PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - October 2001

William S. Dancey

This is my last contribution to the Newsletter as the OAC President, and I would like to use the occasion first of all to thank the membership for the privilege of serving as the OAC President over the last two years. I would like also to give special thanks to the members of the Board and others who assumed committee responsibilities in the last two years. I also wish Brian Redmond success as he moves from President-elect to President. I am confident that the Council will continue to make a difference in Ohio archaeology under his leadership.

I spent the entire summer in the field or in the lab and consequently have done little OAC business myself. Board members have been busy, however, as revealed by the following notes from the September Board meeting. Following a second successful Archaeology Week the Board has decided to explore ways to pursue secure funding and to increase participation in years to come. After years of planning, the OAC web page is finally close to completion. It has been constructed in a way that should make it a productive tool for publicizing the Council's goals and accomplishments both for members and interested citizens. Despite attempts to encourage grant submissions, few members have applied. Because of this the Board intends to re-examine the scope of the general grant and the amount of the award in the hopes that more members will take advantage of this opportunity. In an effort to bring the Code of Regulations up to date, Al Tonetti has incorporated membership-approved revisions into a revised draft which will be presented to the membership in the near future. Although a wholesale change in organization and mission is not desirable, this initiative also offers the opportunity to assess other aspects of the Council, such as quorum criteria and membership categories, if members desire.

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack on New York City and the Pentagon, it appears clear that many priorities and practices will come under increased scrutiny. Especially if defense spending increases it is natural to expect cuts in "peripheral" investments, such as in heritage protection. We may see antiquities law come under fire, along with environmental protection legislation. Thus, while mourning the tragic loss of life and supporting counter-measures, we need to be alert to challenges to traditional sources of funding for archaeological research and the scope of antiquities law and programs. We need to be ready with alternatives that can adjust to the national emergency while at the same time preserve the progress made to date in cultural resource protection and management. The OAC potentially can provide a venue for addressing challenges to public support of heritage conservation should they occur.

For those members, hopefully none, who lost family or friends in this disaster, the Board and I extend our sincerest sympathy. For members engaged in rescue, recovery, and investigation at the crash sites, we extend our gratitude, support, and encouragement.

The autumn meeting has been scheduled for the Highbanks Metro Park north of Columbus. This is one of the most scenic places in central Ohio, and I hope members will make a special effort to attend. The conference room at the Nature Center is a pleasant space for a meeting. Furthermore, the park contains an earthen enclosure named the Orange Township Works by Squier and Davis. The lunch break will be extended to enable members to view this well-preserved earthwork located on the edge of a 100 foot high bluff overlooking the Olentangy River.

hope everyone had a productive summer and will have lots of news to share at the November meeting.

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