News from OAC

OAC Govt. Affairs Committee Report to Members

OAC Govt. Affairs Committee Report to Members, September 29, 2017
Al Tonetti, Chair

Ohio Assoc. of Nonprofit Organizations: We are participating in monthly legislative call updates. As a membership benefit, we spoke with an attorney about the Board’s electronic meeting and voting procedures. They need to be revised again to comply with Ohio law. We are drafting a related amendment to the Code of Regulations that members will vote on before or at the spring membership meeting. This does not apply to Committee business because Committee work is advisory to the Board, which has the corporate/legal authority. Also, OANO is monitoring Congress’ tax revision proposals for impacts to non-profit organizations.

Call Before You Dig/Ohio Utility Protection Service: Al continues to attend monthly OUPS meetings. The Public Utilities Commission is not going to require a $25 registration fee in 2018. The Ohio Utility Damage Prevention Coalition (OAC is a member) will likely meet later this year to discuss possible revisions to Ohio’s call before dig law regarding removing the local government exemption, the size and scope of large project dig tickets, a dig ticket’s expiration, the call/wait notification period, and excavation marking standards.

Human burial places: The joint OHC/SHPO/OAC Board effort was reinvigorated after a lull last winter and spring while meeting with State Representatives Scherer and Seitz. Both suggested we continue to work on this effort. The immediate need is to finish drafting the language for a bill and meet with key stakeholders. We received generally positive feedback from Federally recognized tribes through Stacey Halfmoon’s (OHC tribal liaison) efforts and look forward to more direct communication over the next few months. This summer we met with the President of the Archaeological Society of Ohio. We invited the ASO to join our working group and they accepted, and to today’s symposium on consulting with Native Americans. Al met with the Ohio state coroner’s association, who gave very positive feedback. He requested a list of contacts used for disposal of human remains that are/believed to be Native American and not under jurisdiction of coroners, and other entities used for disposal such as universities, museums, etc. He also requested data on how often coroners get involved in cases that end up not under their jurisdiction. This information is necessary to demonstrate the need for such legislation. They will reply after their 9/27 annual meeting. We are scheduling a meeting with other key stakeholders such as the Ohio Farm Bureau and real estate developers who will have concerns about property rights and the requirement to acquire permits to, and associated costs for, disturbing human burial places. Cultivated land will be exempt from the permit to disturb requirement.

We need to have a draft bill ready very early in 2018, and find legislators willing to sponsor the bill and get it drafted by the Legislative Service Commission. 2018 is last year of the biennial legislative cycle. We would like to have the bill ready for Statehood Day on March 1, 2018 so participants can speak with their legislators about the bill. Our next group meeting will be Oct. 10 at SHPO to finish drafting the bill. Al requests that members contact him ASAP about their experiences with the discovery of human burial places. We must demonstrate the need to revise Ohio law concerning this issue.

SHPO/Dept. of Administrative Services mtg. on disposal of state land: This spring, the DAS removed the disposal of land in Ross County where known archaeological and human burial sites exist (e. g., Kramer Mound and Village, and Shriver Circle) from the biennial budget bill. SHPO and DAS met in early August to discuss related issues. There will be a follow-up meeting this fall to discuss how to avoid such issues in the future. The OAC and the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy brought this matter to DAS and SHPOs attention last spring.

Trump executive order on national monuments: Interior Secretary Zinke’s report has been submitted to the President. Despite overwhelming public support for national monument designations by Presidents, Zinke is focusing on opponent’s efforts to rescind or reduce the areas of some Bush and Obama-era designations in order to maintain and increase multiple uses such as grazing, timber harvesting, mining, hunting, fishing, and motorized recreation.

Historic Preservation Fund: The House version of the FY 2018 budget would increase funds proposed to be cut by the President by $5.5 million, restoring the HPF to FY17 enacted levels. The House Interior Appropriations bill now includes the following levels of funding for the HPF:
SHPOs: $47.925 million
THPOs: $10.485 million
Civil Rights Grants: $13 million
Save America's Treasures Grants: $5 million
HBCU Preservation Program: $4 million
Underserved Communities Grants: $500,000

The Senate has yet to release an FY18 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The government will operate under FY2017 spending levels through mid-December. By that time, Congress and the White House will have to do one of two things: reach an agreement on overall spending levels for the next four or five years, and that raises the debt limit and contains an omnibus appropriations bill for FY2018; or give up on a new budget deal for now and simply extend FY2017 spending levels through FY2018.

