Governmental Update: Coalition for American Heritage

CTA members,

Please see this summary provided by Haley Rush, Chair of the Membership Committee, on a recent webinar hosted by the Coalition for American Heritage.

Remember that although we are Cultural Resource specialists, we are also the “public” and can and should comment on rules published in the Federal Register.  You can sign up for notifications from the Federal Register by key terms (  I have tried it and can say that my email gets overloaded.  The Federal Register website contains an immense amount of information.  As an alternative, the Coalition for American Heritage has a Facebook page and will post notifications for items that are important so you can avoid looking through all documents published in the Federal Register that may contain rules that are worthy of comment.

Comments really can influence changes to rules.  Rules cannot just be wiped away; all are open to public comment.  The rulemaking/changing process is time-consuming; for complicated or contentious issues, it can take years.  Do not let the long time frame lure you into ignoring the potential effects.  There is a legitimate danger in reducing rules/regulations in terms of losing historic resources and in turn, losing jobs.  Again, public comment periods allow time for all interested parties to provide documentation, information, etc., that can help the federal agency decide whether or not to make the changes printed in the Federal Register.   Don’t forget you are an expert in Cultural Resource Management! The government officials are not always experts and do not share your POV as a consultant.   

 Here is a guide to submitting effective comments (remember comments become part of public, i.e., searchable, record):           

 You might ask, where is all this coming from? The current administration passed EO 13771, which requires all agencies to review and reduce rules and regulations:

 Here are some other links/websites that may be helpful or of interest: 


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Fall 2017 Newsletter

The Fall 2017 CTA Newsletter is hot off the digital press! Get your copy here or head on over to the ‘About CTA’ tab and select ‘Newsletters’.

*The link is not active on the front page. Click the title of this post for the active link*

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Table Sponsors needed for CTA Fall Social

The CTA is now soliciting table sponsors or donations for the CTA Fall Social occurring on Friday, October 20 in conjunction with the annual TAS Meeting in Grapevine, Texas.  Reservations are limited, so please go to this link, scroll down to 2017 Fall CTA Social, and reserve today.  The table fee is $150.

Additionally, donations can be made in any amount to help out but must meet that minimum fee to use table space. Thanks for your support!

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Update: Curation Training Part I

Dear CTA members,

As the TAS annual meeting draws near, we wanted to provide you with some additional details regarding the CTA’s next ‘professional development’ training session. Curation Training Part I will be held on Friday, October 20th from 1:30-5pm and will cover concepts, philosophies, and approaches. Part One is very strongly recommended not just for lab personnel, but for PIs and Project Managers. Your instructors will be Maggie Moore of Atkins Global, Marybeth Tomka of TARL, and Brad Jones of the THC.
Part II will be a day-long session dealing with actual collections issues and will likely be held in conjunction with the Spring meeting (or maybe apart). More details will be posted as they become available.
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Professional Development: Curation Training Part I

During the Fall TAS Annual Meeting, the CTA will be offering the first in a two-part series on Curation Training on Friday, October 20. This upcoming professional development opportunity will be free for CTA members.

Additional details to follow shortly!


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Legislation Watch: SB 1630 and HB 3265. Public Hearings tomorrow! (April 18th)

Please note that two identical proposed bills have been filed in the House (by Representative Donna Howard) and Senate (by Senator Dawn Buckingham) that address several matters relating to the Health & Safety Code including:


  •  definitions for terms currently used in the law
  •  introduction of new definitions and a process for verification for filing record of unknown    cemeteries
  •  landowner notification requirements for Notice of Existence of Cemetery filings
  •  concurrent reporting to landowners and THC for unverified cemeteries
  •  removal of the state registrar permit requirement for exhumations from certain types of cemeteries
  •  the inclusion of municipal or county cemeteries as options for reburial

The Senate Committee on Business and Commerce will consider SB 1630 at a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, April 18th at 8am and the House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism will consider HB 3265 at a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, April 18th at 2pm.

To track future activity of these bills, please click on the links to each bill above or visit the Texas Legislature Online (
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Spring 2017 Newsletter is Ready


Check out the Spring 2017 newsletter! Go to the Newsletters page of the website or just click here!

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And the E. Mott Davis Award goes to……..

….the Frost Town Archeological Project in Downtown Houston! The Texas Department of Transportation, Prewitt and Associates, Inc., and the Houston Archeological Society conducted a data recovery project in conjunction with the replacement of Elysian Viaduct. The project impacted the remains of the Frost Town community, a ca. 1830s German immigrant settlement, which evolved to a mixed European/African American community, and then a Hispanic neighborhood, before its disappearance in the 1990s. Several public outreach activities were conducted as part of the first phase of this project, which are detailed in the attached PDF. Congratulations!

Frost Town nomination for E. Mott Davis Award 2017

Houston Archeological Society members screening excavated fill at the Frost Town site. L to R: Bob Sewell, Sandy Rogers, Larry Golden, Linda Gorski, and Steve Menegaz.

View of Houston Archeological Society members screening excavated fill at the Frost Town site. The view is looking north, with McKee Street on the left and the Elysian Viaduct bridge in the background.

Archeologists inspecting the interior of the Baugh cistern (41HR1188). L to R: Louis Aulbach, Houston Archeological Society; Doug Boyd, Prewitt and Associates, Inc.; Jason Barrett, Texas Department of Transportation.

Jason Barrett (L) and Louis Aulbach (R) making a tracing of the name etched into the plastered wall of the Baugh cistern.

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Mark Your Calendars

The Spring 2017 Meeting of the CTA will be held on April 7, 2017 at Camp Mabry in Austin. The afternoon social will also be held as usual at the picnic area at Camp Mabry. Please keep an eye out for more information in the Spring newsletter. Also, through the gracious spirit of volunteerism on the part of Pat Mercado-Allinger and her staff, arrangements are underway for a day-long(ish) Texas Antiquities Code training session on April 6, 2017. There are many different Section 106 classes offered by different organizations, and many of us have taken them as part of our training as CRM archaeologists. However, many of our projects are also (or only) carried out under the Texas Antiquities Code and there has not been an equivalent training session on the Code, until now. Pat and her staff have very (very) kindly agreed to offer an Antiquities Code training as part of our spring meeting agenda. 

The April 6, 2017 Texas Antiquities Code Training will be held at Camp Mabry. People interested in the training can contact Jon Lohse at to sign up. Space is limited to 50 people, so hurry if you would like to attend!

And finally, remember to bring you ID to get on base.

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Special Edition of Archeological Journal of the Texas Prairie-Savannah

Go to our publications page to take a look at a special edition of the Archeological Journal of the Texas Prairie-Savannah on the pottery of the Harrell Site (41YN1), in Young County Texas.

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