Heritage Newsletter

July 2015

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

          Federal legislation and funding for historic preservation programs
          Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives 50th anniversary
          Sorrel Goodwin appointed to Alaska Historical Commission
          Alaska Historic Preservation Conference October 20-22
          National Historic Preservation Act turns 50
          Oscar Anderson House in Anchorage open this summer
          Public project alerts
          Heritage subscription information
          Preservation calendar

Federal legislation and funding for historic preservation programs

Congressional authorization for the Historic Preservation Fund expires September 30, 2015. Created by Congress in 1966, the HPF provides essential funding to state and tribal historic preservation offices. SHPOs, THPOs, and Certified Local Governments carry out the federal historic preservation programs. As authorized, the HPF is funded from outer continental shelf leases not taxpayer dollars. Representatives Michael Turner (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have introduced the National Historic Preservation Amendment Act of 2015 (H.R. 2817) to reauthorize the HPF. The bill proposes extending the HPF for 10 years, through 2025, at the current authorized level of $150 million annually. The bill has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee. The National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and its preservation partners are asking for permanent reauthorization of the HPF and full funding at $150 million a year (the current appropriation is $56.4 million, less than half that amount). It is important to let Alaska’s congressional delegation know of the importance of the program and the need for full funding to preserve and protect historic properties.

President Obama’s proposed budget for FY 16 (October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016) has $89.1 million for the Historic Preservation Fund, a significant increase over the FY 15 appropriation of $56.4 million. The budget proposes $46.9 million for state programs (same as FY 15), $10 million for tribal programs ($1 million increase), $500,000 for the underrepresented grant program (same as FY 15), and two new programs: $30.5 million for a grant program related to the Civil Rights movement, and $2.5 million for Historically Black Colleges & Universities to preserve Civil Rights movement resources. The proposed budget reduces funding for National Heritage Areas, funded under the Recreation and Preservation Account, by fifty percent to $10.0 million.

The House Interior Appropriations Committee made its FY 16 budget recommendations. The recommendations are $60.91 million for Historic Preservation Fund programs--$48.925 million for SHPOs, $8.985 million for THPOs, and $500 thousand for underrepresented grants, all the same as last year. The committee added $4.5 million for civil rights grants. For other preservation programs, the committee recommended $19.671 for National Heritage Areas, and $6.08 million for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

The Senate Interior Appropriates Committee made its FY 16 budget recommendations as well. The committee recommended $55.91 million for SHPOs and THPOs (same as FY 15 enacted levels), $500 thousand for underrepresented grants, and $5 million for civil rights movement grants. The committee recommended level funding for the National Heritage Areas at $20.321 million, a little more than the House proposal, and level funding for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at just over $6 million.

The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act with Section 2853 that allows heads of federal agencies to block or revoke National Register nominations for reasons of national security and calls for the National Park Service to create an expedited de-listing process. The Senate Armed Services subcommittee did not include the section in its mark-up of its companion NDAA bill that has been sent to the full committee to act on and send to the full Senate for a vote. The Administration’s Statement of Administrative Policy (SAP) on the bill objects to the provision.

Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives 50th anniversary

The Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks is celebrating its 50th anniversary on July 7, 2015. They are hosting a reception from 4-6 p.m. and honoring Paul McCarthy who helped establish the archives in 1965. The archives collections of manuscripts, maps, photographs, films, and oral histories on Alaska, the Arctic, and Northern Regions have been essential to Alaska’s history, archaeology, anthropology, ethnography, and historic preservation programs. The materials would not be available to researchers without the dedicated and professional staff. Some of people to recall and to thank include Renee Blahuta, David Hales, Ron Inouye, Gretchen Lake, Marvin Falk, Eugene West, Bob Geiman, Susan Grigg, Will Schneider, Bruce Parham, Anne Foster, Katherine Arndt, Tamara Lincoln, Rose Speranza, Marge Thompson, Richard Veazie, Dirk Tordoff, Rachel Seale, Angie Schmidt, Bob Forshaw, Dixon Jones, Robyn Russell, Karen Brewster, Leslie McCartney, Catherine Williams, and Dennis Moser. Thank you and best wishes!

Sorrel Goodwin appointed to the Alaska Historical Commission

In May, Governor Walker appointed Sorrel Goodwin of Douglas to the Alaska Historical Commission. Sorrel is a senior librarian at the Alaska State Library in Juneau working in the Historical Collections as head of the audio-visual and digital access programs and collections. He is a member of the City and Borough of Juneau’s Historic Resources Advisory Committee. Sorrel has a master’s degree in library and information science, a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, and an associate of fine arts degree. He has experience as a museum registrar, archivist, research librarian, and collections manager. Welcome!

