Treatment Plan for Culturally Significant Sites Forwarded for Review

The Rim Country Educational Alliance (RCEA) announced today that important milestones were achieved last week in the process to acquire 250 acres of US Forest Service property for a university campus in Payson.

“We’ve worked closely with local US Forest Service officials to understand their process and the associated timelines,” commented Steve Drury, RCEA Chairman. “We think we finally have a good understanding of their expectations and feel that last week’s accomplishments are noteworthy.”

As part of the USFS process, it is required that a Treatment Plan be developed. The Treatment Plan addresses how to mitigate the impact campus construction may have on culturally significant sites found on the property. The written Treatment Plan was finalized this week, and forwarded to three entities for review and approval: The Advisory Council for Historic Preservation (ACHP) in Washington, DC, the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), and the Native-American tribes of Arizona.

In addition to the Treatment Plan, A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was forwarded to the same three groups this week. The MOA outlines the procedures that will be used for treatment of the culturally significant sites, as well as which specific sites are involved. Both the Advisory Council and SHPO are required to sign off on the MOA. Signatory approval by the Native-American tribes is optional, but they do have the opportunity to provide comments and feedback. Each group now has 30 days to respond, and advise if they approve, or if they require changes to the Treatment Plan or the Memorandum.

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