We had a fantastic meeting with the South Eastern State Historic Preservation Officers and some of their staffs (SHPOs). The meeting began with a presentation about LCC, why they are being established and their mission. This set the stage for a workshop where we broke out into groups of approximately 7 and brainstormed questions about ways we can work together and our respective roles in conservation of cultural resources. I learned a tremendous amount about SHPO organizations and walked away with lots of ideas for ways we can benefit each other in the future. Many thanks to John Tirpak, Ginger Deason, Ramona Bartos (NS SHPO) and Hilary Cole who helped spearhead the effort to organize the meeting and design our workshop, and to Greg Wathen for getting our conversation started with his presentation. Some themes that emerged from the workshop were:
1. SHPOs are interested in being more proactive in identifying important cultural resources and understanding landscape change will help them focus their efforts in places experiencing rapid changes expected to threaten resources.
2. It’s important to conserve the complete historical picture of the built and natural environment. Partnering is a way to conserve the complete picture and LCCs can facilitate those types of partnerships.
3. Historic battlefields, rice fields, farmsteads, plantations, and some rural schools and industrial sites are good places to work together.
Attached are some detailed notes from the breakout session report-out. If you have a project or effort you would like to collaborate with a cultural resource partner on, please get in touch, I’m looking for opportunities to bring together our natural and cultural resource conservation partners.