Alaska Historic Preservation Conference October 20-22

The Office of History and Archaeology is hosting an Alaska Historic Preservation Conference in Anchorage, October 20-22, 2015. Donovan Rypkema, a recognized leader in the economics of historic preservation, will be the keynote speaker. Since 1983, Rypkema has consulted with public and non-profit sector clients on downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization and reuse of historic structures. In 2012 the National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded him its Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award. A component of the conference is a workshop addressing the needs and interests of Alaska’s Certified Local Governments. A local government specialist from the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development will address commission procedures, and other conference sessions will include presentations about Alaska’s local government preservation programs and heritage tourism. Registration information will be available in August. For more information about the conference contact Summer Rickman (907.269.8717 / summer.rickman@alaska.gov),

National Historic Preservation Act turns 50

Historic preservationists have started Preservation50: Our Legacy, Our Future, a nationwide group to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 2016. The mission is to honor and raise awareness of the public value of historic preservation and to unify, diversify, and grow the preservation community to continue it for the next fifty years. Partners and collaborators include private sector leaders in preservation, public agencies, and national, tribal, state, and local preservation organizations. 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 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 907.474.9684 / bjn@northernlanduse.com.

Oscar Anderson House in Anchorage open this summer

The Oscar Anderson House Museum, at the west end of downtown Anchorage, is open this summer for guided tours daily except Monday. The hours are 12:00-4:00 p.m. 2015 is Anchorage’s centennial, and visiting the house—one of few properties from the city’s earliest years—should be on your list of activities this summer if you are visiting Anchorage or if you are entertaining friends and family.


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 Energy Authority, Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project

Project information: www.susitna-watanahydro.org/.

U.S. Forest Service / Chugach National Forest Plan

Plan revision: fs.usda.gov/chugach / Land and Resource Management
Comments: chugachplanrevision@fs.fed.us.

U.S. Forest Service / Tongass National Forest Sustainable Cabin Management Project

Environmental Assessment: http://go.usa.gov/WQEk
Contact: Victoria Houser, 907.826.1614 / vhouser@fs.fed.us.

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 oha@alaska.net with “Heritage, subscribe” in the subject line.

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

Preservation Calendar


  • July 31 National Park Service, Historic American Landscapes Survey Challenge: Documenting Modernist Landscapes documentation deadline (Chris Stevens, 202.354.2146 / Chris_Stevens@nps.gov)


  • September 10-12 Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, & Museums, 2015 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums, Washington, DC (ATALM, www.atalm.org)

  • September 14 National Park Service, Shared Beringian Heritage Program project proposal deadline (Katerina Wessels, 907.644.3602 / katerina_wessels@nps.gov)

  • September 16-20 - American Association for State and Local History, annual meeting: The Power of Possibility, Louisville, KY (Bob Beatty, 635.320.3203 / beatty@aaslh.org

  • September 30 - October 3 - Alaska Historical Society / Museums Alaska annual meetings, Cordova (www.alaskahistoricalsociety.org)


  • October 20-22 Office of History and Archaeology: Historic Preservation Conference and Certified Local Government training, Anchorage (Summer Rickman, 907.269.8717 / summer.rickman@alaska.gov)

  • October 28-November 1 Wooshteen Kanaxtulaneegí Haa At Wuskóowu / Sharing Our Knowledge: Haa saaxú, haa latseení / Our Names, Our Strength; A Conference of Tlingit Tribes and Clans, Juneau (clanconference@gmail.com / clanconference.org)


  • November 2-5 Urban Archaeology of Vienna: 20th International Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies, Vienna, Austria (Wolfgang Borner, 43.01.4000.81176 / wolfgang.boerner@stadarchaeologie.at )

  • November 3-6 National Trust for Historic Preservation: PastForward 2015, Washington, DC (NTHP, 202-588.6100 / conference@savingplaces.org)




  • April 21-22 Alaska Office of History and Archaeology workshop, Anchorage (Mark Rollins, 907.269.8722 / mark.rollins@alaska.gov)


  • 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 ( conference@heritageyukon.ca / www.heritageyukon.ca)


  • National Alliance of Preservation Commissions Forum, Mobile, AL (NAPC, 706.369.5881 / napc@uga.edu)