April 27, 2012
A representative of the Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office participated in the annual To Bridge a Gap conference between April 2nd and April 5th in Durant, Oklahoma. To Bridge a Gap is an annual conference, now in its eleventh year, designed to facilitate and improve the consultation process between Tribal governments and Federal agencies, specifically the US Forest Service. The primary goal of the conference is the successful management of the cultural, natural, and social resources on National Forests and Grasslands. General topics of discussion include the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. This year’s conference was hosted by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in collaboration with the US Forest Service. Attendants included representatives from dozens of tribes from across the country but primarily from the Southeast and Plains states, state historic preservation office representatives from several states, US Forest Service and other Federal and state agency representatives, the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, and experts, students, and consultants in the field of cultural resource management and historic preservation.
The Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office was represented by James Munkres (Archaeologist I, ONHPO). He conducted scheduled and impromptu meetings/discussions with representatives of the Oklahoma Archaeological Survey; the St. Louis, Tulsa, and Memphis Districts of the US Army Corps of Engineers; the US Forest Service Office of Tribal Relations; Regions 8 (Southern US) and 9 (Eastern US) of the US Forest Service; the Daniel Boone, Hoosier, Mark Twain, Ozark-St. Francis, Ouachita, Shawnee, and Wayne National Forests; the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers; the US Department of Agriculture; the Bureau of Indian Affairs; the Federal Communications Commission; and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
The Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office wishes to congratulate the host, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, on its excellent management of the conference. We also sincerely appreciate the hard work of all of those who made this year’s To Bridge a Gap possible. We are extremely excited about the growth of the conference and look forward to planning for and attending next year’s conference.