As I enter my last few weeks as president of the OAC, I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to the members of our Board (both past and present) who have helped me along the way. All of our members should understand that these are extremely talented and dedicated people who have given a great deal of time and effort to an organization that they truly believe in. Whatever small achievements I have made as president could not have been realized without the help of these fine folks.
At the October 3 meeting of the Board of Directors, we discussed a number of important issues including the publication of the Late Archaic/Early Woodland volume, proposed revisions to the OAC Code of Regulations, and the development of a membership survey. You will hear detailed reports on the status of these and other projects at our upcoming membership meeting on Saturday, November 8 at High Bank Metro Park. President-elect, Bob Riordan, has put together an interesting program of presentation on recent archaeological research projects in Ohio that will precede and follow the membership meeting. At this meeting we will also announce the results of the fall elections. I strongly encourage all members to join us on November 8.
Late in our recent Board meeting, I proposed that the Council create a new ad hoc committee to oversee all OAC publications, including the Newsletter and the website. I volunteered to chair this committee and Martha Otto generously agreed to serve on the committee as well. I made this proposal in an effort to coordinate our traditionally separate tasks of conference publication and newsletter production while at the same time including our new effort to maintain a viable website. Taken together, these publication projects have become a very important part of what the OAC does and how it strives to fulfill its mission. Consequently, I thought it appropriate that this increasingly important aspect of the Council have a "voice" on the Board of Directors by being formalized as an ad hoc committee. After my term ends on November 8, I plan to devote most of my service to the Council through this new committee. I welcome the participation of other members who share my appreciation for this particular form of outreach.
OAC President-elect, Bob Riordan announced that the 2003 OAC Fall Membership meeting will take place on Saturday, November 8. The meeting and paper presentations will be held in the Multipurpose room of the Highbanks Metro Park Nature Center. The park is located at 9466 Columbus Pike (U.S. Rt. 23 north), Lewis Center, Ohio. From I-270, take U.S. 23 north about three miles; the entrance to the park is on the left (west), just before Powell Road. For additional information, see the Highbanks Metro Park website at www.metroparks.net/highbanks.htm. The OAC met at the Highbanks facility previously in the fall of 2001.
Kennewick Man Appeal
Since the May 16, 2003 OAC membership meeting, the OAC filed its friend of the court brief on behalf of the appellee (defendant) scientists to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The brief can be viewed here. OAC members Brad Lepper and Al Tonetti, and former OAC member and attorney Brad Baker, wrote the brief, which was filed by Baker. Lepper did the bulk of the research and writing. Tonetti edited and coordinated the writing and submission of the brief on behalf of the Board of Directors. Baker's pro bono work, valued at more than $5,000, focused on editing and formatting the brief. On September 10, 2003, the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in the case. Brad Lepper attended the hearing. Access www.friendsofpast.org/kennewick-man/news/030915news.html to read a report on the hearing, copies of friend of the court briefs, and to keep abreast of the case.
Proposed Amendments to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
On September 25, 2003, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register proposing changes to the Section 106 process. The Section 106 process requires Federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings (projects) on historic properties and afford the ACHP an opportunity to comment on such projects. One of the proposed changes is a result of a September 4, 2003, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling declaring that the Section 106 process does not apply to Federal projects that are merely subject to State or local regulation administered pursuant to a delegation or approval by a Federal agency. Generally, this provision applies to individual projects, often permits, issued by a State or local government agency with the authority to issue such permits because the Federal agency in charge of the Federal program under which the permits are issued has delegated its authority to do so, such as permits for surface coal mining. Despite the ruling, the ACHP maintains that Federal agency approval and/or funding of State- delegated programs, not individual permits, is a federal undertaking and that Federal agencies must still comply with their Section 106 responsibilities. The ACHP is recommending that Federal agencies develop programmatic agreements with the ACHP to comply with Section 106. Programmatic agreements are used by Federal agencies and the ACHP to govern the Section 106 process on complex individual projects or simpler, numerous and similar types of projects. Comments from the public concerning the proposed amendment were being accepted by the ACHP until October 27, 2003. The impact of the Court's ruling and the proposed changes to the Section 106 process on archaeological properties is unclear, but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the State agency overseeing coal mining permits in Ohio, maintains a review process for archaeological properties under the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act that basically parallels the Section 106 process.
