Preservation Board Meeting Notes

Bureau of Land Management

Dec. 5-7, 2006

Alexandria, Virginia


Tuesday December 5, 2006
In Attendance: Acting Preservation Officer Kate Winthrop (WO), Deputy Preservation Officers (DPO), Bob King (AK), Gary Stumpf (AZ), Ken Wilson (CA), Dan Haas (CO),  Troy Ferone (ES), Stan McDonald (ID), Gary Smith (MT), Stephen Fosberg (NM), Tom Burke (NV), Richard Hanes (OR), and Tim Nowak (WY); Field Office Managers: Aaron Horton, Milwaukee FO, ES; Susan Will, Assoc. DM, Fairbanks, AK; Glenn Carpenter, FM, Salt Lake, UT; Dayne Barron, FM, Susanville, CA: Field Office Specialists Glade Hadden, Uncompaghre FO, CO; and Lynn Harrell, Kemmerer FO, WY.
Also Attending: Jeanne Moe, WO, MT; Richard Brook, WO; Emily Palus, WO; Carolyn McClellan, WO; Carol Ellick, SRI Foundation; Kirk Halford, WO, CA.
Recorder: Ranel Capron (WY)
Passports in Time (Carol Ellick): Carol Ellick, from SRI Foundation, gave a presentation on the Passport in Time (PIT) program. The PIT program was founded by the USFS and uses volunteers to accomplish historic preservation projects. PIT is now administered through a partnership with the non-profit SRI Foundation and is officially expanding so that BLM and the Park Service can participate. SRI provides administrative services for the agencies including maintenance of a volunteer database; screening volunteers for skills, abilities, and interests; matching volunteers to agency projects; advertising; and other services. The fee is $1500 per project. The Preservation Board expressed considerable interest in participating in the PIT program.
Action Item: Richard Brook will take the lead on a task group to look into this opportunity. The group also includes: Glade Hadden, Stan McDonald, Jeanne Moe, Troy Ferone, and Ken Wilson.
Budget (Richard Brook): Richard Brook provided an update on the budget and related matters for the group.
Museum Collections (Emily Palus): Emily Palus, the new WO lead for curation and museum collections, introduced herself and solicited comments from the Board on curation issues. These issues included concerns about funding, dispersed collections, public access and use, non-federal repositories, maintaining documents, tracking and monitoring information for widely scattered collections, space issues, and the backlog of old collection data. The Board also expressed concern about the need for clarity and common sense in the accounting procedures and the need to coordinate with other workload priorities. Emily addressed the need for accurate, supportable information and the Board agreed to work with Emily to insure that the records she needs from the states are complete.
California’s Traditional Gathering Policy (Ken Wilson): Ken handed out copies of California’s new policy on traditional gathering practices. The policy was crafted by the BLM and USFS in California, after consultation with almost 200 federally and non-federally recognized tribes.
National Programmatic Agreement: The Board held a discussion regarding the review of the nPA. The Board’s task group for this review provided an update on the topic, based on a meeting held in September with staff from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and a representative of the NCSHPO.
Board Maintenance: New Board Member Orientation (Susan Will): Susan reviewed the need to provide better orientation procedures to new members to the Board. The Board discussed various ways to improve the process. Suggestions included providing new members with basic references (e.g. the national Programmatic Agreement, the Board charter and operating rules, past Board meeting notes, website locations, and other pertinent reference materials); orientation interviews with past Board members (managers and specialists); and orientation by DPOs to new members from their states.
The Board also discussed the need to review and possibly revise the Board’s operating charter and rules. Susan handed out copies annotated with revision suggestions for discussion.
Action Item: Susan will work with Lynn Harrell and Steve Fosberg to review these issues, assemble possible orientation materials, and report back to the Board for recommended actions.
Project Archaeology (Jeanne Moe):  Jeanne gave an update on Project Archaeology. They are reaching about 40 states and thousands of teachers by now. Project Archaeology, operating through Montana State University Foundation, has succeeded in attracting significant outside grant money. These grants are from the Kentucky Heritage Council for support of the Project Archaeology annual national workshop; KinderMorgan pipeline in Colorado for public outreach activities; and theAmerican Honda Foundation for support of science education.  Project Archaeology is currently working on curriculum development, including a piece on “Investigating Shelter”. Jeanne also provided examples of new materials including brochures and bookmarks. Jeanne would like good examples of how to incorporate Project Archaeology into section 106 efforts.
