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Home arrowNews arrowNovember 14, 2012

Northern Region, U.S. Forest Service, Receives Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation at Capitol Hill Ceremony

(from left) Kirby Matthew, Northern Region Historic Preservation Team;
Chere Justo, Executive Director of the Montana Preservation Alliance;
Carl Davis, Regional Archaeologist; Maureen Kirchhoff, Northern Region
Deputy Director; Calvin Cal Joyner, Associate Deputy Chief of the
National Forest System; Arthur Butch Blazer, Under Secretary for
Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Agriculture; and,
Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, ACHP chairman.The Heritage Stewardship Enhancement Program (HSE) of the Northern Region, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, received the Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation at the fall business meeting of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) today.

“The Heritage Stewardship Enhancement Program is a marvelous effort to meet not only the goals but advance the spirit of the National Historic Preservation Act,” said Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, ACHP chairman. “The Northern Region of the Forest Service has created a model program showing how federal agencies can work efficiently in tandem with other interested parties to preserve America’s heritage while meeting the goals of multiple organizations and keeping costs down.”

Under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), federal agencies are required to identify and protect historic places under their stewardship. The Northern Region encompasses 25 million acres across all or parts of five states. The region includes 12 National Forests in northeastern Washington, northern Idaho, and Montana; as well as National Grasslands in North Dakota and northwestern South Dakota.

About 20,000 cultural resources are known to exist in the Northern Region. This total includes individual sites, building complexes, archaeological districts, and historic landscapes. This undoubtedly is a fraction of total but yet undiscovered cultural resources that exist on the 25 million acres.

“This award is a testament to the support the Northern Region has received from its partners and volunteers who continue to give their support, passion, and energy to historic preservation work across the region,” said Faye Krueger, Regional Forester for the Northern Region of the Forest Service. “Much of this work simply could not have been done without our Heritage Stewardship Enhancement program, and our friends, volunteers, and partners.” 

Krueger said volunteers have donated many hundreds of hours, and 67 public, private, and tribal partners have contributed their technical support, knowledge, funding, materials, and other services, to a wide array of historic building, interpretation, and archaeological projects.  

The HSE is unique to the Northern Region. It was initiated in 2003 and the first projects were funded in 2004.  It is instructive to note that the Northern Region has worked with partners on more than 120 projects for the relatively modest cost of about $ 1.6 million. Partnership contributions–including cash, in-kind contributions, technical services, and volunteer labor–usually double or triple individual project capacity. HSE provides a dedicated stream of funding to ensure that the Northern Region meets its legal responsibilities each year for cultural resource protection and stewardship under the NHPA.

The projects have spanned a broad range. In 2011, 17 projects were funded. These ranged from archaeological investigations of a World War II-era B-17 crash site and shelter caves used by American Indians, to documentation and restoration of historic structures, as well as artifact curation and tracing the trails and camps of Lt. Col. Custer’s  7th Cavalry in the 1870s.

Representing the Department of Agriculture at the business meeting was Arthur “Butch” Blazer, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. Accepting the award on behalf of the Forest Service and its partners were the following: Maureen Kirchhoff, Northern Region Deputy Director; Carl Davis, Regional Archaeologist; Kirby Matthew, Northern Region Historic Preservation Team; and, Chere Jiusto, Executive Director, Montana Preservation Alliance. The meeting took place in the historic Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building.

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