Heritage Newsletter

April 2015

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

          Federal funding for historic preservation programs
          Alaska Historical Commission
          Lt. Governor Mallott to Speak at Office of History and Archaeology April Workshop
          Council on Geographic Names and U.S. Board on Geographic Names to meet in Anchorage
          Historic Windows and Doors Workshop
          International Day on Monuments and Sites
          National Historic Preservation Act turns 50
          New Alaska Listings in National Register of Historic Places
          Public project alerts
          Heritage subscription information
          Preservation calendar

Federal funding for historic preservation programs

President Obama’s budget proposal 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 proposal reduces funding for National Heritage Areas, funded under the Recreation and Preservation Account, by fifty percent to $10.0 million.

Alaska Historical Commission

The next meeting of the Alaska Historical Commission will be April 30, 2015, in Anchorage at the Captain Cook Hotel, 939 West 5th Avenue. The meeting is after a meeting of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names and includes a discussion with the federal board members and review of the commission’s geographic name guidelines. Also on the agenda is discussion of a mission statement for the 150th anniversary of the Alaska purchase. There is time for the public to address commission members on matters relating to history, archaeology, or historic preservation starting at 3:55 p.m. The preliminary meeting agenda is available at dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha/index.htm, by calling 907.269.8721 or sending an email to oha@alaska.net.

The commission met March 19, 2015, in Anchorage. At the meeting members discussed state and federal budgets and legislation affecting historic preservation programs. This year Congress will be considering reauthorization of the Historic Preservation Fund and the preservation community would like a permanent reauthorization. The Alaska Legislature is considering a license plate bill that would bring back the gold rush plate and calls for a 150th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase plate. At this time, the proposed state operating budget eliminates the full-time administrative position in the Office of History and Archaeology and significantly reduces the Public Access Assertion and Defense unit in the Department of Natural Resources that has been contracting for research services from the OHA. In other business, commission members reviewed eight geographic name proposals, approving six of them and tabling two; reviewed and ranked four proposals for projects from Certified Local Governments, and reviewed and found the Wireless Station in Anchorage eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The members talked about the 150th anniversary of the purchase of Alaska and called for developing a mission statement for their guidance. They then reviewed fourteen proposals for sesquicentennial projects and planning, and recommended six be funded.

The seat for the historian is open on the Alaska Historical Commission. If you are interested please send a letter and brief resume to Governor Bill Walker, Attention: Boards and Commissions, 550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1700, Anchorage Alaska 99501, fax 907.269.7461, email boards@alaska.gov. More information is at www.gov.alaska.gov/Walker/services/boards-commissions.html.

Lt. Governor Mallott to speak at Office of History and Archaeology April Workshop

Alaska’s new Lt. Governor, Byron Mallott, is going to talk in the afternoon of the annual OHA workshop to be held Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage. Lt. Governor Mallott has had a long career in Alaska politics and business, and he will talk about how the scene has changed for Alaska’s Native people and what he hopes to make happen in Alaska the next four years.

The agenda has been revised, and is available on the OHA website, dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha/. Other workshop presentations will address HABS/HAER submission guidelines, documenting Alaska’s maritime resources, updates on the AHRS inventory, and disaster preparation and response. For more information contact Shina duVall, 907.269.8720 / shina.duvall@alaska.gov. Space is limited and one needs to register to attend. To register contact Sylvia Elliott, 907.269.8724 / sylvia.elliott2@alaska.gov.

Council on Geographic Names and U.S. Board on Geographic Names to meet in Anchorage

The Council on Geographic Names Authorities (COGNA) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (USBGN) are meeting in Anchorage at the Captain Cook Hotel, April 29-May 2, 2015. Sessions are planned to explore toponymic topics and federal and state naming principles, policies, and procedures. The Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, is hosting a workshop on Alaska Native place names the first day. On the second day the U.S. Board will meet followed by an Alaska Historical Commission meeting. The federal board is the entity that makes names official on USGS maps. The third day is for presentations on mapping and other topics related to naming geographic features. Representatives from the Yukon Geographic Names Board plan to attend. Terrence Cole is speaking Friday evening. On Saturday there is an optional toponymic tour to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Hope, and Portage. The program, registration form, and accommodations information are at www.cogna50usa.org.