Modernizing NEPA Implementation
On September 24, 2003, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Federal agency overseeing implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), issued its interagency task force's final report on improving and modernizing the NEPA process. This process, separate from the Section 106 process under the National Historic Preservation Act, requires the assessment of Federal agency actions on the environment, including cultural resources such as archaeological sites. It is unclear how the Federal Government will change the NEPA process based on the recommendations contained in this report. One of the recommendations is that, in consultation with the ACHP, the CEQ develop a handbook to assist the integration of the NEPA process with the Section 106 process. The Section 106 process allows Federal agencies to substitute their NEPA compliance process for Section 106 compliance so long as their NEPA compliance process meets the standards of the Section 106 process. You can access the CEQ's report at http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/ntf/report/index.html.
Historic Preservation Fund
A House and Senate conference committee was scheduled to meet the last week of October to resolve their differences over the Department of the Interior's fiscal year (FY) 2004 (October 1, 2003-September 30, 2004) appropriation bill. This measure includes funding for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), which provides most of the funds for State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs). The Senate version includes $3 million more for SHPOs than the House version ($37 vs. $34 million, the latter the amount SHPOs received in FY 2003). Recently, the Ohio Historic Preservation Office laid-off four employees, including Archaeological Survey Manager and OAC member Dr. Joni Manson, due to the combined affects of state and federal budget cuts.
House Preservation Caucus
Recently, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH, Dayton) and Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) formed a Historic Preservation Caucus. The purpose of the caucus is to develop legislation in the House of Representatives that supports and advances historic preservation, and that educates Americans on the benefits of historic preservation in their communities. Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH, Columbus) joined the caucus. Rep. Pryce is the fourth-ranking member of the House and is chair of the House Republican Conference. Please consider contacting your Congressional representative asking them to join the House Preservation Caucus.
House Select Committee Studying the Effectiveness of Ohio's Historical Programs and Partnerships
At the May 16, 2003 OAC membership meeting, Al Tonetti reported that he thought the Select Committee's recommendations appeared dead. Surprising, however, in the 2004- 2005 (July 1, 2003-June 30, 2005) biennial budget bill (Amended Substitute House Bill No. 95) signed by Governor Taft on June 26, 2003, the Ohio General Assembly included a provision requiring that
"Not later than May 15, 2004, the Ohio Historical Society shall submit to the [State] Controlling Board a plan for the implementation of the recommendations of the Select Committee to Study the Effectiveness of Ohio's Historical Programs and Partnerships. No appropriations to the society for fiscal year 2005 [July 1, 2004-June 30, 2005] may be expended without prior approval of the implementation plan by the Controlling Board."
This means that a plan to implement the recommendations contained in the Select Committee's final report, a number of which were suggested by the OAC, including 1) developing and implementing a state archaeological preservation plan in cooperation with government agencies, the OAC, the Archaeological Society of Ohio, the Native American community, and other stakeholders; 2) developing and implementing an abandoned cemetery and unmarked human burial ground preservation program in cooperation with statewide organizations representing the archaeological, historical, genealogical, and Native American communities, government agencies and law enforcement officials, the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board, and other stakeholders; and 3) terminating the State Registry of Archaeological Landmarks (ORC 149.51), must be developed and submitted to the Controlling Board by May 15, 2004. The Select Committee's report also recommends the transfer of the State Historic Preservation Office to state government, specifically to the Ohio Department of Development. The Select Committee's final report containing their recommendations can be accessed here.
State Historic Preservation Plan
The Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO) sought comments on a draft State Historic Preservation Plan (Plan) by October 17. Only recently did the OAC find out about the Plan and comment period. You can access the Plan at www.ohiohistory.org/resource/histpres/toolbox/preservationplan.html. The OAC submitted its comments on the Plan using a questionnaire developed by the OHPO. Our reply focused on consulting with the OAC and other interested stakeholders in the development of a State Archaeological Preservation Plan as recommended by the House Select Committee Studying the Effectiveness of Ohio's Historical Programs and Partnerships. A copy of our reply is posted here on the OAC's website.
