April 6, 2020
In March, the AIA joined with 87 other organizations in signing on to a letter to congressional appropriators in support of increased Fiscal Year 2021 funding for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Cultural Resources Management and National Conservation Lands accounts.
Increased funding for the BLM’s cultural resources management account would, among other things, aid the BLM in inventorying and protecting cultural resources, managing paleontological resources, and improving government-to-government consultation with Indian tribes. The funding would also support continuing collaboration with state historic preservation officers in the West to standardize and integrate cultural resources data for BLM lands through the National Cultural Resources Information Management System (NCRIMS).
There are more than 36 million acres of National Conservation Lands. These nationally significant places are designated as such by Congress or the President for their outstanding historic, cultural, ecological, and scientific values. Increased funding to the BLM could support the management of National Conservation Lands by helping to ensure that each area of the National Conservation Lands is sufficiently staffed with land managers, law enforcement, and cultural resources experts. Increased funding would also assist the BLM in carrying out inventorying and monitoring of cultural resources within these lands.
In addition, the letter urged members of congress to address the long-standing vacancies in key cultural resources positions stipulated in the BLM Tribal Relations Manual.