Arizona Association of Conservation Districts & Bureau of Land Management hosted several ‘Field Onsite Listening Sessions’.
These sessions were designed to get first-hand perspectives from stakeholders about the kinds of conservation projects being implemented and discuss how a cultural resource Programmatic Agreement (PA) might be able to help address any issues, and streamline the cultural resource process.
The goal of the PA is to identify common sense programmatic approaches that will ensure timely and cost-effective implementation of critical conservation work, while preserving Arizona’s rich history and traditions, and our important cultural resources.
‘Field Onsite Listening Sessions’ included a field tour to look at the types of treatments, including vegetation treatments, fencing, pipelines, etc. They are designed to help the programmatic agreement core team, steering committee and stakeholders understand the need for and applicability of the PA, and what types of activities to consider including in the PA. Find the Triangle field session notes below.
The Arizona Conservation Partnership is facilitating a working group to identify common sense programmatic approaches that will ensure timely and cost-effective implementation of critical conservation work, while preserving Arizona’s rich history and traditions, and our important cultural resources.
The goal of the Arizona Conservation Partnership Programmatic Agreement (Conservation PA) is to identify common sense programmatic approaches that will ensure timely and cost-effective implementation of critical conservation work, while preserving Arizona’s rich history and traditions, and our important cultural resources. This AACD effort, with the support of Arizona’s State Historic Preservation Officer, and funding support from the BLM, will bring together key agricultural producers, state and field level agency staff, NEPA specialists, tribal representatives, and archeologists to help identify issues and solutions.
Over the last few years, cultural resource compliance issues and concerns have resulted in significant delays and the loss of millions of dollars in available funding for conservation work in Arizona. A significant percentage of the agricultural producers and private landowners are now choosing to do their projects without financial assistance to avoid excessive cultural resource costs and delays. That means fewer projects can get done, and Arizona loses millions of dollars a year that benefit rural communities.
The objective of this effort is to develop, and then execute, a Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (PA) pursuant to 36 CFR 800.14(b)(1)(i) for when effects on historic properties are similar and repetitive or are multi-State or regional in scope. This is a federal undertaking for which the BLM is serving as the lead for Section 106 purposes. Further, it is intended that this PA will allow State agencies to meet certain responsibilities required by the Arizona State Historic Preservation Act.
The Conservation PA is intended to cover future undertakings that involve vegetation and range management. It is intended that activities covered will at a minimum include hand treatments, biological treatments, chemical treatments, mechanical treatments, prescribed fire, and range improvements such as water lines, dirt tanks, drinkers, wells, corrals and holding pens, fencing, cattle guards, and grazing permit renewals.
Initial objectives for the PA were identified during the Steering Committee Kick-Off meeting and are presented below.