Historic Windows and Doors Workshop

The Vanishing Treasures Program of the National Park Service is conducting a Historic Windows and Doors Workshop, with beginner and intermediate sessions, in Skagway, April 20-24, 2015. Those attending will be introduced through hands-on experiences to the basics of wood window and door restoration. The course is free, but participants must sign-up. To register, email imrwestpresctr@nps.gov by April 3, 2015. More information is available at www.nps.gov/grte/historyculture/wchptraining.htm.

International Day on Monuments and Sites

The US/ICOMOS wants historical organizations and museums to publicize the 2015 International Day on Monuments and Sites and host events on April 18th calling attention to World Heritage Sites. The day is intended to celebrate the diversity of heritage throughout the world. This year is the 70th anniversary of UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the 50th anniversary of the founding of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) and US/ICOMOS. US/ICOMOS is a nonprofit organization supporting the World Heritage program in the U.S. Both programs promote best practices in historic site management, cultural heritage scientific research and technologies, and conservation. US/ICOMOS has a calendar of events at www/usicomos.org. Alaska shares with British Columbia and Yukon Territory a designated World Heritage Site, Kluane/Wrangell-St. Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek Parks. Events might be open houses, classroom visits, special tours of museums or sites, trainings, essay and art competitions, or on-line exhibits. For more information contact Andrew Potts, 202.463.1291 / apotts@usicomos.org.

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, and 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 have undertaken a project to produce an interactive map supplemented by short videos as a 50th anniversary commemoration project. Burr Neely, Northern Land Use Research, is the Alaska coordinator for the Making Archaeology Public (MAP) project. To suggest sites to include, volunteer to provide content, or get more information contact him at bjn@northernlanduse.com / 907.474.9684.

New Alaska listings in National Register of Historic Places

The Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places added the Rudy-Kodzoff House in Juneau and the Magnetic Island Site in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve on March 17, 2015, to the nation’s list of significant historic properties worthy of preservation.

The Rudy-Kodzoff House is one of the first Mendenhall Valley homesteads, built in 1915 on Charles Rudy’s Ranch, a fur farm. Rudy, a Princeton University graduate, frontier entrepreneur, and local character came to Juneau in the early twentieth century to work in the mining industry. At the time, open entry land was available to homestead in the Mendenhall Valley twelve miles northwest of the city of Juneau. He enjoyed some success with his “Alaska Premier Fur Farms” business and was known for stunts such as keeping a pair of pet bears which he walked about on chains. His house was constructed of concrete and built by Gustav Fagerson, Concrete Products Manufacturing Co., as a model home for his locally manufactured products. Fagerson quarried his raw material out of “Fagerson’s Pond” adjacent to Rudy’s homestead. The company produced vases, plant boxes, posts, sewer pipe, building block, curb stones, mantels, tombstones, burial caskets, and more. At the time the Craftsman architectural movement was popular. The house has Craftsman Bungalow style characteristics and is almost unaltered since its original construction. It was a modern, reasonably priced, energy efficient home and is the only intact example of a Mendenhall Valley homestead house from the 1910s. George and Anita Kodzoff acquired the property in the early 1930s, and in the 1960s developed the mobile home park that operates today. The house has been continuously used as a residence and office.