Section 106 consultations:
• Judge Barker House (USACE project, Washington County, archaeology at NRHP-listed building) Ongoing consultation on conducting archaeological investigations, and a memorandum of agreement/MOA concerning the likely demolition of the building.
• Buckeye Lake (USACE project, Fairfield and Licking counties, historical/shipwreck archaeology). Al attended June 19 consulting party mtg. The MOA was redrafted to include stipulations for 5-year duration, monitoring of Black Diamond shipwreck reburial in the lake, and presentation at 2018 OAC mtg. It will be circulated for signing in    early October. The OAC is a concurring party. The Buckeye Lake Historical Society is an invited signatory.
• Maumee River Bridge (USACE/ODOT project, Henry County, prehistoric archaeology). The MOA has been executed. Data recovery will occur at site 33HY167 (Late Archaic and Middle Woodland through Late Prehistoric site). The Miami Tribe is an invited signatory; the OAC and Eastern Shawnee Tribe are concurring parties. The     MOA includes preparation of an article for unspecified peer-review journal. The OAC will request an article be submitted for our Journal of Ohio Archaeology.
• Stuart Station MOA amendments (USACE project, Adams County, prehistoric archaeology on multiple sites with human burials). Amendments to the original MOA were executed. The OAC is a concurring party. The Absentee Shawnee, Delaware, Eastern Shawnee, Keeweenaw Bay Indian Community, Miami, Pokagon Band   Potawatomi, Seneca, and Shawnee tribes are invited signatories.

Fall OAC Meeting Agenda

9:30-10am: Coffee & pastries

10-11:20am: Archaeological Recovery of an Historic Ottawa Burial on Ewing Island, Lucas County, Ohio (33LU805) Linda Pansing, Juli Six, William H. Pickard

11:20-11:30am: Break

11:30am-12:30pm: OAC Business meeting

12:30-1:30pm: Lunch on your own, food trucks scheduled to be in parking lot or see attached list of local eateries

1:30-1:50pm: NAGPRA at Ball State University: Respecting the Past; Building Relationships for the Future Christine Thompson, Kevin C. Nolan, and S. Homes Hogue

1:50-2:10pm: Consultation Beginnings at the Cincinnati Museum Center
Robert A. Genheimer, George Rieveschl Curator of Archaeology and Tyler Swinney, Tribal Liaison/NAGPRA Coordinator

2:10-2:30pm: Developing TCPs for the Ohio Valley Jay Toth, Seneca Nation

2:30-2:50pm: Geophysical Survey and the Search for Graves: Cemeteries and other Unmarked Settings Jarrod Burks, Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc.

2:50-3:10pm: Recent and Ongoing Tribal Consultations with Huntington District, Developing Effective Collaboration with Tribal Partners Rodney Parker, USACE, Huntington District

3:10-3:30pm: Break

3:30-4:30pm: Panel discussion and Q&A moderated by Kevin Pape, Gray & Pape
-Ben Barnes, Second Chief, The Shawnee Tribe
-Stacey Halfmoon, Director of American Indian Relations, Ohio History Connection
-Ernie Ladkani, Senior Advisor for Environmental Planning & Permitting at TransCanada
-Earl Evans, Gray & Pape Tribal Engagement Specialist

The meeting will be held in the 3rd Floor Classroom at the Ohio History Center (800 E. 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43211).

As noted above, we expect there to be food trucks in the parking lot and there is a list of places to eat nearby. Of course, you are welcome to bring your own lunch as well. If you have any questions please let me know. Thank you!

We hope to see you there!

