Monthly news update from the Office of History and Archaeology
State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources
Congressional authorization for the Historic Preservation Fund expired September 30, 2015. Created by Congress in 1966, the HPF funded State Historic Preservation Offices, Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, and Certified Local Governments to carry out the federal historic preservation programs. Congress can still appropriate money for the HPF in annual spending bills from an existing $3 billion balance, however, and has proposed to do so in the FY 16 spending bills.
There are now four HPF reauthorization bills before Congress. Representatives Michael Turner (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced the National Historic Preservation Amendment Act of 2015 (H.R. 2817) to reauthorize the HPF for 10 years, through 2025, at the current authorized level of $150 million annually. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012), with a section to permanently authorize the Historic Preservation Fund. In September, Senator Maria Cantwell introduced the American Energy Innovation Act (S. 2089), also with a section to permanently authorize the HPF. This act differs from S. 2012 in that it goes a step further towards full and permanent funding by requiring the funds to be available without the need for an appropriation. In November, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed S. 556, a bipartisan bill called a sportsmen’s package, with a dozen public lands and water actions that in the committee markup session added language to permanently extend the HPF. Historic preservation advocates continue to pursue a stand-alone HPF permanent reauthorization bill.
The new federal fiscal year started October 1, and because Congress did not finish the budget bills, it passed a continuing resolution to keep the federal government operating until December 11, 2015. Most federal programs, including the HPF, are funded by the resolution at the same level as FY 15.
The Senate version of the road, rail and transit funding bill, H.R. 22, referred to as the DRIVE Act, has a section disturbing to historic preservationists, Section 11116, that would eliminate Section 4(f) and essentially replace it with Section 106. Preservationists are urging retention of the existing Section 4(f) program.
The National Park Service Centennial Act (H.R. 3556), introduced September 18 and referred to several subcommittees of the House Natural Resources Committee, includes a “Centennial Declaration on NPS External Programs.” These programs include the National Historic Landmarks, National Register of Historic Places, National Heritage Areas, Tribal grants, and historic tax credits. The declaration would affirm the agency’s responsibilities for these programs and direct the NPS director to use such programs to benefit the public.
The Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2015 (H.R. 3846), introduced October 28 and referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, was cosponsored by nine representatives. The bill calls for an increase in the credit and allows for the transfer of credits for certain small projects, reduces the basis adjustment, and increases the type of buildings eligible for the program.
The Alaska Historical Commission will meet Tuesday, December 8, in Anchorage at the Robert B. Atwood Building, Suite 1270, located at 550 West 7th Avenue. The agenda includes a discussion of changes to the commission’s guidelines for geographic names and consideration of seven name proposals. The commission members will discuss commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Cession, review projects proposed by communities that are Certified Local Governments of the state historic preservation program, and determine if St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Fairbanks qualifies for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. For a copy of the agenda contact Jo Antonson, 907.269.8714 / firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/oha/index.htm.
The Alaska Historical Commission has $125,000 available for matching grants to assist with projects for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Cession in 2017. The grants are for research and publication projects, restoration of significant historic properties, and community and heritage tourism programs. Among the program’s goals are: (1) to deepen the understanding of the history and significance of the event and 19th century Alaska, and (2) to encourage projects that address less well studied subjects and perspectives on the event. The deadline to apply is Friday, January 22, 2016. More information and the application will be available by mid-December at www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/oha/index.htm. If you have questions about the program or application, contact Jo Antonson, 907.269.8714 / email@example.com or Jean Ayers, 907.269.8694 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation is offering two courses on Section 106 next April in Anchorage. The Section 106 Essentials, an introduction to federal historic preservation compliance, will be held April 19-20, 2016. The Advance Section 106 Seminar will be April 21, 2016. More information, including registration, is at www.achp.gov/106. For questions contact Cindy Bienvenue, 202.517.0202 / email@example.com. The Advisory Council also offers training webinars, and information about them is at www.achp.gov/sec106webinar.html.
In other Advisory Council news, it developed with the Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, and Energy, two documents addressing protection of Indian sacred sites. One is a policy statement addressing the need for federal agencies to be sensitive to tribal concerns about the confidentiality of certain information. The second is for the general public and state and local land managers to help them understand the importance of protecting Indian sacred sites. The materials are available at http://www.achp.gov/sacredsiteprotection.html.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and the centennial of the National Park Service, the NPS Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science directorate has started a social media campaign to highlight preservation work done in all 50 states for the last 50 years. Using the hashtag #50for50 with #Preservation50 all are invited to post about places and share preservation stories. More information can be found at http://www.nps.gov/subjects/historicpreservation/50for50.htm.
