Heritage Newsletter

October 2016

Monthly news update from the Office of History and Archaeology
State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources

          Federal funding and legislation for historic preservation programs
          Office of History and Archaeology and Alaska Historical Commission news
          150th anniversary of the Alaska Treaty of Cession grants and recent activities
          Buildings threatened at Big Delta State Historic Par
          October 15th is the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act
          Alaska Association for Historic Preservation news
          National Park Service grants
          Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
          Mining History Association meeting in Fairbanks
          Public project alerts
          Heritage subscription information
          Preservation calendar

Previous Issues
January February


Federal funding and legislation for historic preservation programs

The authorization of the federal Historic Preservation Fund that supports state and tribal historic preservation programs and funds special initiatives expired September 30, 2015. Four bills being considered in Congress have HPF reauthorization provisions, and the administration’s FY17 budget proposal included a provision for permanent authorization. The bills:

  1. The National Historic Preservation Amendment Act of 2015 (H.R. 2817) would authorize the HPF through 2025 at $150 million annually. The House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 2817 in July with a provision to reauthorize the HPF for seven instead of ten years. In addition, an amendment was adopted to change the National Register of Historic Places process for sites on federal lands. The changes specify that if the State Historic Preservation Officer does not comment in 45 days on a nomination sent to him/her for review, the SHPO is considered to be opposed to the nomination; and if the Keeper chooses to reject the SHPO’s recommendation an explanation must be published in the Federal Register.

  2. The Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012) would permanently authorize the HPF. The Senate passed this bill in April, and the House passed its energy bill in May. The House bill does not include a provision for HPF authorization. The next step is for a conference committee to meet and work on a compromise bill.

  3. 3) The American Energy Innovation Act (S. 2089) would permanently authorize the HPF, but goes further than S. 2012 towards full, permanent funding by requiring the funds to be available without needing an appropriation.

  4. S. 556, called the sportsmen’s package bill, has a provision to permanently authorize the HPF.

The Administration, House of Representatives, and Senate budget proposals for FY 17 (October 1, 2016-September 30, 2017) are in the table below. They can be compared with the FY 16 appropriation in the first column. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Bill Cassidy led the effort to raise funding for the state programs, the first increase in five years, and the House budget committee accepted the increase. Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution to fund the programs at FY 16 levels until after the November elections.

Historic Preservation Fund:

FY 2016

FY 2017

FY 2017

FY 2017





Senate proposal











Underrepresented Communities Grants





Civil Rights Movement Initiative





Historic Black Colleges/Universities





Save America's Treasures Grants










* Figures are in millions.





The House Armed Services Committee adopted an amendment to the FY 17 National Defense Authorization Act that would prevent designation of federal properties as National Historic Landmarks, World Heritage Sites, or as listings in the National Register of Historic Places when objections are raised based on national security. The amendment also directs the National Park Service to identify how to expeditiously remove federally owned historic sites when there are national security concerns. Similar amendments have been debated in prior years, but have not been in the acts signed into law. The National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and other preservation groups are working to remove the amendment from the bill.

Office of History and Archaeology and Alaska Historical Commission news

Governor Walker appointed Rebecca Poulson of Sitka to the open seat on the Alaska Historical Commission. Rebecca is an artist and active with preservation projects in her community. She is involved with restoration of the World War II Japonski Island boathouse with the Sitka Maritime Heritage Society, and has managed rehabilitation projects on several Sheldon Jackson School buildings. Rebecca is researching and writing about Sheldon Jackson School and College. She has served as president of the Alaska Historical Society the past two years.

The Alaska Historical Commission’s next meeting will be by teleconference, Wednesday, November 16, 2016. The principal agenda items are review of requests for Certified Local Government projects and proposals for 150th anniversary of the Alaska Treaty of Cession grants. The agenda will be available October 16, 2016 on the OHA website, or by contacting Jo Antonson (907.269.8714 / jo.antonson@alaska.gov).