Erica L. Schneider, MA, RPA
OAC Secretary

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Central Ohio Archaeological Digitization Survey (COADS)

    Drs. Mike Shott (University of Akron) and Kevin Nolan (Ball State University) have organized the Central Ohio Archaeological Digitization Survey (COADS) to undertake a concerted effort to engage the artifact collectors and archaeology enthusiasts in central Ohio in building out a more complete and more accessible record of the prehistoric past of the region. Recognizing that the vast majority of artifacts and sites are contained in private collections, Shott and Nolan seek to bridge this void in the academic record of the region. The full story of how prehistoric cultures coped with adversity and environmental change demands incorporating into archaeological research the knowledge that resides in private collections. The Central Ohio Archaeological Digitization Survey (COADS) is the first systematic effort to map and digitize collections from a specific region of the United States, the remarkable prehistoric landscape of Ohio's central Scioto Valley. One of its chief innovations is to treat local knowledge as integral to the archaeological record and research. In the process, COADS documents prehistoric cultural transitions as responses to population growth, economic change, and landscape development. It uses archaeology's unique perspective to study tempo and mode of long-term technological change. COADS integrates the materials from private collections with previous site- and region-based analyses into a composite model of distribution of human activity on the landscape over time. Previous work constructed a mutually reinforcing model of transition from mobility to residential stability (i.e., more sedentary populations) concomitant with a shift to increasing focus on, and eventual domestication of, seed crops.

If you would like to be a part of this research effort, please contact Kevin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 765-285-5325). You can also check us out on Facebook.

OAC Fall 2017 Membership Meeting and Symposium

Attention OAC Members:

Mark your calendars for the Fall 2017 Ohio Archaeological Council Membership Meeting and Symposium to be held Friday September 29, 2017 at the Ohio History Center in Columbus.

The theme for the symposium is Consulting with American Indians.

For this symposium we are soliciting presentations addressing the following:

- Examples of working with NAGPRA- the good and the bad and lessons learned; creating inventories and summaries; tribal consultation concerning human remains and/or TCPs/sacred sites

- Working with or in the absence of state or federal laws regarding human burial sites and remains and sacred sites/TCPs- including an update on the current effort in Ohio to improve the protection   of human burial places

- Tribal perspectives and related matters

If you would like to present on these or related topics please submit an abstract to Andy Sawyer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) no later than September 8, 2017.

Tentative schedule: Friday September 29, 2017

9:30-10am refreshments

10-11:40am presentations (five @ 20 minutes each)

11:40am-12:30pm OAC Business meeting

12:30-1:30pm Lunch: Food Trucks at OHC or on your own

1:30-3:10pm presentations (five @ 20 minutes each)

3:10-4:00pm presenter/panel discussion and Q&A

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Andy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Thank you!


History Fund Grant Applications Available Now

The 2017-2018 round of Ohio History Fund grant applications is now available at The application deadline is Sept. 1, 2017 (by 11:59 p.m.).

These grants support all kinds of history projects including archaeological research. Eligible applicants include local historical societies, museums, public libraries, genealogical societies, university archives and special collections, historic preservation groups, archeological societies, county records management offices, "friends" groups, and other non-profit and public entities.  (Ineligible applicants include for-profit businesses, private individuals, and the Ohio History Connection). 

Click here for a list of past grant recipients.

Spring (April 28) 2017 Ohio Archaeological Council Government Affairs Committee Report

Al Tonetti, chair (members Bill Kennedy, Jeff Reichwein, Lauren Sieg)

State Activities

Better Protecting Human Burial Places in Ohio. Most members are aware that the OAC has met with OHC/SHPO to discuss ways to better protect certain human burial places, i.e., those not under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Commerce, Div. of Real Estate. This effort is a direct result of the unauthorized excavation at the Trace Rockshelter in Jackson County a few years ago, but has been a concern for decades. Ohio is often mentioned as having the least effective laws governing the identification and protection of human burial places in the nation.

This is a very complex matter that to this point has been limited to discussion between certain members of the OAC’s Board, OHC/SHPO staff, and State Rep. Scherer. At Rep. Scherer’s request, a meeting with State Rep. Seitz is being scheduled, possibly in May. It will help determine whether we should proceed with the current comprehensive effort or scale back to simply addressing revising penalties under existing law. Either way, we would then engage other interest groups.

HB 168. Introduced March 29, 2017, it would modify duties of the Div. of Real Estate, Dept. of Commerce regarding cemeteries under their jurisdiction, including registration, maintenance, and establish a grant program. The bill is a result of the Cemetery Law Task Force’s 2014 recommendations. OAC provided comments to SHPO on the bill.