There is also Preservation50: Our Legacy, Our Future, a nationwide initiative to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of passage of the act. To join the planning discussion, take a national survey, find and publicize events, download the six Preservation50 logos, and get other tools, go to www.preservation50.org.
The Society for American Archaeology, the Society for Historic Archaeology, the Archaeology Channel, and the organization of registered professional archaeologists are planning to produce an interactive map supplemented by short videos as a 50th anniversary project. Burr Neely, Northern Land Use Research, is the Alaska coordinator for the Making Archaeology Public (MAP) project and is working with the Alaska Anthropological Association’s Public Education Group, Jenny Blanchard, Chair. To suggest sites to include, volunteer to provide content, or to get more information contact Burr Neely, 907.474.9684 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alaska Historic Canneries Initiative, a project of the Alaska Historical Society, has started a grant program to help with projects related to historic Alaska fisheries and processors. The grants will be up to $1,000. Proposals are invited for projects that could help conduct historical research, collect archival materials, obtain photographs and film, preserve historic properties, prepare interpretive and education materials, or start planning a larger project. Students, professional historians, those with a passion for history, organizations and businesses interested in the history of Alaska’s fishing industry--all except federal and state agencies—are eligible for the grants. The projects are to be completed by the end of December 2016. The application deadline is January 1, 2016. The application and more information is available at the Alaska Historical Society’s website, www.alaskahistoricalsociety.org.
Robert A. (Bob) Mitchell, a retired historic architect living in Anchorage, was recognized by the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation at its annual meeting in November with its 2015 Historic Preservation Award. Bob has been a historic preservation architect for more than sixty years, and more than half of those years he has worked Alaska. Among his preservation projects are buildings at Big Delta and Independence Mine state historic parks, an Alaska Engineering Commission garage, and the 4th Avenue Theatre. Bob was a founder of the Friends of Nike Site Summit in 2007, and worked as an architect and laborer on the six buildings it has stabilized. He worked in the state historic preservation offices in Alaska and North Dakota. For many years he was a member of the Board of Directors of the AAHP. Congratulations Bob!
In other AAHP news, its grants to help properties listed on its Ten Most Endangered Historic Properties list were awarded to the Port Chilkoot Company and Talkeetna Historical Society. The Port Chilkoot Company will use its grant to install roof flashing on the Fort William H. Seward Barracks in Haines. The Talkeetna Historical Society will use its grant to stabilize the 1916 Ole Dahl Cabin.
The Oscar Anderson House in Anchorage, managed by AAHP, will have its annual Swedish Holiday Celebration the first two weekends in December from 12-4 p.m. with tours and treats.
The Window Preservation Alliance is a new non-profit organization seeking to raise awareness of repair and restoration as the best alternative to replacing original windows in historic buildings. The group’s website has a directory of window repair professionals, information about historic windows, and a photo gallery. The group aims to have a library of articles discussing the benefits of saving original windows and solid science about their energy efficiency. More information about the group is available at www.windowpreservationalliance.org.
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
Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities / West Susitna Surface Access Reconnaissance Study
Project information: http://dot.alaska.gov/roadstoresources/westsusitna/index.shtml
Bureau of Land Management Bering Sea – Western Interior Resource Management Plan
Project information: www.blm.gov/ak/planning/bswi
Contact: 907.267.1246 / 800.478.1263
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission / Alaska Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) project (Docket number PF 14-21)
Written comments: due December 4, 2015
Contact: 202.502.8258 / email@example.com
U.S. Forest Service / Chugach National Forest Plan
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, mail to 550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1310, Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3565, or telephone 907.276.8721.
