WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today presented the first annual Secretary of the Interior Historic Preservation Awards to four government and tribal employees at the department's Washington headquarters.
"These awards are the equivalent of an Emmy award in the field of historic preservation," Secretary Kempthorne said at the ceremony in his office. "The ingenuity and dedication of these individuals are inspiring. The first-ever winners include Deborah Corbett, a Fish and Wildlife Service archeologist covering a territory of 78 million often-frozen acres in Alaska; Kelly Jackson, the tribal historic preservation officer for the Lac du Flambeau band in Wisconsin; William Morgan, a consensus builder who staffs the Historic Preservation and Rehabilitation Commission in Muncie, Indiana; and Calder Loth, Senior Architectural Historian for the state of Virginia."
The Secretary of the Interior historic preservation annual award program was created to recognize the outstanding contributions of the employees of Federal, State, and Tribal Preservation Offices and Certified Local Governments in the area of historic preservation.
Secretary Kempthorne established the award to implement a longstanding statutory mandate for a cabinet level of recognition in Section 110(h) of the National Historic Preservation Act. The Secretary's award is distinguished from other historic preservation award programs in that it focuses on the accomplishments of individual employees and not on programs or projects. The award also recognizes the contributions of employees at multiple levels of government.
Award winners are individuals whose contributions surpass the expected scope of their positions, and whose creativity and expertise have significantly fostered the overall goals of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Participating in the ceremony along with the Secretary were Deputy Secretary Lynn Scarlett as Master of Ceremonies and National Park Service Director Mary Bomar.
More information on the award winners in each of the four categories follows. More information on the annual award can be found at http://www.doi.gov/initiatives/preservation.html.
Kelly Jackson: Tribal Historic Preservation Office Category
Kelly Jackson has served as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin since 1998. Kelly is Vice Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's (ACHP) Native American Advisory Group and has served on the Archaeology Task Force as well as the ACHP's Human Resource Policy Task Force. She assisted in the development of a leading guide to tribal historic preservation. Published by the Great Lakes Indian Law Center, University of Wisconsin Law School, it is called What is Tribal Historic Preservation, A Guide to Tribal Historic Preservation in Indian Country.
Kelly was an active panelist in the Preserve America Summit held in New Orleans in October 2006 and co-authored one of the panel position papers at the summit. Kelly also serves as the chief grant administrator for the Native American Graves Protection Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) program and has completed twelve Tribal Project grants. Nationally, Kelly has been active in the Native American Tribal Historic Preservation Officers organization and has been a Board Member and Treasurer since its inception.
Deborah Corbett: Federal Preservation Office Category
Debbie Corbett serves as the Regional Historic Preservation Officer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska, which contains 16 National Wildlife Refuges totaling over 78 million acres. As Alaska's only Service archeologist, her responsibilities cover all aspects of the federal preservation program including research, identification, protection, coordination with Native villages, and care of museum collections.
In 2008, Debbie partnered with more than a dozen organizations, universities, government entities, and tribes to leverage federal funds to accomplish dozens of projects. Other projects include the complex issues associated with World War II in the Pacific in the Aleutian Islands as well as coordination with the Japanese government. She has also partnered with the Kenaitze Indian tribe and sponsored a youth Susten Camp for Native kids that connects kids with their past and trains them for possible careers in natural and cultural resource management.
Debbie has been involved with vast stretches of the Iditarod National Historic Trail and has assisted the research along the route and sponsored archaeological investigation through a major community on the trail.
William Morgan: Certified Local Government Category
Bill Morgan is a graduate architect and has both served on and currently staffs the Historic Preservation and Rehabilitation Commission of Muncie, Indiana. Working in good faith with many resident groups and local districts of varying views, Bill has managed to bring them together at the table for mutually satisfactory solutions.
Bill prepared an "Electronic Communication Policy" to promote the use of email communication to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of the commission in meeting its objectives. He also developed a "Petition Signature Verification Policy" setting forth clear instructions on correctly structuring petitions and providing verifiable signatures. Adopted by the Commission, this innovative policy helps ensure that petitions with only legal property owners are presented to the Commission while non-conforming petitions are prevented from reaching and distracting the Commission.
With Bill's leadership, the Muncie Historic Preservation and Rehabilitation Commission turned serious challenges into positive changes to the Commission's procedures, including the formation of a neighborhood advisory committee, the adoption of amendments to the City's preservation ordinance and commission bylaws, and the adoption of several innovative policies to improve and protect the workings of the Commission. Bill's efforts have repeatedly reached mutually amenable outcomes and have regained neighborhood support for the role of the Commission in the protection of Muncie's cultural resources.
Calder Loth: State Historic Preservation Office Category
In a career spanning four decades, Calder Loth has shaped the direction of historic preservation programs from survey and National Register listings to rehabilitation tax credits, review and compliance, and preservation easements. He has inspired generations of preservation professionals. Calder began his career as a newly minted Master of Architectural History from the University of Virginia in 1968 with the equally new Virginia Landmarks Commission. Over 40 years, Calder has grown with what is now the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, working with property owners, preservation professionals, scholars, and public agencies in all aspects of the national historic preservation program.
A respected Senior Architectural Historian for Virginia, Calder has played an integral role in Virginia's historic preservation easement program for the entire life of this nationally recognized protection program. The state of Virginia holds over 450 historic preservation easements today and operates one of the most successful easement programs in the country.
Calder is a long-standing member of the Virginia Art and Architecture Review Board. His expertise has shaped the preservation and renovation of many buildings including the Virginia State Capital and the historic executive mansion. He continues to give back to the preservation community as a staunch advocate and widely published author for "architectural literacy" giving lectures to museums, universities, and professional societies worldwide.