The Office of History and Archaeology is reviewing the state historic preservation plan, and will be writing the 2018-23 plan next year. All are invited to complete an online survey about historic places in the state that should be preserved and what policies and programs would help promote stewardship, protection, and use of Alaska’s historic properties. The survey is at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AKHPP. For additional information about the plan revision contact Summer Rickman, 907.269.8717 / summer.rickman@alaska.gov.

The office has #ThisPlaceMatters Alaska, an interactive map on its website, for the public to view and add photos of historic properties around the state. The site can be viewed at http://arcg.is/1TvQiht, and photos should be submitted to http://arcg.is/1TvORj2.

150th anniversary of the Alaska Treaty of Cession grants and recent activities

The Alaska Historical Commission has $100,000 available for matching grants to assist with projects for commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Alaska Treaty of Cession. Projects must be conducted and completed in 2017. The grants are for research and publication projects, restoration of significant historic properties, and community and heritage tourism programs. The program’s goals are to deepen the understanding of the history and significance of the event and 19th century Alaska, and to encourage projects that address less well studied subjects and perspectives on the event. The application deadline is Monday, October 17, 2016. More information and the application are available at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha/designations/150Anniversary. If you have questions about the program or application, contact Jean Ayers, 907.269.8694 / jean.ayers@alaska.gov.

360 North public television in Juneau filmed a recent discussion of the legacy of U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward who negotiated the treaty with Russia in 1867. Jon Pugh, former University of Alaska Southeast chancellor moderated a panel that included Jonathon Ross, Terrence Cole, and Wayne Jensen (members Alaska Historical Commission), Steve Haycox (Distinguished Professor Emeritus, UAA), and Ross Coen (Editor, Alaska History). Check the 360 North program schedule for broadcast times for the program throughout October (www.360north.org/schedule/). The program will be available on the 360 North YouTube page as well.

The Governor’s Office has contracted with Peter Metcalfe to coordinate commemoration events. If you have ideas, please contact him at metcom@gci.net. A calendar of events is on the Alaska Historical Society website www.alaskahistoricalsociety.org. Groups, agencies, and individuals should send information about commemoration projects and activities to include on the list to members@alaskahistorialsociety.org.

Buildings threatened at Big Delta State Historic Park

Serious erosion of the bank overlooking the Tanana River at Big Delta State Historic Park has threatened four of the buildings in the historic district. One of the telegraph station buildings had to be moved back from the riverbank, and the trail between the bank and riverfront buildings has been closed. The Alaska Division of Parks has prepared a video that shows the site, tells of plans for bank stabilization, and invites donations. You can watch it at https://youtu.be/vRCJmM7rOZI.

October 15th is the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act

A coalition of Preservation50 partners have created ARCUS, a cultural heritage preservation development initiative of short courses, materials and networking opportunities. Applicants for a six-month fellowship for emerging leaders this year must attend a day-long session November 14 in Houston, Texas (the day before the National Trust for Historic Preservation meeting starts there). The deadline to apply for a fellowship is October 1, 2016. For a spring 2017 fellowship, the application deadline in January 15, 2017. For more information about the initiative and fellowships contact Greg Werkheiser, 703.408.2002 / www.preservation50.org/arcus/.

For celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and centennial of the National Park Service, the NPS Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science Directorate continues its campaign to highlight preservation work at #50for50 and #Preservation50. More information is at http://www.nps.gov/subjects/historicpreservation/50for50.htm and www.preservation50.org.

The Alaska Region of the U.S. Forest Service has printed a poster and created a website “49 Sites in the 49th State” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of passage of the National Historic Preservation Act, www.fs.usda.gov/goto/AK49Sites. Contact the Office of History and Archaeology, 907.269.8721, if you would like a poster sent to you.

Preservation50 has a nationwide photography contest to show off historic places in the United States. The categories are inspiring place, endangered place, underrepresented place, and cultural landscape. The deadline for submitting photos is October 1. More information is at http://preservation50.org/preservation50-national-photography-contest/.

