News from OAC

SAA Career Info On-line

What DO archaeologists do in the 21st century? What kinds of jobs and careers ARE they working at? This special issue of the SAA Archaeological Record provides 12 personal accounts of careers in archaeology that prove that archaeology is about MUCH more than digging. This issue can be accessed for free through this link:

Strategies for Protecting Archaeological Sites on the Web

A very useful web site titled "Strategies for Protecting Archeological Sites on Private Lands" has been developed through the joint efforts of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Archaeological Conservancy, the Society for American Archaeology, the Society for Historical Archaeology, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, and two National Park Service Cultural Resource offices (Heritage Preservation Services and the Archeology Program). Please visit at --


"Strategies continues to be a popular guide to the wide variety of tools available for protecting archeological sites on private lands. The site contains information on strategies currently being used throughout the U.S., case studies, keys to success, contact information, and links to other sources of useful information. Key strategies include -- Land Ownership, Financial Strategies, Development Regulation, Laws Specific to Archeology, Voluntary Strategies, and Site Management."--Susan L. Renaud, RPA, Senior Resource Planner, Heritage Preservation Services, National Park Service


OAC Comments Again on NAGPRA Final Rule

On behalf of the OAC, President Jarrod Burks has submitted comments on the final rule related to culturally unidentifiable Native American human remains.  Read the letter.

OAC Government Affairs Committee Report, May 2011

May 13, 2011 OAC Membership Meeting Government Affairs Committee Report

Al Tonetti, Chair

Brad Lepper, Jeff Reichwein, and Marilyn Orr, Committee Members


State Issues 

Ohio General Assembly.  The General Assembly is considering two bills of interest.  The thrust of both bills was incorporated into HB 153, the state’s two-year operating budget (July 2011-June 2013).  HB 153 passed the House on May 5 and is now before the Senate.  The two bills are HB 104, providing an individual income tax check off on Ohio’s income tax form funding an OHS-administered grant program, and HB133/SB108, permitting oil and natural gas drilling on state land.  The OAC testified in favor of HB 104 in the House, and against HB 133/SB108 in the House and Senate.  The OAC is not opposed to oil and gas drilling on state land.  We oppose HB 133/SB 108 because neither bill considers the impact of the industry on archaeological resources.  We submitted language to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to amend HB 133 so that impacts to archaeological resources are considered.  It was not included in HB 153, and it is unlikely the Senate will do so as it considers the budget bill.  A substitute/amended HB 133 should be released next week.  Whether or not it contains language as we suggested remains to be seen, but if it does not we may have to plead with ODNR to include such language when they write rules governing oil and gas drilling in state parks, but we are not optimistic about being successful if that is the route we need to take.  ODNR has previously told the OAC and the OHPO that they will not consider impacts on archaeological resources unless the General Assembly expressly permits them to do so.  Following our testimony, OHPO met with the sponsors of HB 133/SB108.  OHPO did not seem optimistic about getting language in HB 153 that would consider the impacts of drilling on cultural resources.  The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) also discussed the OAC’s concerns in their testimony opposing drilling on state land.  The OAC is a member of the OEC.

HB 153 also includes small ($60,000) increases in funding for the OHPO and OHS’ education and collections division, while cutting OHS’ outreach and partnership line item from $490,000 to $90,000, most of which OHS hopes to make up from private revenue sources.  Although the amount of contributions to the new income tax check off are uncertain, other annual income tax check off returns (ODNR wildlife and natural areas, and military injury relief) range from $300,000 to $600,000.  Hopefully, the Governor will not line item veto the OHS income tax check off, and we will begin to see grants to local and statewide history, archaeology, and historic preservation organizations next year.


Statehood Day 2011 (Tuesday, March 1).  Due to protests at the Statehouse on March 1concerning SB 5, the bill gutting collective bargaining for Ohio’s public employees, Statehood Day was cancelled.    


Legislative Commission on the Education and Preservation of State History. 

Sen. Widener may introduce a bill incorporating some of the recommendations contained in the Commission’s final report (issued September 1, 2010) later this year.  Recommendations of interest to the archaeological community include:

·         Creating an OHS income tax check-off, generating revenue for a local history grant program.

·         Creating an “Ohio History” license plate generating revenue for local history programs.

