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  • 07/27/2021 2:38 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team


    Technical Editing for CRM

    August 12, 2021
    2:00 - 3:30 PM (EDT)
    Register Now

    Members $89 | Students $19 | Non-Members $129

    Last year we presented a webinar on technical writing for CRM (watch that on demand here!), and now the expert presenter is back for the next installment: technical editing!

    All CRM practitioners practice technical editing in the course of their daily jobs, and their deliverables count on clean, quick, accurate editing. Yet, the industry doesn't have a consistent system or understanding of what technical editing is in general and how to best leverage it in a CRM setting. On August 12, Technical Editing for CRM will go into topics discussed in the technical writing webinar, but more in-depth.

    The presentation will focus on training CRM employees, whether they are project directors, field technicians, or even administrative staff, to quickly target the most common errors in CRM technical reports, leverage the power of Word to be more consistent, introduce fewer errors in the process, and work more collaboratively with authors.

    As always, in addition to reduced pricing, ACRA member firms enjoy a firm-wide registration fee - once one person pays for a spot, all other firm employees can register for no additional cost.

    We expect spaces to fill up quick, so register NOW to reserve your spot!

    Register for Technical Editing for CRM

  • 07/23/2021 12:45 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Yesterday's webinar, Reframing Public Outreach: Addressing Historically Underrepresented Communities in CRM, is now available on ACRA Webinars on Demand!

    Frequently used research and outreach methods that CRM practitioners employ often do not effectively consider or reach underrepresented communities. Why is this? What are we missing? How can we do better? This session provides strategies to answer these questions and more.

    This webinar is the first in a series hosted by ACRA that explores effectively addressing historically underrepresented communities in historic preservation during regulatory processes and how to identify these communities and to engage in a meaningful manner.

    As with the live session, this webinar is available to ACRA members at a discounted price. Members can get the discount code to access the presentation here.

    Watch the Underrepresented Communities Webinar NOW

  • 07/19/2021 1:46 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Your Congress in Action is a series that highlights the Capitol Hill news that affects CRM firms the most. Be sure to subscribe to the ACRAsphere to ensure you don't miss an update.


    Congress and the White House are working furiously to pass not one, but two, massive infrastructure bills that could reshape many parts of the economy, from transportation to education and health care – and could have large impacts on the CRM industry.

    With all the maneuvering and proposals flying back and forth, let’s take a moment to break down all the moving parts:

    How We Got Here

    Joe Biden was elected partly on his platform of “Build Back Better,” promising increased spending on infrastructure, action on climate change, and expansion of the social safety net. The 2020 election results, a 50-50 split in the Senate coupled with the Democrats’ narrow majority in the House, gave Democrats control of all the policymaking levers in Washington, but barely.

    Traditional infrastructure, meaning roads, bridges, water systems, rail and other “hard” elements, has traditionally received bipartisan support, but in the current partisan environment, even infrastructure is a hard sell. Meanwhile, Biden’s call for more spending on “soft” infrastructure like early childhood education, senior care, clean energy and the like, has received near-unanimous opposition from Republicans.

    Although Democrats have a functional majority in the Senate (50 Senators plus the tiebreaking vote of the Vice President), Senate filibuster rules mean that Democrats need to secure the support of at least 10 Republicans to move any legislation, with one exception (more on that in a second). And Democrats can’t even count on all 50 Senators sticking together, with a caucus that ranges from super-progressive Bernie Sanders (VT) to conservative Joe Manchin (WV).

    The one exception to the filibuster rule is a process called “reconciliation,” which is used for legislation to address the federal budget (taxes and spending), A reconciliation bill can’t be filibustered, meaning Democrats need just 50 Senators – but because everything in a reconciliation bill has to directly affect the federal budget, a lot of things Democrats want can’t be passed in a reconciliation bill (i.e., back to needing 60 votes).

    Consequently Biden – who also campaigned on his ability to negotiate deals in the Senate – adopted a two-track process: work with some Republicans on a “hard” infrastructure package that could get 60 votes, while at the same time using reconciliation on a Democrats-only package that incudes a lot of his other priorities.