Alaska Association for Historic Preservation news

The Alaska Association for Historic Preservation is holding a dinner and silent auction to raise funds for grants to help several of its 2016 Ten Most Endangered Historic Properties—eat.drink.preserve.—on October 8, 2016 at the Pioneer Schoolhouse in Anchorage.

The group is soliciting nominations for its Ninth Annual Historic Preservation Award to recognize a project, organization, agency, or individual that exemplifies the highest standards among efforts in Alaska historic preservation. Nominations are due October 15, 2016.

The association will hold its annual members’ meeting on November 1, 2016 at the Pioneer School House in Anchorage. The recipients of preservation grants and awards will be announced at the meeting. More information about AAHP and its upcoming activities is at www.aahp-online.net or by contacting Allegra Hamer, 907.929.9870 / akpreservation@gmail.com

National Park Service grants

The National Park Service has a number of grant programs with upcoming application deadlines.

For projects to preserve places and stories related to African Americans, states, tribes, local governments, and non-profit organizations are invited to apply for surveys, interpretation and education, oral histories, architectural services, historic structure reports, planning and bricks and mortar projects. The NPS will reference its study, Civil Rights in America, A Framework for Identifying Significant Sites (2008) when considering requests. The deadline to apply is October 14, 2016. Additional information is available at preservation_grants_info@nps.gov. For projects to preserve or to educate about Japanese American confinement sites during World War II the deadline to apply for a grant from the program this year is November 1, 2016. Additional information is available at https://www.nps.gov/jacs/ or by contacting Tom Leatherman, 510.778.4171 / tom_leatherman@nps.gov.

For National Center for Preservation Technology and Training projects that advance the application of science and technology to historic preservation in the areas of climate change impacts, disaster planning and response, modeling and managing big data, innovative techniques for documentation, and protective coatings and treatments; U.S. universities and colleges, non-profit organizations, and government agencies are eligible to apply for grants. The application deadline is November 3, 2016. Additional information is available from NCPTT at 318.356.7444.

For the American Battlefield Protection Program grants are available for archaeology, cultural landscape inventories, cultural resource documentation, GIS mapping, preservation planning and National Register nominations. The application form and guidelines are available at www.cr.nps.gov/abpp. Additional information is available from Kristen McMasters, 202.354.2037 / kristen_mcmasters@nps.gov.

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

The council’s fall Section 106 webinars have been announced. Topics include “Defining the Area of Potential Effects,” “Preservation Compliance and Property Disposal,” and “Overview of Program Alternatives.” A complete list and descriptions of courses, dates, and registration instructions are posted at www.achp.gov/sec106webinar.html.

Mining History Association meeting in Fairbanks

The Mining History Association plans to hold its 28th annual conference in Fairbanks, June 15-19, 2017. The program committee has issued a call for papers on any topic or aspect of mining history—no temporal or geographic limits, although there is special encouragement of proposals that address mining history in Alaska and the Far North. Proposals are due November 30, 2016, and should include a title, an abstract not to exceed one page, and biographical information about the presenter and contact information. Proposals should be sent to Eric Nystrom, Program Chair, eric.nystrom@asu.edu, Arizona State University, MC 2780, 7271 Sonoran Arroyo Mall, Mesa, AZ 85212.


Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities / Sterling Highway MP 45-60 Project (Quartz Creek Road to Skilak Lake Road in the Cooper Landing area), draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and draft Section 4(f) Evaluation

Project information www.sterlinghighway.net


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / Donlin Gold Project draft EIS

Project information:  www.donlingoldeis.com


Federal Energy Regulatory Commission / Alaska Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) project (Docket number PF 14-21)

Contact: 202.502.8258 / efining@ferc.gov


Federal Energy Regulatory Commission / Grant Lake Hydroelectric Project (Project No. P-13212-005), http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp

Scoping meetings:September 7 (evening), September 8 (morning), Moose Pass Community Hall
Contact: Kenneth Hogan, 202.502.2375 / Kenneth.hogan@ferc.gov
Comment deadline: October 10, 2016

Heritage Subscription Information

Heritage is produced by the Office of History and Archaeology, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Alaska Department of Natural Resources.  Please send your comments, suggestions, and information via e-mail to jo.antonson@alaska.gov, mail to 550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1310, Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3565, or telephone 907.276.8721.

