FORT DRUM, N.Y. - A long-term approach to cultural resources management (CRM) and experts with three-quarters of a century of combined installation experience combined to produce one of the most effective CRM teams in the U.S. Army.
The team's practice of attempting to predict expansion and survey land ahead of schedule avoided archaeology-related delays to the nearly $1 billion worth of new construction on Fort Drum in the past two years. The approach also helped the installation change its designs to avoid damage to six historically significant sites. Fort Drum is also the first Army installation to develop archaeological properties into training assets.
Fort Drum's team of cultural resource professionals has more than 75 years of combined experience working in the military cultural resources setting, and more than 60 years of combined experience at Fort Drum specifically. The CRM team is responsible for more than 240 prehistoric and 700 historic archaeological sites and six historic and archaeological districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the past 15 years, the Fort Drum archaeology field team has performed more than 100,000 shovel tests, surveyed more than 40,000 acres of military land and discovered more than 200 Native American ancestral places, preserving many of them.
"The Fort Drum CRM team has worked hard to maintain and benefit from healthy stakeholder relationships," shared Dr. Laurie Rush, Fort Drum Cultural Resources Manager. "Fort Drum routinely consults with The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, the Oneida Indian Nation and the Onondaga Nation, and the CRM program is completely open to these tribes." The CRM team provides tribes with copies of all survey information, conveys concerns that tribes may have to the commander, organizes Head of State events, in which nation leaders visits Fort Drum, and offers tours of archaeological sites and field areas to tribe members.
Educational partnerships have been one of the ongoing strengths of the Fort Drum CRM program. The CRM team provides displays, demonstrations and hands-on activities at annual installation Earth Day and Safety Day events. The team also works with archeologists from several universities and the New York State Museum for sophisticated analyses, including archeomagnetic dating, Carbon 14 dating, electron microscopy, artifact identification and evaluation of ceramics.
For its efforts, Fort Drum received the fiscal 2008 Secretary of the Army Environmental Award in the cultural resources management team category. Secretary of the Army Awards represent the Army's highest honor in the field of environmental science.
"The Army is committed to protecting the environment at installations here and overseas," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for the Environment, Safety and Occupational Health Tad Davis. "In fact, as the winners of our environmental awards demonstrate, the Army is getting more and more sophisticated in its use of environmental technology and sustainable practices. We're becoming a greener shade of green."
An independent panel of judges made up of professionals from federal, state and Army organizations recommended Fort Drum for the recognition. "Fort Drum continues to push the meaning of stewardship in the management of federal historic properties, clearly illustrating that the military's mission can be met while meeting the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act and other cultural resources laws and regulations," said Katherine Kerr, Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards judge and historic preservation specialist for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Fort Drum will go on to compete for the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards this year. For details about the fiscal year 2008 Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards recipients visit the U.S. Army Environmental Command's awards page at http://aec.army.mil/usaec/newsroom/awards00.html.
This information is provided by the U.S. Army Environmental Command. USAEC is the Army's point organization for supporting the implementation of environmental programs that facilitate sustainable Army training and operations while protecting the environment. We provide environmental program management and technical support products and services in support of Army training operations, acquisition and sound stewardship.