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December 8 Alaska Historical Commission meeting, Anchorage (Jo Antonson, 907.269.8714 / email@example.com)
January 1 Alaska Historical Society, Historic Canneries Initiative, grant application deadline (AHS, 907.276.1596 / firstname.lastname@example.org
January 4 Society for Commercial Archeology, 2016 Falling By the Wayside list of endangered resources nomination deadline (Ralph Wilcox, 501.324.9880 / http://sca-roadside.org/falling-by-the-wayside)
January 6-9 Society for Historical Archaeology and Underwater Conference, Washington, DC (email@example.com / 301.972.9684)
January 14 (January 2 if mailing) American Battlefield Protection Program, preservation grant application deadline (Kristen McMasters, 202.354.2037 / www.cr.nps.gov/abpp)
January 22 Alaska Historical Commission 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Cession grant project application deadline (Jo Antonson, 907.269.8714 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
January 28 Alaska Humanities Forum and State Council on the Arts, Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities ceremony, Juneau (Alaska Humanities Forum, 907.272.5341, www.akhf.org)
February 2 National Preservation Institute: NAGPRA Essentials, Anchorage (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / email@example.com)
February 3-4 National Preservation Institute: NAGPRA: Preparing for and Writing Grant Proposals, Anchorage (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
March 2-6 Alaska Anthropological Association annual meeting, Sitka, AK (Brinnen Carter, email@example.com)
March 8-10 National Council of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) annual meeting and advocacy day, Washington, DC (202.624.5465 / www.ncshpo.org)
March 9-10 National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT): Petrography for Archeologists, Phoenix, AZ (Tad Britt, 318.351.5641 / Tad_Britt@nps.gov)
March 16 National Council on Public History annual meeting: On the Edge of 2016: Commemorating the Past and Shaping the Future of Federal Preservation Activities, Baltimore, MD (Barbara Little, firstname.lastname@example.org or http://ncph.org/cms/conferences/working-groups/)
March 19-20 Goucher College, National Forum on Historic Preservation Practice: A Critical Examination of the Next 50 Years, Baltimore, MD (Richard Wagner, email@example.com)
March 22-23 National Center for Preservation Technology and Training: Dance Halls, Juke Joints, and Honky Tonks: Placemaking and Cultural Sustainability Symposium, Lafayette, LA (https://ncptt.nps.gov/events/dance-halls-2016/)
April 6-10 Society for American Archaeology annual meeting, Orlando, FL (www.saa.org)
April 13-16 Friends of NCPTT, Mid-Century Modern Structures: Materials and Preservation 2015 Symposium, St. Louis, MO (Mary Striegel, 318.356.7444 x224 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
April 21 Alaska Office of History and Archaeology workshop, Anchorage (Mark Rollins, 907.269.8722 / email@example.com)
April 26-27 National Preservation Institute: GIS: Practical Applications for Cultural Resource Projects, Anchorage (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
May 4-7 Canadian Archaeological Association annual meeting, Whitehorse, YT (Greg Hare or Jeff Hunston, email@example.com)
May 9-12 Yukon Historical and Museum Association, International Centre for Northern Governance and Development, University of Saskatchewan, and Yukon College: The North and the First World War Conference, Whitehorse, YT ( firstname.lastname@example.org / www.heritageyukon.ca)
May 9-10 National Preservation Institute: The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards: Treatment Considerations, Anchorage (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / email@example.com)
May 12-13 National Preservation Institute: The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards: Treatment Considerations, Sitka (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
May 23-June 24 Smithsonian Institution, International Course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis, email@example.com, Washington, DC (Lori Foley, 781.259.8652 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
May 26-29 Construction History Society of America biennial meeting: Knowledge Exchange and Transference of Building Technology, Austin, TX (http://www.chsa-5thbiennial.org/chsa-austin-callforabstracts / email@example.com)
June 21-23 National Center for Preservation Technology and Training: A Century of Design in the Parks, Preserving the Built Environment in National and State Parks, Santa Fe, NM (Debbie Smith, 318.356.7444 / Debbie_Smith@nps.gov)
July 27-31 National Alliance of Preservation Commissions Forum: Hip, Happening Historic Preservation@50, Mobile, AL (NAPC, 757.802.4141 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
August 24-26 National Center for Preservation Technology and Training: Hyperspectral Imaging for Conservators, Santa Fe, NM (https://ncptt.nps.gov/training-conferences-events/upcoming/)
September 14-17 American Association for State and Local History annual meeting: The Spirit of Rebirth, Detroit, MI (Bethany Hawkins, email@example.com / 615.320.3203)
September 21-24 Alaska Historical Society and Museums Alaska annual meetings and conference, Juneau, AK (Bob Banghart, 907.465.2912/ firstname.lastname@example.org)