All issues are posted to our web site at dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha and distributed to subscribers by e-mail.  A paper copy can be sent to individuals and organizations that specifically request it.

To be added to the subscription list, please send an e-mail to jo.antonson@alaska.gov with “Heritage, subscribe” in the subject line.

If you do not wish to continue to receive Heritage, please send an e-mail to jo.antonson@alaska.gov with “Heritage, unsubscribe” in the subject line.

Preservation Calendar



  • October 8 Alaska Association for Historic Preservation, eat.drink.preserve dinner and silent auction, Anchorage (Allegra Hamer, 907.929.9870 / akpreservation@gmail.com)

  • October 14 National Park Service, African American project grant application deadline preservation_grants_info@nps.gov

  • October 15 Alaska Association for Historic Preservation award nominations deadline (Allegra Hamer, 907.929.9870 / akpreservation@gmail.com)

  • October 16 National Park Service, Civil Rights Grant application deadline, preservation_grants_info@nps.gov (Jeremy Barnum, 202.208.6843 / jeremy_barnum@nps.gov)

  • October 17 Alaska Historical Commission, 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Cession grants application deadline (Jo Antonson, 907.269.8714 / jo.antonson@alaska.gov)

  • October 21 Office of History and Archaeology, Certified Local Government grant application deadline (Jean Ayers, 907.269.8694 / jean.ayers@alaska.gov)


  • November 1 Alaska Association for Historic Preservation annual members’ meeting, Anchorage (Allegra Hamer, 907.929.9870 / akpreservation@gmail.com)

  • November 1 National Park Service FY 2017 Japanese American Confinement Sites grant application deadline, https://www.nps.gov/jacs/ (Tom Leatherman, 510.778.4171 / tom_leatherman@nps.gov)

  • November 3 National Center for Preservation Technology and Training 2017 grant application deadline (NCPTT, 318.356.7444)

  • November 15-18 National Trust for Historic Preservation annual conference: Past Forward: Think big. Places. People. Innovation. Houston, TX (PastForwardConference.org)

  • November 16 Alaska Historical Commission meeting (Jo Antonson, 907.269.8714 / jo.antonson@alaska.gov)

  • November 16-18 21st International Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies: Urban Archaeology and Archaeological Data: Preservation, Re-use and Repurposing, Vienna, Austria (Wolfgang Börner, +43(0)1 4000 81176 / wolfgang.boerner@stadtarchaeologie.at)

  • November 18-20 National Center for Preservation Technology and Training: Metal Detecting for Archeologists, Rincon, GA (Tad Britt, 318.521.5641 / Tad_Britt@nps.gov)

  • November 19 Spatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations Summer 2017 Data & Analytics and Archiving and Publication Awards application deadline (http://sparc.cast.uark.edu / sparc@cost.uark.edu)

  • November 30 Mining History Association annual conference: call for proposals deadline, Fairbanks, AK (Eric Nystrom, eric.nystrom@asu.edu)




  • April 24 National Preservation Institute: Renewable Energy Development: Impacts on Cultural Resources seminar, Anchorage, AK (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / info@npi.org)

  • April 25-26 National Preservation Institute: Cultural and Natural Resources: An Integrated Management Strategy seminar, Anchorage, AK (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / info@npi.org)

  • April 27-28 National Preservation Institute: Native American Cultural Property Law seminar, Anchorage, AK (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / info@npi.org)


  • June 15-19 Mining History Association’s 28th annual conference, Fairbanks, AK (Eric Nystrom, eric.nystrom@asu.edu)


150th Anniversary Treaty of Cession

OHA is updating Alaska’s historic preservation plan and wants to know what historic places matter to you. Please share your thoughts by taking a short survey that is available online at: