• 10/18/2019 1:52 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!

    • Cardno has been working as part of a team to uncover the mystery of Zion Cemetery in Tampa. The location of this historic African-American burial ground was forgotten until earlier this year. Read about the most recent developments in the Tampa Bay Times.
    • Live in Georgia? New South Associates, Inc. is helping sponsor a clean-up of a historic African-American burial ground in Darien on October 26. Head over to the Savannah Morning News to learn how you can help!
    • ACRA member firms provide essential services to their community, including helping homeowners establish historic designation for their properties. See a great example of the history our firms uncover with this feature on a home investigated by Legacy 106, Inc.
    • "The American Battlefield Protection Program has noted that while both the Stone Arabia Battlefield and Klock’s Field have both been labelled low priority in terms of potential threats, including imminent development, they’ve been listed as high priority in regards to the need for the accumulation of additional information." Read more about this project conducted by ACRA member firm South River Heritage Consulting in Amsterdam Recorder.
    • 3 ACRA member firms, including Dovetail Cultural Resource Group, Archae3D, and South River Heritage Consulting have teamed up at the location of a 17th century fort in Delaware - read more about how they are getting closer to finding its exact location in the piece from Delaware Public Media.
    • Read about the findings of Statistical Research, Inc.'s project in the former Chinatown area of Redlands, CA, including how they use the written record to complete the context, in Redlands Community News.
    • Alpine Archaeological Consultants, Inc. has been leading the excavation of a Colorado site slated for road construction, and they have uncovered a large, extensive network of Native American ruins. Read more about the importance of this find in the Durango Herald!

  • 10/16/2019 3:59 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Do you have a great idea for a webinar for CRM professionals? Do you have a presentation you give regularly that you think would be great for a larger audience? If so, we want to hear your proposals - the call for 2020 ACRA webinar sessions is now open.

    We are looking for expert providers to submit applications for online learning opportunities that will be offered on a regular schedule to ACRA members and to the public. We hope to offer a range of topics for sessions, from the technical aspects of cultural resource management to expanding general business skills and knowledge.

    ACRA's 2020 online learning program continues the revenue sharing program that was introduced last year. You can view the detailed requirements in the Request for Proposal here. Proposals are due on November 22, 2019.

    You can help shape ACRA's continuing education program and bring your ideas to a larger audience - share your ideas with us by November 22!

  • 10/11/2019 2:30 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Attendees at the 2019 ACRA Conference in two weeks will get more than just engaging sessions. The conference provides ample opportunity to socialize and learn about the history of Spokane!

    Included in this year's registration is the Spokane Heritage Bus Tour on Saturday evening. The one-hour tour will take you through beautiful Spokane to learn about the history (and prehistory!) of our host city. The tour will conclude at Barrister Winery, where the ACRA Awards Social will also be held.

    The winery is located in a historic brick and timber building with an urban garden courtyard. The renovated 1908 building is on the National Register of Historic Places and previously housed a early 20th century auto sales warehouse. The building is the perfect setting for our history-loving crowd, and the beverages are incredible to boot!

    One of the still-existing auto elevators at Barrister Winery

    Food and drink are included at the Awards Social, and these two events are included with the price of conference registrations. Don't miss out - if you haven't registered yet, do so today!

  • 10/04/2019 11:11 AM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The 2019 ACRA Conference in Spokane is just a few weeks away! This year's program includes a wide variety of dynamic sessions and events, but we wanted to take the time to highlight one in particular - Session 4: Tribal Views on the Adequacy of the “C” in CRM.

    Native American Tribes have members and hire non-members who are cultural resources professionals (i.e., Secretary of the Interior [SOI] qualified) that perform the same functions as CRM professionals who work off the reservations. In addition, Tribes assert that non-tribal CRM professionals lack knowledge about cultural resources that undermine interpretations and conclusions of investigations that have the potential to result in harm to resources, some that are adequately defined in applicable regulations, and others that are not given adequate consideration by many studies. In this session, two Pacific Northwest tribal cultural resources leaders will take questions and provide perspectives on these and other aspects of CRM that often evade industry and agency professionals.