·         Creating a task force to study issues dealing with Ohio’s prehistoric and historic cemeteries.

·         Governor should issue an Executive Order directing state agencies to work with the Ohio Historic Preservation Office to identify, evaluate, and protect state-owned historic properties, but mandatory reviews of state actions should not be required.

·         Repealing Ohio Revised Sections dealing with designating archaeological and historical landmarks.

·         Next capital improvements budget should include funds for OHS to build a new collections storage facility.


Revise Ohio’s call-before-you-dig law.  SB 152 died in last year’s Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.  It has not been reintroduced.  Last year we were promised by the President and Executive Director of the Ohio Utilities Protection Service that the OAC would be invited to participate in future discussions about the matter.  We have not heard anything more about this matter.  SB 152 would have placed archaeologists working in Ohio in jeopardy of being classified as “habitual or willful non-compliers” and subject to fines of $10,000 per violation for violating notification and marking protocols of excavations, regardless of their depth.


Section 106 Consulting Party.  The OAC is a consulting party on a number of projects including a sewer project in Chillicothe that will likely affect the remnants of the Adena Mound.  A meeting about this project was held at OHPO last Friday and will be reported on elsewhere during the business meeting.  Another Section 106 project which we have been consulting on is improvement of restrooms at Serpent Mound.  Consulting on these projects primarily concerns commenting on research designs for archaeological investigations. 


Federal Issues

OSM/ODNR/OHPO AML PA.  The OAC submitted comments on renewal of the PA governing the impacts of AML actions on archaeological resources.  Our comments urged amending the PA by providing meaningful ways for the public and other consulting parties to participate in the review process, by including open bidding for the hiring of AML qualified professionals, by replacing the project summary form with a survey report meeting OHPO’s 1994 Archaeology Guidelines, and by making sure that all AML projects are performed by qualified professionals, not by unqualified project officers.  We have yet to receive a reply.


ACRA CRM Day.  Recently, Al Tonetti went to Capitol Hill with other ACRA members to discuss the importance of Section 106.  The group met with approximately 50 Representatives and Senators and/or their aides.  ACRA is planning a local CRM Day during the Congressional recess in August.  It is critical that all CRM firms and their employees participate in this effort, as Section 106 is increasingly threatened in Congress, particularly in the House.  Efforts are underway to exempt certain federal projects or types of projects from compliance with Section 106.  There are many ways Section 106 can be undermined without actually repealing Section 106 of the NHPA.


SAA Government Affairs.  Recently, Al Tonetti was appointed to the SAA’s Government Affairs Committee.  One emphasis of the SAA’s GAC will be to work more closely at the state and local level to address concerns with government policy and actions affecting archaeology.  If you know of a state or local issue that you think the SAA could/should help with, contact me.  A number of state governments are trying to cut the authority of government agencies to regulate activities adversely effecting archaeological resources.  This trend is likely to continue for the near future as governments look to rid themselves, and private industry, from regulations seen as unnecessary.

WVU?s Native American Studies Program Announces 2011 Elder-in-Residence and Symposium

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Gerard A. Baker, a full-blood member of the Mandan-Hidatsa Tribe of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in Mandaree, North Dakota, will be the 2011 Elder-in-Residence for the Native American Studies Program at West Virginia University. Many recognize Baker from his appearance in a number of documentaries, including Ken Burns’ award-winning 2010 PBS series, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” and “Lewis and Clark: the Journey of the Corps of Discovery.”

Baker will be in Morgantown from April 10 through 15, providing guest lectures to classes, a luncheon colloquium in the College of Human Resources and Education, attending a student meet-and-greet in the Division of Forestry and presenting a public lecture. The lecture is set for Tuesday, April 12 at 5:00 p.m. in Room G15 Life Sciences Building on the downtown campus. A reception in his honor begins at 4:30. The lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

View the flier.

“Thanks to support from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and others, this year’s Elder-in-Residence activities include a one-day symposium that’s an exciting regional outreach program for cultural resource management and public history professionals,” said Native American Studies Program Coordinator Bonnie Brown.