Action Item:  Jeanne will work with Ken Wilson, Dan Haas, Troy Ferone, and Glade Hadden to look at ways to incorporate Project Archaeology into section 106 efforts.
Managing for Excellence (Carolyn McClellan): Carolyn reported on the BLM’s new reorganization initiative, “Managing for Excellence”. The Board discussed some of the implications of the initiative. Carolyn recommended volunteering for strategic teams as the reorganization proceeds.
Action Item:  Carolyn will lead a task group including Aaron Horton, Gary Smith, Dan Haas, Jeanne Moe, and Kate Winthrop to assess the impact of proposed changes on the cultural program and to keep the Pres. Bd. involved.
Reburial Policy (Carolyn McClellan):  Carolyn led a discussion of the new reburial policy and answered questions regarding its implementation.
Action Item:  The WO (Carolyn McClellan) will send out a request for questions/ issues on the policy, in order to address some of the questions raised. 
Leasing IM (Kate Winthrop): Kate gave a brief update on a draft IM regarding leasing and cultural resources. Discussion of the issue included the difficulty of obtaining good information at the RMP phase and the need to consult throughout the process, at varying levels of specificity.
Energy Corridor update (Kate Winthrop): Kate provided a status update on the WEC-PEIS project. The internal draft will be out for review soon and Board members are encouraged to review and comment.
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006
In Attendance: Acting Preservation Officer Kate Winthrop (WO), Deputy Preservation Officers (DPO), Bob King (AK), Gary Stumpf (AZ), Ken Wilson (CA), Dan Haas (CO),  Troy Ferone (ES), Stan McDonald (ID), Gary Smith (MT), Stephen Fosberg (NM), Tom Burke (NV), Richard Hanes (OR), and Tim Nowak (WY); Field Office Managers: Aaron Horton, Milwaukee FO, ES; Susan Will, Assoc. DM, Fairbanks, AK; Glenn Carpenter, FM, Salt Lake, UT; Dayne Barron, FM, Susanville, CA: Field Office Specialists Glade Hadden, Uncompaghre FO, CO; and Lynn Harrell, Kemmerer FO, WY.
Also attending: Carolyn McClellan, WO; Kirk Halford, WO, CA; Reid Nelson, ACHP; Nancy Brown, ACHP; Monique Fordham, ACHP;  Nancy Schamu, NCSHPO; Alice Baldrica, SHPO, NV; Kak Slick, SHPO, NM; Richard Waldbauer, NPS.
Recorder: Ranel Capron (WY)
New Mexico Projects Update (Steve Fosberg):
Block Inventory Update: Stephen Fosberg summarized the research and management objectives for a Class III block survey of 6,385 acres in Pierce Canyon, an actively developing oil and gas field in southeast New Mexico.
Objectives of the contract are as follows.  First, do the environmental predictors of high site density developed for an earlier Department of Energy grant (PUMP III) for a test area 10 miles to the north apply in Pierce Canyon?  Second, to what degree do geomorphological conditions affect site visibility and integrity in this area?  Third, by overlaying Class III coverage on an area that had been sampled to Class II standards for prior geophysical exploration, we can determine the degree to which regular grid pattern surveys for seismic projects accurately sample the total population of sites across the landscape. 
Based on the draft report, we can now predict that seismic Class II surveys that cover about 25% of oil fields in SE NM end up encountering and recording approximately 65-70% of all the sites.  Low environment variability and large site size contributes to the success of sample surveys.  The BLM NM will utilize these findings to argue for permission to implement an excavation-based Section 106 approach in major portions of SE NM. 
The Pierce Canyon project employed a geomorphologist who demonstrated that geomorphological mapping at larger scales are extremely risky.  Based on the excavation of 17 profile trenches in the region, the geomorphologist concluded that prior geoarcheological mapping based on large scale surficial geology maps require field checking at the 1:24,000 scale to be reliable.  Optical Stimulated Luminescence dates were obtained from the recent sand sheets which will allow us to date the Holocene sands which incorporate most of the archeology in this region.
105 sites were recorded in total and their significance was evaluated in terms of the criteria established by the recent Southeast New Mexico Regional Research Design (2006).  A program of data recovery at 10% of the eligible properties will be offered to the company developing the field in place of excavating every eligible site one by one as they are affected by full field development.
