(Cheyenne, Wyo.) – A revised agreement, which outlines how the state and the federal government consult to manage cultural resources in Wyoming, was recently signed by Governor Matt Mead, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wyoming State Director Don Simpson, and the State Historic Preservation Officer Mary Hopkins.
By federal law, prior to permitting a land-use project, the BLM must consult with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) regarding how that project will affect archaeological and historic sites on public land.
The revised protocol, the product of an 18 month collaborative effort between the BLM and the SHPO, brings more clarity and consistency to how this consultation process will occur as well as providing for increased participation from Native American tribes and the public at large.
“I am pleased that Wyoming has reached this agreement in cooperation with the BLM. This protocol helps increase efficiency in permitting and at the same time is a sound process for protecting our valued cultural resource,” Governor Mead said.
“The BLM takes our stewardship of archaeological and historic sites on the public lands very seriously. We see this protocol as a means to fully consider how the public lands can be used for multiple purposes and still protect and preserve these significant resources,” said Wyoming BLM State Director Don Simpson.
“It’s been very rewarding,” State Historic Preservation Officer Mary Hopkins added. “We are going to be training the field staff to implement the changes in the protocol. We look forward to working with the BLM closely throughout the next ten years of this agreement. It is a benefit to all people of the state to ensure we are doing things efficiently and protecting the proper resources of the state.”
The Protocol is online and can be viewed here.
–Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources Department