    The Bipartisan “Hard” Infrastructure Plan

    Two weeks ago, Biden and a bipartisan group of 10 Senators came to agreement on a framework for a “hard” infrastructure package. The package would spend $1.2 trillion over 8 years, including $579 billion in new spending, on roads, bridges, water systems, broadband and other traditional infrastructure. The biprasn group of Senators, which now has swelled to 22, is now working on filling in all the details. Majority Leader Schumer said last week he will start debate on the bill this week.

    Although the bill has support from both parties, there is no guarantee that it will ultimately succeed, as many Republicans may still oppose it – and some progressive Democrats aren’t happy that it does not include more funding.

    That is where the other bill comes in.

    The Democratic “Soft” Infrastructure Plan

    Last week, the White House and Senate Democrats came to an agreement on the broad outline of a $3.5 trillion "soft" infrastructure bill last week. Although the details have not yet been finalized, the bill could address several parts of President Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda, including universal prekindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds, two years of free community college, clean energy requirements for utilities, and expanded Medicare benefits. The plan would be paid for with a combination of tax increases on corporations, increased IRS enforcement, and other provisions.

    The size of the bill is smaller than progressive Democrats had wanted, but larger than moderate and conservative Dems had been aiming for. At this point, the plan has not engendered any opposition from Senate Democrats, which is crucial since the plan would need all 50 Senate Dems to support it, assuming that no Senate Republicans back the plan. If Democrats are able to stick together, this plan could become law.

    What is the Timeframe for Action?

    There are two key deadlines for action on the infrastructure bills, one official and one less so.

    The official deadline is September 30, when the current surface transportation law expires. If Congress fails to act, states will not receive billions of dollars in funding for roads, bridges and other transportation needs. Therefore, the bipartisan “hard” infrastructure bill will likely serve as the vehicle (no pun intended) to extend those programs. In fact, the House and Senate have both been working on transportation bills, which are expected to be folded into the bipartisan bill.

    The non-official deadline is the 2022 midterm election, when all of the House and a third of the Senate are up for grabs. Democrats, worried that they may very well lose their majorities in a year, are anxious to get as much of Biden’s agenda passed now. Since passing major legislation gets trickier the closer you get to an election, they hope to wrap up the larger bill by the end of 2021.

    How Will CRM Be Affected?

    The size and scope of the two bills will impact the CRM industry in myriad ways, from the indirect to the more specific. Here are some of the ways in which the bills could affect CRM firms:

    • Infrastructure spending. If Congress increases spending on major infrastructure projects, there will be more Section 106 reviews, which means more work for CRM firms.
    • Regulatory streamlining. Every infrastructure debate comes with calls to reduce red tape. That means there are calls to “streamline” Section 106, and even exempt certain projects from it. To date, none of the proposals moving through Congress explicitly impact Section 106.

      But that could change. One area where there is the possibility of changes to Sec. 106 involves railroad rights-of-way (ROW). Although the railroad industry has been pressing Congress to allow more exemptions from Sec. 106, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee did not include such a provision in the transportation bill they approved, instead authorizing a study by the General Accounting Office (GAO) to assess the extent to which the existing exemptions work. But the railroad industry is continuing to press for more exemptions as the bill moved forward.
    • Historic Preservation Fund. As noted in the last Your Congress in Action, the House-passed transportation bill included an ACRA-backed amendment to permanently authorize the Historic Preservation Fund and double its annual authorization to $300 million. ACRA is now working with its allies to secure Senate support for a similar amendment.

    Congress and the White House have a long way to go before any infrastructure legislation is enacted into law. For the CRM industry, this process presents an opportunity to make sure its priorities are reflected in whatever bills become law.

    A great way to do that is by attending ACRA’s 27th Annual Conference in Old Town Alexandria, VA, September 8-12, 2021. On Thursday, September 9, ACRA members will go to Capitol Hill and lobby their elected representatives on the issues that matter the most to the industry. With Congress expected to be in the midst of the debate over these landmark bills, the timing is right to make sure that policymakers understand the value of CRM.

  • 07/16/2021 2:52 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    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!