The Magnetic Island site in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve has yielded and has the potential to yield more important information to fill a gap in the cultural chronology of the Cook Inlet area. At the site, distinctive chipped stone artifacts and slab-stone square hearths have been found, characteristics associated with the Arctic Small Tool tradition of Alaska, and the site has been radiocarbon dated to 3400–3800 years ago. The location, dates of occupation and contents, along with the site’s integrity provide the potential to yield important archaeological data on cultural attribution, land use patterns, exchange networks, population movements, and for a chronology of human expansion into lower Cook Inlet. Important research questions that could be addressed include description of habitation structures, expansion of the tool collections, and information on subsistence practices of the people on Cook Inlet’s west shore. Research also could provide a cultural baseline for chipped stone tool types and address why Arctic Small Tool tradition occupations disappear from sites around 3500 years ago.


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

Open houses, 4:00-8:00 p.m.

April 20 – Anchorage, Dena’ina Center, 600 W. 7th Ave.
April 21 – Cooper Landing, Community Hall, Mile 0.8 Bean Creek Rd.
April 22 – Soldotna, Sports Center, 538 Arena Ave.
April 30 – Washington, D.C., Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C St. SW

Project information and online open house: www.sterlinghighway.net
Comment deadline: May 26, 2015

Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities / West Susitna Surface Access Reconnaissance Study

Project information: http://dot.alaska.gov/roadstoresources/westsusitna/index.shtml

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.

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Preservation Calendar


April 1 - Historic Preservation Education Foundation: Partners in Training grant deadline (www.hpef.us / submissions@hpef.us)

April 13-16 - Mid-Century Modern Structures' Materials and Preservation 2015 Symposium, St. Louis, MO (Mary F. Striegel, 318.356.7444 ex 224 / mary_striegel@nps.gov )

April 15-19 - Society of American Archaeology: 80th annual meeting, San Francisco, CA (www.saa.org)

April 18 - US/ICOMOS: International Day on Monuments and Sites (Andrew Potts, 202.463.1291 / apotts@usicomos.org)

April 20-24 - National Park Service: Historic Windows & Doors Workshop, Skagway (http://www.nps.gov/grte/historyculture/wchptraining.htm)

April 21 - Alaska Office of History and Archaeology workshop for agency cultural resources staff and consultants, Anchorage (Shina duVall, 907.269.8720 / shina.duvall@alaska.gov)

April 23-25 - National Council for Preservation Education: Learning from the Reservation; Using the Traditional Cultural Place Perspective for Better Decision Making in a Diverse Cultural Landscape conference, Dover, DE (Robin Krawitz, 302.857.7139 / rkrawitz@desu.edu)

April 23-25 - Alaska Trails Statewide Trails 2015 Conference, Wasilla (Steve Cleary, 907.334.8049 / steve.cleary@alaska-trails.org)

April 28-May 2 - Council of Geographic Names Authorities annual meeting, Anchorage (Wayne Furr, twfurr@cogna50usa.org)

April 28-29 - National Preservation Institute: Landscape Preservation: An Introduction, Sitka (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / info@npi.org)

April 30 - Alaska Historical Commission meeting, Anchorage (Jo Antonson, 907.269.8714 / ajo.antonson@alaska.gov)

April 30 - National Preservation Institute: Landscape Preservation: Advanced Tools for Managing Change, Sitka (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / info@npi.org)


May 1 -Alaska Historical Society: Trade Routes and Crossroads in the North Pacific paper and panel proposals due (Chris Allan, sprucetip105@gmail.com)

May 12-13 - National Preservation Institute: The Recent Past: Identification and Evaluation of Mid-20th Century Resources, Anchorage (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / info@npi.org)

May 14 - National Preservation Institute: Preservation Planning and Policy Development for Historic Roads, Anchorage (Jere Gibber, 703.765.0100 / info@npi.org)

May 25-29 - National Park Service, Current Archeological Prospection Advances for Non-Destructive Investigations in the 21s Century, Lyons/Rice County, KS (Steven L. DeVore, 402.437.5392 / http://www.nps.gov/mwac)


June 18-20 - Cook Inlet Historical Society: Imagining Anchorage—Symposium of the Centennial of Anchorage (www.cookinlethistory.org)


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 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)


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)



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, barbara_little@nps.gov or http://ncph.org/cms/conferences/working-groups/)


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