Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society
CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL FOR PROPOSED PIONEER MEADOW SUBDIVISION
ASSESSMENT Of PROPOSED PIONEER
VI. CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL FOR PROPOSED PIONEER MEADOW SUBDIVISION
Oregon is a land of great resources: hundred of miles of coastline, rivers and streams; tens of thousands of acres of timber; and hundreds of millions of dollars in nursery and agricultural products. Yet, one of our states most important resources, its cultural heritage, is threatened from pressures brought about by increased urbanization, a population influx, and economic development. The cultural resources that have come to symbolize our states heritage are finite and non-renewable; once lost, they are gone forever.1
Every five years the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) develops a "Historic Preservation Plan" to guide statewide preservation activities for the coming years.2 Physical preservation of historic properties is the core purpose of historic preservation. The present plan emphasizes using physical preservation options (rather than simply documentation) as mitigation for impacts to historic buildings and sites (Preservation Plan Objective 4.3 for the goal of increasing the number of high-quality preservation projects).
The ultimate goal of this assessment and the recommended conditions of approval is to provide a body of information to support Federal, State, and local efforts to manage the historic Applegate Trail as a historic archaeological site, with a sense of stewardship predicated upon the recognition of the importance of the trail to our countys history.
Cultural resource compliance laws and regulations have provided much of what we know about Oregons archaeological sites. Here is how it works.
This somewhat random, reactionary process for collecting information about historic archaeological resources is not especially conducive to comprehensive, scholarly investigation or to thoughtful preservation. Most of the information collected is descriptive rather than interpretive or analytical in nature, and there is usually neither the time nor money to follow up on the initial findings with more detailed analysis and interpretation.
A critical decision by the local land use hearing bodies is to protect or not protect the countys significant historic archeological resources, especially the Applegate Trail. The Applegate Trail in the Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision should be protected by not approving the application and by Josephine County being a co-sponsor of an application for this section of the Applegate Trail to be listed as a property on the National Register of Historic Places.
A listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) will help citizens of Josephine County know more about their cultural heritage and its value within contemporary society. One of the ways to best promote the social welfare of neighbors is by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and researching its rich local history, and encouraging neighbors interest in the history of the county, in their geographic place, and in their community. The quality of rural life in the county is enhanced through citizen knowledge of its history and the sense of community that a historical perspective facilitates. Culture, as one basis for a healthy community, can be an alternative to destructive behavior and a healing force, and children educated in their history and culture will contribute to the creative workforce of our evolving technological world. In the end, there will be the story of cultural growth and cultural impact. Children will see its impact on their learning. Families will see the effect of culture through their local participation and use of resources. Community development will see its impact economically and through greater social involvement and especially pride.
One definition of mitigation is defined as actions that reduce or compensate for the adverse or negative impacts an undertaking may have on a NRHP listed or eligible site. The appropriate mitigation measure depends on a number of factors, including the applicable criteria for NRHP eligibility, as well as the nature of the effects of a proposed project or undertaking. Whenever possible, the best alternative is to preserve the site in place and to protect it from damage. Mitigation of an adverse effect on an eligible archaeological site can be accomplished through one or more of the following actions: avoidance of impact, preservation or protection in place with legal covenants if possible, burial after testing if found to be appropriate, or data recovery. The first recommended mitigative option is avoidance of impact through redesign of the project. While avoidance is a perfectly legitimate tool, it must be understood that avoidance, in and by itself, is not a protective measure. That is, avoiding direct impact on an archaeological site may result in secondary or indirect impacts (for example, construction of playground facilities adjacent to precontact village site).5
Protection or preservation is an active category of mitigation, something that is done to a site to protect it from any future adverse impact. Protection could involve development of the property for public interpretation, security measures limiting public access, local ordinances providing city or county protection with penalties, and so forth. Data recovery is another appropriate means of mitigation of adverse effect for archaeological properties. Through data recovery, the information contained in the site (or the portion of the site to be adversely effected by a proposed activity), which gives it its significance, is removed prior to project construction and the adverse effect on the eligible site is compensated for the excavation results. The sites significance is no longer in the ground; it is in the records and collections being curated. When data recovery efforts are restricted to a portion of a significant site (e.g., remaining site portions are capped or avoided), the site remains significant after the mitigation has been completed.5
The following conditions of approval are recommended in the event the Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision is approved by the local hearing bodies.
1. Avoid development on or adjacent to the old Applegate Trail.
2. Research and field work leading to an archaeological survey by a professional archeologist.3 "Professionals" must meet the architectural historian qualifications outlined by the federal government in 36 CFR 61.
3. Analysis and interpretation in an intensive-level historic survey by a professional archeologist (36 CFR 61), including photographic and metal detection documentation.3
4. Regardless of the cultural resource, all preservation procedures are based on prehistoric or historic context statements.1 The intensive-level historic survey would include a discussion of the surveys relationship to existing local and statewide historic context statements and to periods of chronological development established by the SHPO. If no local historic context statement exists, contextual information must be prepared in conjunction with the survey.3 Authors would contact the SHPO early in the study, to document how the survey fits into the broader scheme of things.4
5. Conservation easements or preservation deed covenants are important tools to ensure long-term site protection for significant sites that can be wholly or partially preserved in-place.5 An educational item (i.e., preservation deed covenant) should be added for deeds to lots of the subdivision containing segments of the Applegate Trail explaining the significance of the trail.
6. An public easement (i.e., conservation easement) and walking trail along the old Applegate Trail from the planned new connecting road in the Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision.5 The landowner may donate, or sell the development rights to, the land that contains the site to a non-profit organization, such as, the Archaeological Conservancy or a local land trust or other non-profit entity. Fee simple purchase of the site by a non-profit entity is another option that ensures maximum site protection.
7. Interpretative signing along the public easement and walking trail along the old Applegate Trail
8. A public easement and walking trail from the public easement and walking trail along the old Applegate Trail to the 40-acres administered by Josephine County as described by the following: Tax Lot 600, Section 14, T.35 S., R.6W., WM.
9. A preservation plan for the Applegate Trail located in the development reviewed and approved by the SHPO. Part of the preservation plan would be to use the historic Applegate Trail as an economic strategy to encourage historically authentic heritage tourism in Josephine County, and to promote the preservation of this historic cultural resource as an economic tool.
10. An interpretive Applegate Trail kiosk, jointly funded by the development, grants, and the Josephine County Sportsman Association, at the Josephine County Sportsman Park.
11. The place where a project's artifacts and original data will be curated should be determined before beginning any fieldwork.
12. Off-Site Mitigation: Research and education options may be appropriate off-site mitigation measures for the Applegate Trail in Josephine County.5 One of the following mitigation options may be appropriate in preserving the information about affected resources:
© 2012 Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society