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Archaeopolitics

Donald Forsyth Craib

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Public Service Award presented to congressman in Capitol Hill ceremony. SAA President William Lipe, Executive Board member Donna Seifert, and Government Affairs Committee chair Judy Bense awarded Rep. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) SAA's 1996 Public Service award during a ceremony in Richardson's Capitol Hill office on April 30, 1996. Richardson is the ranking minority member on the House Resources Committee Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Lands.

In presenting the award Lipe stated that "the SAA is pleased to present its 1996 Public Service Award to you in recognition of your efforts in the sponsorship and passage of the Chacoan Outliers Protection Act of 1995. Without your commitment and perseverance over three Congresses, this important piece of legislation would not have been enacted into law." Lipe commented further that "the archaeological record of Chaco Canyon is part of the cultural heritage of all Americans, and as a result of your dedication these sites will now receive the protection and preservation that they deserve."

The Chacoan Outliers Act added an additional 5,519 acres to the Chaco Culture Archeological Protection Site System, preserving these lands for future generations and ensuring that these significant archaeological sites are protected from further looting and degradation.


Left to right: Donna Seifert, Bill Lipe, Rep. Bill Richardson, Judy Bense.

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Lobbying Congress. Bill Lipe, Donna Seifert, Judy Bense, along with Archaeological Institute of America President Steve Dyson and Society of Historical Archaeology Government Affairs Committee chair Bonnie McEwan spent a week in Washington, D.C., in late April lobbying members of Congress and their staffs and meeting with federal officials to discuss issues of concern to the archaeological community.

The National Humanities Alliance arranged a meeting for Lipe and Seifert to meet with the chair of the National Endowment of the Humanities, Sheldon Hackney, to discuss concern about the agency's reduction in grant opportunities for archaeological research. John Yellen (archaeology program director--National Science Foundation) briefed the group on the current status of funding for archaeology within his program.

Lipe, Seifert, and Bense also met with Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wash.), who sits on the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on the Interior, to discuss funding levels for various archaeological programs within the subcommittee's jurisdiction, including funding levels for the Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Historic Preservation Fund, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

Following up on SAA and SHA's joint testimony presented before the House Resources Committee Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Lands on oversight of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and reauthorization of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Lipe and Seifert met with Steve Hodapp (majority subcommittee staff) to discuss issues raised during the hearing.

SAA and SHA were invited by the Federal Preservation Forum, meeting in Washington, D.C., during the week, to address its meeting and talk about potential areas of cooperation between the organizations.

Plans are already under way for next year's lobbying week on Capitol Hill. We hope to expand the number of meetings with public policy makers and also increase participation by SAA members.

SAA represented at BLM celebration. Bill Lipe was invited to attend a special event in celebration of BLM's 50th-year anniversary. The event provided him with the opportunity to meet and talk with Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, Deputy Secretary John Geramendi, and BLM Director Mike Dombeck.

If you have any questions about SAA's government affairs program or would like to learn how to become involved, please contact me at SAA headquarters, 900 Second Street, NE. #12, Washington, D.C. 20002-3557, (202) 789-8200, fax (202) 789-0284, email donald_craib@saa.org.

Donald Forsyth Craib is manager of government affairs and counsel of SAA.


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