    We hope that attendees will join us for this frank dialogue on working with Native American tribes. Tribal representatives who wish to attend for this session can do so for $50 less than the traditional one-day cost.

    Register now to attend this session and join the conversation!

  • 10/02/2019 3:25 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Are you planning where you are going or just waiting to find out where you end up?

    Join us on October 10 at 3:00pm EDT for Forecasting 101 where you will learn more about techniques to build and maintain a forecast in uncertain times. As our presenter points out, there is one thing true about all forecasts - they are all wrong! So, how can you create a forecast that is thoughtful and not just a wish list? And how can you create a forecast that works as a useful management tool as you move forward?

    Whether you are at the top of your field or just starting your career, knowing how to build a useful forecast can help both your career and your firm. Register for October's webinar today!

    Register Now

    ACRA members receive $50 off the regular webinar price, and student members can attend for just $19.

    ACRA's expert provider for this webinar is Tom Fulcher. Mr. Fulcher, a Certified Small Business Counselor, is the founder of The Idea Gardener LLC, a business development, strategy and leadership/management consulting organization. He has over 25 years of marketing, management and business development experience.

  • 09/27/2019 2:28 PM | Deleted user

    Talk of impeachment has taken over Washington, D.C. With all the attention focused on President Trump's dealings with the president of Ukraine, what will become of CRM industry priorities?

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi directed six committees in the U.S. House of Representatives (Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, and Ways and Means) to gather evidence on allegations that the President has committed abuses of power. She accused the President of betraying his oath of office and betraying the integrity of our elections. In response, the President and his spokespeople said that the impeachment inquiry destroyed any chance for legislative successes. It is therefore fair to assume that the White House does not plan to lead any major push for a big, bipartisan achievement, like funding new infrastructure development.

    The White House's attitude may also complicate negotiations over the bills funding the government for Fiscal Year 2020, and could increase the likelihood of another federal government shutdown. At present, the House and Senate have passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through November 21. Assuming the President signs the CR, budget battles will be postponed until November.

    Since legislative action will likely slow, CRM professionals should focus their attention on the regulatory arena. Changes to regulations are ongoing, and could have major impacts on CRM work. ACRA monitors and submits comment letters to federal agencies on proposed changes to regulations pertaining to CRM work. We anticipate that these efforts will continue apace until the elections in November 2020 and ask ACRA members to participate by sharing their experience and expertise. In addition, we will continue monitoring the reorganization of the Department of the Interior and the agency's efforts to move many federal employees out west. For example, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to shrink the teams that review NEPA compliance and scatter the employees across several states. These changes will probably hinder the permitting process and further antagonize Congressional committees who have protested that BLM failed to adequately justify these changes.

    With so much happening, the only prediction we can make with any certainty is that D.C. will be embroiled in controversy for quite some time to come. For further updates on what's happening in D.C., please join Marion Werkheiser and Burr Neely for their presentation at the ACRA conference next month!

  • 09/25/2019 2:17 PM | Deleted user

    This week, the Labor Department announced that workers earning less than $35,568 a year will be eligible for overtime pay. The new rule takes effect on January 1, 2020 and will impact approximately 1.3 million workers, who will earn time and a half for any work they do over 40 hours per week. ACRA firms should consider how the change will affect their payrolls and budget accordingly for 2020.

    This final ruling puts an end to an intense political and legal brawl over how many employees will be eligible for overtime. Since 2004, the threshold for overtime pay has been $23,660 a year. In 2014, the Obama administration tried to include workers earning up to $47,000. That plan would have also tied future raises to the cost of living.

    The Obama rule was an effort to raise the salary limit to keep pace with inflation. The $8,060 salary limit set in 1975 was worth approximately $50,440 in 2014. However, when the rule was finalized in December 2016, 21 states immediately sued. A judge invalidated the rule in 2017, on the grounds that such a dramatic change needed congressional approval.