Dept. of Administrative Services (DAS) sale of state land. In bills introduced last fall, the state of Ohio proposed selling certain prison farmlands containing important archaeological resources. The OAC intervened in the House after the Senate bill passed within a few weeks of being introduced. With the cooperation of SHPO we were able to halt, for now, the sale. In the bill the Ohio Dept. of Rehab and Corrections and DAS proposed selling land containing the western portion of Shriver Circle and much of Kramer Mound and Village in Ross County. We continue to consult with SHPO about this matter.

Protecting Underground Utilities. The Underground Technical Committee has ruled on 26 of about 35 complaints filed. Most complaints are by contractors/excavators against utilities. No fines have been levied. 60% of complaints involve utilities’ failure to mark utility locations or give notice of no conflicts.

The Ohio Utilities Damage Prevention Coalition is likely to meet later this year to discuss possible revisions of the law. Possible revisions include waiting 72 instead of 48 hours to give utility locators more time to mark, removal of exemptions, clarifying the large complex projects process, and ticket life.       

Statehood Day 2017. Occurred March 1. Expressed concern for maintaining OHC/SHPO funding in the biennial budget. State revenues continue to lag predictions. Last year’s ask, initiated by the OAC, for a House/Senate concurrent resolution supporting the U.S. Government’s nomination of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks nomination to the World Heritage List, was successful.

Rover Pipeline Settlement with SHPO. Rover, back by Energy Transfer Partners, the same firm behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, intentionally demolished a farmstead that was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places before completing the Section 106 process. Rover agreed to a $2.3 million fine, the $ for which will be used by the Ohio History Connection/SHPO for historic preservation projects throughout Ohio.

Federal Activities

BLM leases in Wayne National Forest (WNF). The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sold more than 1000 acres of oil and gas leases on the Marietta Unit of the WNF. At this time there is no federal undertaking. Cultural resources surveys would be done when the lessee proposes actions affecting the land. BLM would oversee cultural resource surveys, assisted by WNF. The same could happen in Cuyahoga Valley National Park where the National Park Service only owns about one-third of the mineral rights.

WNF PA. We submitted comments to WNF on their draft programmatic agreement for complying with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

STOP Act (Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony) of 2016. From the 114th Congress. Not reintroduced into the 115th. Increases prison time from 5 to 10 years for persons convicted a second time of illegally trafficking American Indian human remains. Also bans export of illegally obtained American Indian cultural objects.

Ongoing Section 106 Consultations

  • Stuart Station data recovery and human remains, Adams County.

  • Judge Barker House, Washington County.

  • Camp Sherman, Ross County.

  • Meigs Mine 31 pipeline, where prehistoric human remains were discovered at 33GA387.

  • Rolling Hills Generating Station project. The OAC was asked to consult regarding resolving adverse effects to site 33MS609, a stratified, primarily Late Archaic-Early Woodland site on the Ohio River floodplain.

  • Buckeye Lake Dam improvements, Licking County.

  • Data recovery at 33HY107 for the Maumee River Crossing Bridge.

  • Data recovery at 33FR560, 33FR1303, and 33FR2349 at the Columbus Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Government Affairs Network State Representative (GANSR). The SAA has revised its GANSR program. This network will serve as SAA's "eyes and ears on the ground" and will be invaluable to sending timely alerts to a state's SAA members. I was previously Ohio’s GANSR and was re-designated so by SAA. Please bring any state or local archaeology concerns to my attention.

President Trump and Congressional Efforts to “Drain the Swamp.” Efforts to cut regulations affecting CRM archaeology such as the Reins Act, now law, which requires that every year for the next 10 years each agency is to present 10% of their current regulations to Congress for review and approval. There are many other efforts to “rein in” the “administrative state” and “government overreach”, including requiring Congressional and state approval for creation of national monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906. On April 26, the President signed an Executive Order directing the Sec. of the Interior to review the last 20 years of Presidential monument designations that included more than 100,000 acres of federal land.

The President’s budget proposal eliminates many federal programs for infrastructure that require Section 106 compliance, e.g., Dept. of Commerce’s Economic Development Agency, USDA water and wastewater grants, Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grants, Interior’s Abandoned Mine Land Grants, Transportation’s TIGER grants, EPA’s geographic watersheds programs, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and eliminates the Appalachian Regional Commission, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowments for Arts and Humanities, and National Heritage Areas program.