One of the primary goals shared by both ACRA and SAA is to advocate for public policies that protect the record of cultural resources both at home and around the world. In representing our community before the U.S. Congress, we deliver the message of how CRM preserves our shared cultural heritage for present and future generations, and how this preservation of our past enriches local communities and creates economic benefits.
Nothing makes an impression on Members of Congress like personal visits to sites that showcase where and how this work is being done in their districts. This summer ACRA and SAA are organizing a campaign to bring senators and representatives to project sites during the upcoming August congressional recess. Now is the chance to show the elected officials in the district where your site lies what important work you do for our nation and localities.
If you are interested in setting a meeting with your Member of Congress this August, contact Amanda Stratton and request our congressional visit toolkit. This helpful guide includes tips on scheduling, conducting a great site visit, talking point suggestions, working with their press staff, social media samples, and other items.
We have also made it easier for you to submit your meeting request: simply go to the SAA Take Action portal and click on the “History Comes to Life Here” link. At this site, you can enter the zip code in which your dig, museum, collection or facility is located, and send an editable template invitation to the federal and state representatives of that area.
Once you have set a date for the visit, be sure to let Amanda know. Let us know the particulars of the visit after the meeting as well so that we can follow up with their offices.
This is a great opportunity to educate Members of Congress on the scientific and economic value of CRM. We know you do amazing work and this is a chance to brag about it people who can make a difference by seeing how NHPA, ARPA and the Antiquities Act benefit their districts. Please participate and show politicians that all history is local.
The ACRA Government Relations team does more than just represent CRM interests in Washington, D.C. Did you know that the team is also available to consult for your local and regional conferences, help you with talking points for site visits, and more? Earlier this spring, ACRA member Shelly Davis-King took advantage of this vital member benefit to make the conversation local and pertinent to her state.
Shelly partnered up with Brendon Greenaway, California Associate State Archaeologist, and Kelly Lizarraga, Advocacy Coordinator for Cultural Heritage Partners, to present a workshop on advocacy at the Society for California Archaeology conference in Sacramento this past March.
Kelly shared an update on the latest news from Washington, DC. She outlined the ongoing threats to historic preservation and discussed the impact of the 2018 midterm elections. Kelly highlighted the areas in which the involvement of ACRA members can shape policy and inform the regulation-writing process of federal agencies.
During the workshop, Shelly and Kelly acted out a mock visit to a Congressional office. Shelly played the role of an ACRA member visiting a Congressional office – something she has done in previous years. Using her experience working on the Hill, Kelly acted the part of the Congressional staffer. Together, they demonstrated how ACRA members can share their expertise with Congressional offices to promote sound policy decisions.
ACRA members who’d like to advocate before Congress can visit their representatives in Washington, DC or in their home districts. Kelly and her colleagues at Cultural Heritage Partners would be pleased to help you schedule a visit to your Member of Congress in your home state. They will provide you with talking points and leave-behind documents to ensure that you feel fully prepared for your meeting. Email Kelly to start utilizing this crucial member benefit!
We are thrilled to announce that ACRA has entered into an official joint partnership with the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP)!
As an ACRAsphere reader, you are the first to hear about this exciting new member benefit.
Many environmental companies are required to engage in cultural resource management in order to comply with federal laws, and CRM companies often work under NEPA regulations. By combining forces, together ACRA and the NAEP can help improve your business outcomes, stay on the cutting edge of industry, and even save money.
Check out the list of partnership benefits below, and contact us if you have any questions!
ACRA-NAEP Partnership Benefits
ACRA members should be aware that last week a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill, held up by months due to President Trump’s opposition to Puerto Rican aid, was signed into law. Designed to provide assistance to areas in affected by storms, flooding, wildfires, and other disasters, H.R. 2157 (Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019) includes funding that addresses the cultural resources impacts of several severe storms. Especially relevant to ACRA members, the bill includes $50 million to the National Park Service for the Historic Preservation Fund, to address the consequences of Hurricanes Florence and Michael and Typhoon Yutu. This funding:
The funding bill also provides $78 million to the National Park Service for construction repair and replacement of assets damaged in the disasters; $134 million for the U.S. Forest Service for Forest Inventory, capital improvements, and maintenance; and $1.64 billion for military construction to address impacts to Marine Corps installations in North Carolina, Air Force Base Tyndall in Florida, and National Guard facilities across the areas impacted by the disasters. A summary of the activities funded by the legislation is available here.
CRM firms may see contracting opportunities as a result of this legislation associated with military construction, emergency mitigation, and a system of competitive grants that SHPOs and THPOs may use to address cultural resources impacts of these events. During previous disaster relief bills like that for Hurricane Sandy, funding in affected states was provided to counties specifically listed in the disaster declaration. Funding disbursement varied by SHPO, but commonly addressed mitigation by documenting or updating site recording in affected areas, providing assessments of storm damage and sea level rise vulnerability, and developing disaster management plans for some historic resources.