PUMP III Memorandum of Agreement: The New Mexico BLM is in discussions with the New Mexico SHPO office to execute an MOA to shift Section 106 procedures from an inventory-based approach to an excavation-based approach.  The BLM is proposing to apply this MOA to a 28 quad area in SE NM.  28 quads were selected where Class III coverage ranges from 24 to 65%.  Based on the results of Pierce Canyon, we are confident that this sample inventory fraction has, in fact, captured 75-80% of all sites in the area.
Under provisions of the MOA, energy companies would be obligated to avoid properties already recorded that had been determined eligible for the National Register.  However, rather than conduct new inventories, the companies would have the option of contributing about $2,000 per well pad survey or $10,000 per seismic project into a mitigation fund administered by the BLM.  Once the funds had built up sufficiently, high priority sites, identified in the Regional Research Design would be excavated.
The MOA would be viewed as a test which would sunset after five years if not renewed by both the BLM and SHPO.  Discussions with the SHPO are ongoing.  The NM SHPO generally supports the concept but has raised issues concerning the desirability to improve survey procedures at the same time, conduct widespread geomorphological mapping, and develop new predictive models of site sensitivity zones.  Prospects for completing the MOA are uncertain.
Action Item: Steve Fosberg and Tom Burke agreed to set up a group to consider the issue of cumulative effects.
Data Users Group (Kirk Halford):  Kirk is the new WO lead for the DUG and the data-sharing initiative. He gave an overview of the current state of the program and discussed future developments. The DUG is in good shape but members (BLM and SHPO) agree that meeting once a year would be very beneficial. States have issues and need flexibility to address them, but are also looking to the WO for guidance and general data standards. Adequate training and equipment continue to be hurdles for many field offices. BLM state cultural data stewards need better job definition and integration. Funding for training, meetings, and equipment is an issue and may need to come out of the states’ data-sharing funds.
The BPS Standards and Guidance came out in 2004 and Kirk needs a review of how these have been implemented in each state. The GIS transmittal standards are ready to be released, and should be out in February 2007.  CRM Tracker is a tracking tool for 106 and 110 activity which feeds into a GIS database. It is operating in Wyoming, and is set for roll out in Nevada and California. The past focus of the program has been on the SHPOs, which needs to continue; however the next phase needs greater focus on the field offices to insure specialists have appropriate skills and use them. The role of state cultural data stewards needs to be better defined and operationalized.
Action Item: Kirk will work on an IB for a data call to assess current state and field capacity.
Split Estate (Tim Nowak): Tim reported back to the Board on the efforts of the split estate workgroup. The workgroup has created a draft brochure for landowners for Board review. The task group will continue to work on the brochure and will solicit comments from the Board. The taskgroup will also work with the energy program to make sure the information is compatible with their outreach efforts, and will ask others (ACHP, representative landowners) to comment. The task group hopes to have comments by mid-January from the Board.
Action Item: Tim Nowak, Megg Heath, Glenn Carpenter, Lynn Harrell, and Gary Smith are the task group members and will work with the Board and other entities and programs to review and complete the brochure.
National Programmatic Review Discussion: The Board continued discussion on the nPA with representatives from the ACHP staff, NCSHPO, and two SHPOs attending by phone. After considerable discussion the group agreed to establish two work groups. The first group would consist of BLM and SHPO representatives, with participation by Nancy Brown from the ACHP, to address those issues which can be worked through immediately. A second group will look at more difficult issues.
Action Item:  Richard Hanes will establish a task group to work with Alice Baldrica and the SHPOs to identify issues and make recommendations for resolving them.
Education Committee (Bob King): The Fundamentals course will be offered in May at the NTC in Phoenix. Interested participants may sign up under DOI learn. Bob will contact Pat Walsh about sending out an IB for the course. All cultural resource courses are being considered for online and/or web-based production, although the consensus is that the Fundamentals course is best taught in person.
NPS Learning Portal: Richard Waldbauer from the NPS gave a presentation and demonstration of the Learning Portal for the Board. There was considerable interest in this new tool.
Action Item: Kate Winthrop will follow up with Richard Waldbauer to provide information to the field on accessing and using the Portal.
Future Meetings: The June meeting will be held in Duluth, Minnesota, and hosted by Troy Ferone from Eastern States. The Board agreed to continue meeting in the D.C. area in December. 
Action Item: Carolyn will ask Sheila to check on possible meeting locations in town for December 2007.