  • 09/19/2019 12:04 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Aimee Jorjani, Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, addresses attendees

    Yesterday evening ACRA had the opportunity to co-sponsor a reception for the new Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Aimee Jorjani. President-Elect Nathan Boyless, Vice President for Membership Wade Catts, and Executive Director Amanda Stratton joined representatives from other historic preservation groups at the event, which was held at the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, D.C. 

    President-Elect Nathan Boyless, Executive Director Amanda Stratton, and Vice President for Membership Wade Catts

    The ACRA attendees had the chance to meet with Ms. Jorjani and discuss issues specific to CRM, including offering the organization as a resource to the ACHP on such issues. ACRA works very closely with the ACHP in numerous spheres, including continuing education opportunities, and we look forward to continuing that relationship with Ms. Jorjani leading the Council.

  • 09/17/2019 4:52 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    It was reported in an article published earlier today by the Washington Post that the National Park Service has found that up to 22 archaeological sites could be damaged or destroyed in the construction of the border fence. The sites are a part of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona and were highlighted in an internal NPS report obtained by the paper:

    "The administration’s plan to convert an existing five-foot-high vehicle barrier into a 30-foot steel edifice could pose irreparable harm to unexcavated remnants of ancient Sonoran Desert peoples. Experts identified these risks as U.S. Customs and Border Protection seeks to fast-track the pace of construction to meet Trump’s campaign pledge of completing 500 miles of barrier by next year’s election.

    Unlike concerns about the barrier project that have come from private landowners, churches, communities and advocacy groups, these new warnings about potential destruction of historic sites come from within the government itself."

    New construction with the monument began last month, and a number of laws, including the National Historic Preservation Act, have been waived to build the wall near national parklands in Arizona. 

    Read the full article for the Washington Post here.

  • 09/16/2019 4:04 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    This post is authored by Shawn Patch, Principal Investigator, Sr. Archaeologist, and Sr. Geophysical Specialist at New South Associates.

    Like many ACRA members, I have participated in CRM Day on Capitol Hill several times. During my visits I was only able to meet with staffers, never the legislators. In August of this year, I reached out to Congressman Ted Budd’s office (NC-13) requesting that he visit our office in Greensboro, NC. Imagine my surprise when I received a response from his scheduler with an offer for September 3 for an hour-long visit! Finally, a chance to meet in person with our representative.

    Representative Ted Budd with members of the New South Associates staff in Greensboro, NC

    Mr. Budd brought his Chief of Staff and a legislative aide. We gave him a tour of our historic building and he met with all the staff, asking questions about their work and backgrounds. Sarah Lowry, Brittany Hyder, and I then had an opportunity to meet and talk with him for about 30 minutes. We had several topics on our agenda that began local and worked toward the national level.

    I introduced New South Associates as small, women-owned business specializing in historic preservation. We emphasized our growth in North Carolina, the number of staff with advanced degrees, and our impact on the local economy. We reviewed several projects from his district, including a Civil War fort and artifacts (he loved those), two cemeteries, and an historic African American church. We used those as a spring board to thank Mr. Budd for co-sponsoring with Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) the African American Burial Grounds Network Bill. Mr. Budd listened attentively, took notes (especially about the Civil War site), and asked good questions.

    We talked at length about the value and importance of historic preservation to local communities and stressed that it’s not necessarily “red” or “blue”, but certainly “purple.” Mr. Budd said he would research and consider joining the Historic Preservation Caucus. We also discussed the Veterans Curation Program (VCP), requested his support for the Historic Preservation Fund, and gave him and overview of ACRA (along with handouts). Although he would not commit to any specifics, he said they would research the issues we raised. The best part of our meeting was when he told us that he was not previously aware of historic preservation and that he enjoyed learning about our field and work.

    After the meeting I thanked his scheduler and Chief of Staff for arranging the meeting. His scheduler asked me to contact her directly for my next Hill visit. This week I received a thank you note from Mr. Budd.

    Thank you note from Congressman Budd

    Our meeting was a success and I genuinely believe Mr. Budd walked away with a better understanding of CRM and why it’s important. We have also laid the groundwork for working relationships with his staff and I look forward to future meetings with them.

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