    • ACRA member firm Morton Archaeological Research Services is working with the Mohican Tribal Historic Preservation Office on a project in Stockbridge, MA that aims to proactively educate area residents about the history and founding of the town. Read more about how the community is coming together in an effort to correct historical interpretation in the Berkshire Eagle.

    • ACRA member firm Dovetail Cultural Resource Group has been working on a collaborative history initiative with the Fredericksburg Nationals and others to discover the history of baseball in the area - including a special scholarship program for local students! Read more on fredericksburg.com.

    • ACRA member firm Hunter Research, Inc. recently worked to get the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, the home of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, added to the National Register of Historic Places. Read more about the project (including feedback from fellow ACRA member Ian Burrow, who is an SSAAM board member!) in the Hillsborough Beacon.


  • 07/14/2021 4:45 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The following post was submitted by Daron Duke, ACRA Board of Directors At-Large member and ACRA representative to CfAS.

    There is still time to apply! But the deadline— July 23rd — is approaching.

    The Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis (CfAS) is seeking participants for a new initiative that was recently recommended for funding by the US National Science Foundation. The project is entitled The Creation and Division of Wealth and the Long-term Consequences of Inequality: Views from Archaeology and is led by Tim Kohler (Washington State University) and Amy Bogaard (University of Oxford). It will advance understandings of relationships between inequality and other dimensions of human social dynamics as they are revealed by the archaeological record. The project will be pursued by a working group of 10 researchers who have expertise in the study of social inequality and who have and are willing to share data and expertise pertinent to the topic. Researchers regardless of nationality are eligible; CfAS is committed to diversity and professional development and strongly encourages participation by junior and historically underrepresented researchers, heritage management professionals as well as academics, and by individuals from developing countries and indigenous communities.

    If you are interested in participating, please see the Request for Information (It can also be found on the CfAS website). The due date for responses is July 23, 2021.

    ACRA also encourages you to sign up as an individual CfAS Associate. It is quick and easy to sign up, and it is free. That way you will receive information directly from CfAS as soon as it is released.

  • 07/08/2021 4:04 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team


    Last month we announced that the 2021 ACRA Conference will be held in person, and we couldn't be more thrilled to see you! One great thing about holding the conference in Old Town Alexandria is that our attendees will have an opportunity to make a real difference for the CRM industry through visits to Capitol Hill.

    All conference attendees – even if you are not from an ACRA member firm – are invited to join us in meeting with legislators in the halls of Congress. ACRA will handle all of the logistics and make sure you are prepared: from scheduling your meetings for you to providing briefings and talking points, it has never been easier to make your voice heard while at the premier CRM event of the year!

    The visits to Capitol Hill will be held on Thursday, September 9 before the public ACRA board meeting and welcome reception.

    The earlier you register, the better – ACRA will need time to plan your Capitol Hill meetings. Register now to start making an impact for your industry!

    Register for the 2021 ACRA Conference Now

    More information on the conference including session schedules, public health protocols, and more is available on the 2021 conference webpage.

  • 07/06/2021 2:09 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Your Congress in Action is a series that highlights the Capitol Hill news that affects CRM firms the most. Be sure to subscribe to the ACRAsphere to ensure you don't miss an update.


    After more than a year of pandemic and quarantines, it’s starting to feel more like a normal Washington summer. The temperature and humidity are rising, the masks are coming off, and the Nationals are closing in on first place in the National League East. And on Capitol Hill, the parties are maneuvering to gain the upper hand in negotiations over infrastructure, jobs, the environment and a host of other issues.

    The big news is that President Biden and a bipartisan group of Senators have come to agreement on a framework for an infrastructure package. The package would spend $1.2 trillion over 8 years, including $579 billion in new spending, on roads, bridges, water systems, broadband and other "traditional infrastructure."

    But the agreement almost unraveled shortly after it was announced at the White House when Biden said that he would not sign the bill unless it was paired with a larger "human infrastructure" package that included many of his and Democrats' other priorities, including on childcare, senior care, climate and environmental justice. Republicans in the negotiating group threatened to walk away from the deal until Biden said 24 hours later that he would indeed sign the bipartisan bill even without the larger package. However, Congressional Democratic leaders have said they will not bring the compromise package up unless the larger package is passed as well. Biden needs to navigate an extremely narrow path between the interests of his party and those of the GOP if he wants to get his top priority across the finish line.