House Bills 218 and 276, Lake Erie Coastal Management and Erosion Control
Two bills have been introduced to revise state law dealing with coastal management and erosion control on the shore of Lake Erie. House Bill 218 was introduced in June and was assigned to the Energy and Environment Committee. In mid-September, House Bill 276 was introduced and assigned to the same committee. House Bills 218 and 276 are very similar. The latter appears to be on a fast track and has had several hearings in the committee. The Committee has also taken testimony on House Bill 218. House Bill 276 will, among other things, abolish the Submerged Lands Advisory Council (SLAC) and the Coastal Resources Advisory Council and create the Lake Erie Coastal Advisory Council (LECAC) with somewhat similar membership and duties, and requires the Governor, not the Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, to appoint most of the Council's members. Although the Director of the Ohio Historical Society or his designee is still represented, and membership in LECAC must include a broad range of interests, experience, and knowledge concerning the management, use, conservation, protection, and development of Lake Erie's coastal areas, the LECAC's membership appears to be heavily weighted toward development of the Lake Erie shoreline. Archaeologists, terrestrial or underwater, are not mentioned but are not excluded from membership. Underwater archaeology expertise was represented on the SLAC.
1. Is the draft plan user friendly?
No. It contains numerous spelling and grammatical errors, it's incomplete, and it doesn't meets the needs of Ohio archaeology. This can be rectified by meaningfully consulting with Ohio's archaeological community and related stakeholders in the plan's development. This can be accomplished through the development of a State Archaeological Preservation Plan as recommended by the House Select Committee Studying the Effectiveness of Ohio's Historical Programs and Partnerships.
2. Is the information presented in Chapter 3, Ohio's Historic Properties, clear?
No. The section on archaeological properties is esoteric. It is unclear whether this section is needed. It adds little to the primary purpose of the plan, to set common ground for action.
3. Is the information presented in Chapter 4, Ohio Trends, clear?
No. How these trends and others that were omitted relate to archaeological properties is weak and outdated. This can be rectified by meaningfully consulting with Ohio's archaeological community and related stakeholders in the plan's development. This can be accomplished through the development of a State Archaeological Preservation Plan as recommended by the House Select Committee Studying the Effectiveness of Ohio's Historical Programs and Partnerships.
4. Does Chapter 6, A Call of Action, provide adequate guidance for state and local agencies?
No. The action items are outdated. They do not meet the current needs of Ohio's archaeological community. Identifying current action items can be accomplished by meaningfully consulting with Ohio's archaeological community and related stakeholders in the plan's development. This can be accomplished through the development of a State Archaeological Preservation Plan as recommended by the House Select Committee Studying the Effectiveness of Ohio's Historical Programs and Partnerships.
5. Is there anything else that you would like to see included in the plan?
Yes. A summary of the results of the State Archaeological Preservation Plan referred to above, and a written statement of adoption of, and commitment to implement the actions contained in, the plan by the Ohio Historical Society, the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board, the Ohio General Assembly, and the Governor.
6. Are you a non-profit organization?
Yes, the Ohio Archaeological Council, Inc.
7. How do you anticipate your organization using the plan?
Working with OHPO in coordinating Ohio Archaeology Week/Month and developing meaningful consultation with OHPO in developing and implementing a State Archaeological Preservation Plan as recommended by the House Select Committee Studying the Effectiveness of Ohio's Historical Programs and Partnerships.
8. How could the OHPO help you?
By developing meaningful consultation in developing and implementing a State Archaeological Preservation Plan as recommended by the House Select Committee Studying the Effectiveness of Ohio's Historical Programs and Partnerships.
9. What can OHPO do to encourage others to use the plan?
Develop a meaningful consultation process in developing the goals and the actions to reach the goals stated in the plan.