Baker will take part in the symposium, “Telling the Stories: American Indian Interpretation in the Trans-Allegheny Region,” on April 13th at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex auditorium in Moundsville, W.Va. The others presenters and their discussion topics for the symposium will be:

  • John Boback, Director of Education at Southwest Pennsylvania’s Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village – "Interpreting the Domestic Side of American Indian Daily Life as a Corrective to the Warlike Brute Stereotype"
  • Joe Candillo (enrolled member, Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona), Cultural Educator, artist and former Interpretive National Park Ranger –  “Leaving the Indian Out: The Absence of Native Americans as Primary Educators at Native American-themed State Historic and Sacred Sites throughout the Eastern United States”
  • Marti Chaatsmith (Comanche Nation Citizen), Program Director, Ohio State University-Newark Earthworks Program – "The Newark Earthworks:  Stakeholders, Interpretation, and Public History"
  • Travis Henline, Site Manager for West Virginia’s Independence Hall and former Coordinator of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s American Indian Initiative – "A New Face at a Mythic Place: The American Indian Initiative at Colonial Williamsburg."
  • Mary Ellen Snyder, Chief of Visitor Services and Interpretation at Fort Necessity National Battlefield and Friendship Hill National Historical Site – “The Odawa Warriors' Journey to Fort Necessity: Collaboration and Exhibit Development with the Little Traverse Bay Band of the Odawa”
 There is no fee to attend the Moundsville symposium, but registration is required. To register for the symposium, please visit:

At 3:00 p.m. the auditorium will open to the public for Baker’s keynote address.

Baker worked for the National Park Service for 31 of his 34 years with the federal government. He spent a three year stint with the United States Forest Service, during which time he served as an assistant district ranger. With the National Park Service, he worked as Superintendent of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail from 2000 to 2004. In that position, he managed the trails across 19 states and the traveling exhibit “Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future.”  

Baker was also the Superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial from 2004 until his retirement in 2010. There, he managed more than 1200 acres of land that attract almost three million visitors, annually. For three months, from April to July 2010, he also served as the Assistant Director for American Indian Relations of the National Park Service in Washington, D.C.

Now retired, he lives in the Black Hills of North Dakota with his wife, Mary Kay. He now has more time to focus on his hobbies, which include researching Northern Plains trade, American Indian history, studying the oral history of the Northern Plains and traditional crafts such as brain tanning.

The following have generously helped sponsor the 2011 Elder-in-Residence activities:

West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, the Carolyn Reyer Endowment for Native American Studies, the WVU Division of Forestry-Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources Program, the WVU Department of History-Cultural Resource Management Program, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, and the WVU College of Human Resources and Education-Office for Diversity and Global Initiatives.

For more information, contact Bonnie M. Brown, coordinator of the Native American Studies Program, at (304) 293-4626 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


New Ohio Conservancy to Protect Earthworks

 A new non-profit organization has formed to preserve and research prehistoric earthworks in southern Ohio.  The mission of the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy is to:

Advance the preservation and protection of prehistoric earthwork sites in southern Ohio.

Acquire real estate and conservation easements for the purpose of preserving ancient earthworks.

Manage prehistoric earthworks to preserve cultural, archaeological and natural integrity.

Educate the public about prehistoric earthworks, their importance and how to protect them.

Sponsor and conduct scientific surveys of prehistoric earthworks.

Support and partner with other organizations with compatible missions.

The tax-exempt status of Heartland Earthworks Conservancy is pending with the IRS.  If you would like to make a contribution to its mission, please send an email to They will contact you when their nonprofit status is in place.  All staff are volunteers and can always use more help.  Please contact them if you are interested in volunteering your time and talents toward earthworks conservation.


Board of Trustees

Dr. Jarrod Burks, Director of Archaeological Geophysics Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc.

Dr. William S. Dancey, Emeritus Associate Professor of Anthropology, Ohio State University

Robert Genheimer, George Rieveschl Curator of Archaeology, Cincinnati Museum Center

Prof. John E. Hancock, Professor of Architecture, University of Cincinnati, Project Co-Director, The Ancient Ohio Trail

Bruce J. Lombardo, Founder, Heartland Earthworks Conservancy, Former Site Manager, Serpent Mound State Memorial


Board of Trustees Advisors

Dean K. Alexander, Former Superintendent, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

Dr. Bradley T. Lepper, Curator of Archaeology, Ohio Historical Society

Dr. William F. Romain, Research Associate, Newark Earthworks Center, Ohio State University

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