    The partisan tensions were evident when the House approved a $715 billion transportation funding package last week that would ramp up spending on rail and transit, while encouraging states to repair existing roads rather than build new ones. Historically a bipartisan issue, the transportation bill passed on a mostly party-line vote as Republicans complained they were left out of the process, resulting in a bill they said spent too much and left in place too much red tape.

    The bill did include a major win for historic preservation and cultural resource management. The House approved an ACRA-backed amendment to permanently authorize the Historic Preservation Fund and double its annual authorization to $300 million.

    The amendment was offered by Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM). ACRA, the Society for American Archaeology and the American Anthropological Association urged Congress to pass the amendment, saying in a letter that it will help the Fund “be even more effective in helping states, communities and tribes protect the places that tell our nation’s story.”

    Although the amendment needs to survive the back-and forth negotiations over the transportation bill with the Senate, it is an important step forward for the Fund, which has seen demand skyrocket in recent years. ACRA is working with its allies to ensure that Rep. Leger Fernandez’ amendment stays in the bill.

    As the debate over infrastructure continues, other actions in Washington are likely to impact the CRM industry:

    • The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published an interim final rule last week extending the deadline by which federal agencies are required to adopt updated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations by two years. Prior to this announcement, federal agencies had until September 14, 2021, to adopt updated agency-specific NEPA rules based on new NEPA regulations enacted by the previous administration. That deadline will instead fall on September 14, 2023.
    • President Biden announced his intent to nominate Sara Bronin as Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) chairman. Bronin is a Mexican American architect, attorney, and policymaker specializing in historic preservation, property, land use, and climate change. She is a professor at the Cornell College of Architecture, Art, and Planning and an Associated Faculty Member of the Cornell Law School. She has held visiting positions at the Yale School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, and the Sorbonne. Among other scholarly service, Bronin is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a past chair of the State and Local Government Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools.
    • The House Appropriations Committee approved legislation last week that seeks to create a Commission on Federal Naming and Displays, which would review and recommend name changes to federal properties that are “inconsistent with the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.” The commission would create a list of recommended changes and submit them for the president’s consideration. The commission members would be appointed by the President, Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution, and must have 10 or more years of educational and professional experience in one or more of the following disciplines: history, art and antiquities, historic preservation, cultural heritage, and education. The bill now goes to the Senate.
    • Bipartisan legislation backed by ACRA and many other organizations was introduced in the House last week to provide free passes to national parks and other federal lands to active servicemembers, veterans and Gold Star Families. H.R. 4300, the Veterans in Parks (VIP) Act, was introduced by Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), and already has the backing of more than 130 of their congressional colleagues.

    As summer turns to fall, pressure will likely increase on Congress and the White House to deliver results on infrastructure and other top issues – including many that impact the CRM profession. That’s why it is as important than ever for CRM professionals to make their voices heard.

    Fortunately, ACRA members can get that chance this September by attending ACRA’s 27th Annual Conference in Old Town Alexandria, VA, September 8-12, 2021. On Thursday, September 9, ACRA members will head across the Potomac to Capitol Hill and lobby their elected representatives on the issues that matter the most to the industry. Don’t miss your chance to speak up for CRM – and, after a long year of Zoom calls, to do it in person!


  • 07/01/2021 3:21 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment backed by ACRA to double the size of the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and make it a permanent program.

    The amendment was offered by Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM) to a surface transportation reauthorization bill; the House subsequently passed the underlying bill. It increases the amount authorized to be spent from the Fund each year from the current $150 million to $300 million and changes the law so that Congress will no longer need to renew the Fund every few years for it to continue.

    The HPF helps the National Park Service administer heritage programs such as the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic Tax Credit Program. State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (S/THPOs), which also are partially supported by the HPF, are additional key players in these programs tasked with survey and inventory of America’s historic resources. The Fund is financed by offshore oil leases. In recent years, demands for HPF funding have exceeded what the Fund is legally allowed to spend. The need for full funding of the HPF has become more critical in recent years as SHPO responsibilities have increased, new THPO offices are established, and competitive grant programs are created and expanded. The current economic crisis has only exacerbated the problem, as states seek ways to cut their own budgets, further imperiling SHPOs.