Over the past three years, the Dayton Society of Natural History has participated in an international exchange for students of archaeology through the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). This Council was founded in 1965, and advises the World Conservation Union; the World Heritage Committee; and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the nomination of new sites to the World Heritage List. ICOMOS has established 21 International Scientific Committees around the world, and "seeks to establish international standards for the preservation, restoration, and management of the cultural environment" (see website: www.icomos.org).
Since 2001, we have hosted an international intern to assist with annual summer excavation at the Wegerzyn Garden Center Site (33My127), as well as with reconstruction at SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park (33My57). These international interns work as part of a large crew of paid interns, staff, and volunteers. Thus far, interns have come to Dayton from Albania, Spain, and Ireland. Each one has been carefully chosen from a pool of applicants to the US/ICOMOS International Summer Intern Program. Successful applicants are young practicing professionals in the field of historic preservation and each one of our ICOMOS interns has had extensive archaeological experience in their country of origin.
The ICOMOS Summer Intern Program places these young professionals from around the world with host organizations in the United States. To date, there are only a few organizations that participate as hosts in this program: the Historic Charleston Foundation, the Dayton Society of Natural History (DSNH), and the National Park Service (NPS). Only the DSNH and NPS offer internships in archaeology, and between us we offer only two positions for international archaeologists. Other interns interested in historic preservation, architecture, conservation, architectural history, landscape architecture, and additional related fields can choose from various sites for their internships, generally within the NPS, but more opportunities for archaeological internships are needed.
Our interns have greatly benefited personally and professionally from the experience. Often, fieldwork opportunities are limited in their home countries or are confined almost exclusively to salvage work. Our 2003 intern, Siobhan Duffy from Ireland, stated "If I ever get to work on an excavation here that's run with anything near the level of organisation and integrity that Wegerzyn is, I'll be extremely happy."
It does cost us more each summer to host an international intern than it would to hire a young person who is local. We must provide a stipend to US/ICOMOS, housing for the intern, and transportation. We believe that the cost is easily offset by the benefits for both the intern and for our program. Hosting an intern is much more than a work arrangement. It becomes a mentoring environment in which both parties, host and intern, gain from the exchange. Each summer, we have modified our excavation program based on the insightful suggestions of our international interns. We have been able to improve the quality of our work by incorporating both the perspectives and skills of international archaeologists. In addition, each of our ICOMOS interns has been much more than "just another" crewmember - they have been colleagues.
Fieldwork in the United States is entering a transitional phase. Although most fieldwork is performed within the CRM sector, CRM companies are having a difficult time recruiting college graduates with experience. The decreasing number of university field schools and the short duration of many makes the situation difficult for a student seeking this necessary experience, especially in foreign countries. Museum-led excavations, like our own, may be helping to alleviate this problem. Through our paid internship program, we strive to provide a quality learning experience for our interns, while maintaining high standards of quality in excavation.
We have had other positive results from this collaboration. Private funders of our program enjoy being responsible for bringing an international student to the United States to study. This has made the fund-raising process easier and has resulted in numerous local public relations opportunities. It has also allowed our organization to become visible to the international archaeological community.
We have greatly benefited from participating in this program, in both tangible and intangible ways. We highly recommend that other organizations consider participating as hosts in this program and that students of archaeology and historic preservation consider applying for an internship through this international exchange.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology has just published a long-awaited volume on the Late Prehistoric period archaeology of that state. The volume is titled "Facing the Final Millennium: Studies in the Late Prehistory of Indiana, A.D. 700 to 1700" and is edited by Brian G. Redmond and James R. Jones III. The content of this book is derived from paper presentations at a 1998 symposium of the same name held at the Midwest Archaeological Conference in Muncie, Indiana. Hard copies of the volume are available free of charge; however. all orders are subject to a $5.00 shipping/handling fee payable by check or money order to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. To order, contact:
Indiana Department of Natural Resources,
Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology
402 W. Washington Street, W274
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2739
The volume can also be downloaded in pdf format from the DHPA website at www.state.in.us/dnr/historic/.