by Jenny Blanchard, BLM
At the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Anchorage Field Office, we are responsible for managing 23 million acres of land in western Alaska. This land is almost all roadless, making any archaeological fieldwork challenging. Without our close relationship with the UAA Department of Anthropology, we would get very little proactive research done under Section 110 of the NHPA.
Most of our Section 110 work is completed by UAA graduate students working as paid interns through an agreement with the Student Conservation Association. SCA is a nationwide organization that provides internships in trail construction and natural and cultural resources for a variety of local, state, and federal organizations. Depending on the length of the internship, participants may also be eligible for an education award from AmeriCorps.
These interns get approximately six months of learning about all aspects of cultural resource management. In 2017, BLM intern and UAA graduate student Carrie Cecil documented the remains of the Ten Mile Cabin site, a historic stop along the Iditarod National Historic Trail. In 2018, BLM intern and UAA graduate student Ranna Wells documented a historic mine on the Seward Peninsula.
In 2019, BLM intern and UAA graduate student Liz Ortiz surveyed and reported on three projects located along the Unalakleet National Wild River for compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA. Liz also worked on a survey of the Carter Spit Area of Critical Environmental Concern, an extremely remote area on the Bering Sea coast, rich with prehistoric beach ridges, which often contain housepits and other cultural resources…