    The passage of Rep. Leger Fernandez’ amendment is a major step forward for the Fund, but it does not mean that more monies will automatically start flowing. First, her amendment needs to survive the back-and forth negotiations over the transportation bill with the Senate, which may be complicated by the intense jockeying the broader debate around infrastructure funding.

    Second, even if the amendment is enacted into law, that does not necessarily mean that $300 million will flow through the Fund each year, because Congress still needs to appropriate the funding on an annual basis. (In essence, the authorization provides a ceiling on what Congress can allow the Fund to spend each year, while the appropriation is the actual amount Congress lets the Fund spend, up to that ceiling.) To date, Congress has yet to provide the full $150 million that is currently authorized, but it has dramatically increased the amount in recent years thanks, in part, to lobbying by ACRA and others.

    ACRA is working with its allies to ensure that Rep. Leger Fernandez’ amendment stays in the bill and to see to it that, once it does, Congress provides the full amount.


  • 06/29/2021 2:34 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team


    Reframing Public Outreach: Addressing Historically Underrepresented Communities in CRM
    July 22, 2021
    2:00 - 3:00 PM (EDT)
    Register Now

    Members $89 | Students $19 | Non-Members $129

    Preservation and the CRM industry should be finding ways to address inherent bias against historically underrepresented communities, especially as it relates to identifying and evaluating properties in the built environment and historical archaeological resources.

    Frequently used research and outreach methods that CRM practitioners employ often do not effectively consider or reach underrepresented communities. Why is this? What are we missing? How can we do better? Join us on Thursday, July 22 at 2:00 PM EDT for a webinar that will provide strategies to answer these questions and more.

    In Reframing Public Outreach: Addressing Historically Underrepresented Communities in CRM, speakers will discuss case studies in which outreach is reframed to successfully consider the history and culture of historically underrepresented communities. Discussion will come from a panel representing a variety of lenses – academic field schools, not-for-profit preservation organizations, and CRM practitioners.

    As always, in addition to reduced pricing, ACRA member firms enjoy a firm-wide registration fee - once one person pays for a spot, all other firm employees can register for no additional cost.

    We expect spaces to fill up quick, so register NOW to reserve your spot!

    Register for Reframing Public Outreach:
    Addressing Historically Underrepresented
    Communities in CRM


  • 06/25/2021 10:24 AM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    President Biden has announced that he intends to nominate Sara Bronin as Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). From the ACHP:

    Bronin is a Mexican American architect, attorney, and policymaker specializing in historic preservation, property, land use, and climate change. She is a professor at the Cornell College of Architecture, Art, and Planning and an Associated Faculty Member of the Cornell Law School. She has held visiting positions at the Yale School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, and the Sorbonne. Among other scholarly service, Bronin is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a past chair of the State and Local Government Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools.

    Bronin’s interdisciplinary research focuses on how law and policy can foster more equitable, sustainable, well-designed, and connected places. She has published books and articles on historic preservation law and currently leads the research team behind the groundbreaking Connecticut Zoning Atlas. Her forthcoming book Key to the City will explore how zoning shapes lives and historic places.

    Active in public service, Bronin is a board member of Latinos in Heritage Conservation and an advisor for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Sustainable Development Code. As the founder of Desegregate Connecticut, she leads a coalition that successfully advanced the first major statewide zoning reforms in several decades. Previously, she chaired Preservation Connecticut, served on the city of Hartford Historic Preservation Commission, and led Hartford’s nationally recognized efforts to adopt a climate action plan and city plan, and to overhaul the zoning code.

    Bronin won several design awards for the rehabilitation of her family’s National Register-listed 1865 brownstone. She has a J.D. from Yale Law School (Harry S Truman Scholarship), M.Sc. from the University of Oxford (Rhodes Scholarship), and B.Architecture/B.A. from the University of Texas. While in law school, she clerked for then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Bronin's nomination will be considered by the Senate for confirmation. ACHP Vice Chairman Jordan Tannenbaum will continue to serve as acting chairman until a new one is confirmed.


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