatives of his office.  There are 7,000 properties in Minnesota listed on the National Register of Historic Places and his office processed a total of 5,000 reviews in 2005, the most recent year for which this information is available.  David noted that in addition to the SHPO, there are four Tribal Historic Preservation Officers in Minnesota.    

Brief Updates
  • Oil Shale/Tar Sands (Dan Haas):  The PEIS for the oil shale tar sands leasing program affects Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.  The paleontological and ethnohistoric overviews were completed and the cultural resource overview is in progress.  The draft section for Wyoming was completed and the contractor is finalizing the draft sections for Utah and Colorado.  Tribal consultation was initiated in 2005 and is continuing.  Affected Tribes have been sent the ethnohistory overview and will be commenting on the draft cultural resources overview after internal review.  The draft PEIS has been reviewed internally and is scheduled for public review in 2007.  
  • EPA Pilot Field Office Project (Ranel Capron):  In Wyoming, the Buffalo and Rawlins Field Offices were designated as Pilot Field Offices under EPA Section 365.  The state received Pilot Office project funding for four additional BLM cultural resource specialists, two in each Field Office. 
  • Leasing and Consultation IM (Robin Burgess):  IM 2005-003 was extended.  It was to expire September 31, 2006 and will now expire September 31, 2007.  A draft replacement IM on Leasing and Consultation is under revision.  The Board emphasized the importance of getting new guidance in place. 
  • Block Inventory/Pump III Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) (Stephen Fosberg):  BLM New Mexico is working on a MOA with the New Mexico SHPO based on the results of the Pump III project and the ongoing “block” survey project.  The MOA will build on the results of those studies to change the emphasis of future archeological work from survey to excavation, and increase the efficiency of the 106 process for oil and gas development.   
Brief Updates
  • NEPA Handbook (Signa Larralde):  The NEPA Handbook is ready for publication, pending completion of Departmental guidance on proposed categorical exclusions. 
  • Rights of Way (Dan Haas):  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) streamlined environmental review process does not always integrate seamlessly with the processes of other agencies.  The Forest Service is in the process of developing a PA with FERC to improve integration and communication; the ACHP will share this with BLM. 
  • Split Estate Brochure (Gary Smith):  BLM is working on an informational brochure for use in explaining BLM’s NHPA 106 responsibilities on these “split estate” lands, where BLM manages subsurface mineral rights beneath private or state-owed surface. Please send any additional comments.  The target publication date is next month. 
Protocol Revisions in Wyoming and California

Ranel Capron briefed the board on the new Wyoming state protocol.   Wyoming sent the revision out for tribal and public comment and did not receive significant comments.  The new protocol has significantly reduced the SHPO workload.   Ken Wilson then briefed the Board on the status of revisions of the California protocol.  In October 2004, the California protocol was revoked and a revised protocol was implemented on a provisional basis for two years and then extended to 2007.  California BLM is working with the California SHPO to agree on a new protocol. 

 

Cultural Resources Data Sharing Partnership
Kirk Halford, national coordinator of the Cultural Resources Data Sharing Partnership (CRDSP) (formerly Data Users Group), gave the Board a comprehensive overview of CRDSP initiatives, including the meeting that was held in conjunction with the Forest Service/BLM Geospatial conference in Portland in May.  Initiatives include a survey of SHPOs on CRDSP activities, issuance of the national standards for metadata and content for GIS datasets transmitted to BLM and exchanged with other agencies, development of special permit conditions to ensure that consultant products meet BLM standards for electronic data accuracy and transmittal, better field capability and funding for the State representatives to the CRDSP.  Kirk asked that each State set aside $10K annually to support the work of its Data Representative. The DPOs agreed to review the availability of funds that could be designated to support this important effort.   
Action:  Ken Wilson agreed to assist Kirk Halford and the CRDSP in drafting special permit conditions on data standards, for use with the standard permit form. 