The voting period for the 2019 ACRA Board elections opens today! The candidates in this year's slate are vying for 11 open positions, including:
Each candidate has submitted a biography and statement to help you make your selection. The slate of candidates is very strong, and thus we urge you to review the statements carefully and choose those candidates who you feel best understand the needs of our industry and are committed to providing leadership on the ACRA board.
Read the Candidate Statements and Bios
Per ACRA's bylaws, each member firm gets one vote. Only member firms are eligible - student and associate members do not vote in elections.
Bundle administrators only will receive an invitation from SurveyMonkey later today. If you do not receive your invitation by tomorrow morning, please first check your spam folder. If you still do not see it, contact us. Voting will be open until July 1, 2019 at 11:59 pm EDT.
Your firm can help shape the future of ACRA - submit your vote before the deadline!
Whether you are new to ACRA or a long-time member, getting involved with the organization is essential to maximizing your membership benefits. The best way to do so is by joining an ACRA committee!
There is an ACRA committee to serve all interests in CRM. Whether you want to improve continuing education opportunities, influence policy at all levels of government, or work on benefits for firms of all sizes, there is a committee for you to work on the interests you are passionate about. Check out the full committee list below, and let us know where you would like to get involved!
Do you know of an up and coming CRM professional or student looking for an immersive cultural heritage research experience?
Now in its third year, recruitment is underway for a fall semester joint ACHP-Smithsonian Institution Cultural Heritage Fellowship position, supported by the ACHP Foundation and the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships.
This year’s theme is the Music Heritage of the District of Columbia. This place-based cultural heritage fellowship will consist of a research project exploring the integration of historic sites and museum collections to tell fuller stories about the development, impact, and role of music in the history and heritage of Washington, D.C.
Details about the fellowship and how to apply can be found here. The application deadline is June 16.
Find other interesting job opportunities on the ACRA Jobs board.
Readers can now find relevant news items compiled all in one place! In our CRM Firms in the News series, we feature recent mentions of ACRA member firms and their projects across the country. Was your firm recently featured in a news article or on social media? Send it to us to be included in our next volume of the series!
The ACHP is back for ACRA's next session in its 2019 webinar series! Join us on June 20 at 2:00 pm EDT for Planning for Successful Section 106 Agreements, which will take a deep dive into this integral portion of the Section 106 process.
When a federal agency finds that an undertaking may adversely affect a historic property, it must consider measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate such adverse effects and document the resolution of the Section 106 consultation in a formal, legal agreement. The agency must then implement the measures in the agreement.
In this webinar, attendees will practice applying the tools for agreement writing and reviewing provided in the ACHP’s Guidance on Agreement Documents. The presenters will also guide participants in performing a “reality check” for agreement consultation. Cultural resources professionals and project/program managers with a strong understanding in the requirements of Section 106 consultation will benefit from this fresh look at effective strategies to execute implementable agreements in a timely manner.
The expert providers for this webinar are Kelly Fanizzo, ACHP Associate General Counsel, and Katry Harris, ACHP Training Specialist. Both joined the ACHP in 2006 and are well-versed in Section 106, NEPA coordination, and historic preservation law.
Spaces are first come, first serve, so reserve your spot today!
Last week, ACRA members converged on Washington, D.C. to stand up for the issues that matter to their firms and the CRM industry. As a part of CRM Day on the Hill, members visited 32 congressional offices on both sides of the aisle (19 Democrats and 13 Republicans), and the issues discussed in each meeting were tailored specifically to the district, committee assignments, and interests of the legislator. ACRA members were carrying the message on:
Check out the photos from the day below, and thank you so much to our attendees for taking the time to stand up for CRM on Capitol Hill!
Not able to attend, but want to make a difference from your home state? Contact us now and we will help you schedule an in-district meeting!
Jasmine Heckman (left) & Sarah Janesko of New South Associates and the Veterans Curation Program
ACRA President Kim Redman (Alpine Archaeological Consultants) with Senator Corey Gardner (R-CO)
Andrew Weir (Commonwealth Heritage Group, left) & Jacob Petrie (New South Associates, right) with Representative Jack Bergman (R-MI-1)
Dan Cassedy (AECOM, left) & Wade Catts (South River Heritage Consulting)
Wade Catts (South River Heritage Consulting, left) & Mike Carmody (Dovetail Cultural Resource Group) meet with staff from the office of Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE-AL)
Burr Neely (AECOM) & Ian Burrow (BurrowIntoHistory)
Sara Read (New South Associates) at the office of Senator David Perdue (R-GA)
Members from New South Associates & Dovetail Cultural Resource Group at the office of Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
From left to right: Yemisi Egbewole (Senator Warner's office), Jacob Petrie (New South), Brad Hatch (Dovetail), Jasmine Heckman (New South), Adriana Moss (Dovetail), Michael Carmody (Dovetail)
Sara Read & J.W. Joseph of New South Associates
Members from Dovetail Cultural Resource Group visit the office of Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)
From left to right: Mike Carmody, Adriana Moss, Nick Barbash (Senator Kaine's office), Brad Hatch
Ian Burrow (BurrowIntoHistory, left) & Wade Catts (South River Heritage Consulting) at the office of Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE)
Group dinner on Capitol Hill before storming the Hill