Brief Updates
  • Training (Bob King):  The BLM National Training Center (NTC) and Training Committee provided its second offering of the 8100-01 Fundamentals for Managing the Cultural Heritage Program course, May 21-24 in Phoenix, AZ.  Pat Walsh, NTC Education Specialist and Training Coordinator, coordinated the class.  Instructors were BLM employees Bob King, Richard Brook, Stan McDonald, Troy Ferone, Connie Stone, Bob King and Tom Burke, and recent retiree Gary Stumpf.  Tom Burke was a last minute replacement for Tim Nowak, who was on sick leave.  Thirty-eight students enrolled, including 30 archaeologists, four managers and one Native American coordinator, and the initial assessment of attendee feedback indicates it was positive.
The 8100-08 course, on managing historic period resources, remains unscheduled.  It was scheduled for delivery last fall, but cancelled due to sufficient enrollment, illness of instructor Tim Nowak, and the relocation of Linda Clark, who volunteered to host the course in Salmon, Idaho.  The course is tentatively rescheduled for FY2008.  The next Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) course is being hosted by Gary Smith in Montana later this month.  No additional offerings of the two BLM ARPA courses are scheduled at this time.  These classes, contracted through Martin McAllister, have been taught several times over the past few years so demand has decreased.
  • Passport in Time (Richard Brook):  The BLM has an informal arrangement with the Forest Service for use of their Passport in Time (PIT) program, managed by the nonprofit SRI Foundation.  BLM can use PIT to recruit volunteers.  WO-240 is hoping to fund about $15K in FY 2008 to pay the administrative fee for 10 field projects.  SRI Foundation will recognize our partnership by including BLM's logo on the PIT webpage.
  • Project Archaeology (Diana Hawks):  The Intrigue of the Past team is working with the Utah Museum of Natural History on a web-based Project Archaeology workshop for educators.  If the web access is successful in Utah next year, Project Archaeology hopes to expand web access to all participating states the following year.  There is a field component to the new Utah curriculum and this will be at Range Creek the first year.         
  • Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) Annual Meeting (Stephen Fosberg):  The SHA annual meeting will be January 9-12, 2008 in Albuquerque and the BLM state office is sponsoring a symposium on the Navajo Refuge Site and hosting a field trip to the Camino Real Heritage Center and Fort Craig.  Stephen encouraged other BLM archaeologists to send in proposals for posters/papers by the 15 June 07 deadline; 
  • Portal Project (Robin Burgess):  Robin asked for any questions on the Historic Preservation Portal web site briefed at the December Board meeting.  The Board had received follow-up information, had tried the site and did not have any further questions. 
Preservation Board Operating Rules and Orientation
Susan Will briefed the Board on the recommendations the Preservation Board Operating Rules and Orientation work group composed of Susan, Stephen Fosberg, Ranel Capron, Lynn Harrell, and Bob King.  The group proposed a model for an improved orientation package and recommended this be sent to each new Board member.  The group also made suggestions regarding possible changes to the Preservation Board Charter and operating rules. 
 

Action:  The Board was favorable to adopting the recommendations of the work group on more comprehensive orientation materials for all new members.  Susan will resend the work group recommendations to provide additional time for review and comment.  

 

Priority Actions for June-December 2007
The Board discussed competing priorities and at the suggestion of Richard Brook of the Washington Office agreed to recommend that WO-240 develop a 10 year strategic plan.  

Future Meetings

 

The December 2007 will be in Washington, DC and the June 2008 meeting in Reno, Nevada.  Robin invited feedback to assist in planning future meetings.  The Board will have conference calls as necessary prior to the next meeting in December.  

 

Field Trip to Lake Vermillion/Bois Forte Heritage Center
The Board, accompanied by the Minnesota SHPO archaeologist traveled to the Bois Forte Heritage Center, where we met with Rosemary Berens of the Heritage Center, members of the Fort Bois Band, and Bill Latady for a presentation on the Lake Vermillion partnership between BLM Eastern States, the Bois Forte Band and the Minnesota SHPO.  Ms. Berens, who is also the Bois Fort Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, then gave the Board a tour of the Heritage Center.   

 
Last updated: 10-21-2009