• 8th Street Multiuse Path and Streetscape

    The City of Tempe (COT) is planning construction of a multiple-use path (MUP) and streetscape improvements project along the 8th Street corridor between Rural Road and McClintock Drive. The area of potential effects (APE) is entirely situated within AZ U:9:165(ASM)/La Plaza and incorporates an alignment of AZ U:9:298(ASM)/Creamery Branch Railroad. The former is a multicomponent site that has been recommended eligible for listing in the NRHP under Criterion D (information potential) and the latter is a historic railroad that has been recommended eligible for listing in the NRHP under Criterion A (important events/history).  Logan Simpson involvement with the 8th Street MUP project was in part due to recommendation from local tribal representatives to the City to engage with a firm like Logan Simpson given the sensitivity of the resources in the project area.

    Logan Simpson provided the COT with cultural resources services, including coordination and permitting, consultation, revision of existing Class I and Class III cultural resources reports, preparation of a Historic Properties Treatment Plan (HPTP), and execution of Phase I testing according to the HPTP. The project required project registration, an AAA project-specific permit, and burial agreement from the Arizona State Museum (ASM). Logan Simpson coordinated with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), ASM, and COT to obtain the necessary project permits and approvals. Phase I testing consisted of 27 mechanically excavated trenches that revealed 24 prehistoric period features and 11 historic period features. These included a prehistoric human burial, pits, buried surfaces, canal segments, and structures along with historic railroad related features, buried surfaces, utilities, and irrigation ditches. Significantly, Logan Simpson archaeologists argue they discovered the remains of an exceptionally rare prehistoric Hohokam platform mound.

    Logan Simpson has worked closely with Native American tribes throughout the course of our involvement with the MUP project. We hosted a consultation meeting between the COT, ADOT, SHPO, and tribes held to discuss next steps following Phase I testing. Furthermore, we coordinated closely with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and other tribes to develop an addendum to the HPTP that called for close coordination with the tribe during Phase II data recovery, and our work plan includes close interaction with the tribes to ensure that this very important resource is handled in a way that is consistent with tribal values. In addition, Logan Simpson included an ethnographic study to address tribal questions in the HPTP addendum.

  • BIA Tribal Historic Preservation Office Training

    Throughout the US, State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs) assist public agencies with cultural resource preservation and compliance. In 1990, the National Park Service implemented a program through which federally recognized tribes with a reservation or tribal trust lands could establish their own Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) positions. THPOs can assume SHPO’s responsibilities on tribal lands, advising federal agencies on the management of cultural resources and working to preserve, maintain, and revitalize their unique cultural traditions. Qualifying tribes can take a more direct role in protecting and interpreting the cultural resources on their own tribal lands. A THPO can focus on the culture and landscape they know, making decisions that best serve their tribal community, culture, and history.

    Tribes interested in becoming a THPO are required to submit a written resolution signed by the tribe, a THPO application form, and a program plan to the NPS for review and approval. The program plan describes how the THPO will administer historic preservation functions. Through the work and relationships developed during his tenure as the Bureau of Indian Affairs Western Regional Office archaeologist understood firsthand the incredible benefits available to tribes that attain THPO status, and he wanted to assist other tribes in taking steps to becoming a THPO.  To facilitate the process, The THPO with the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony THPO and the program manager for the NPS THPO program were recruited to conceptualize a workshop to assist tribes with completing their THPO application packets. The BIA called on Logan Simpson, bringing in archaeologists to help develop and organize the workshop. The plan was both ambitious and brilliant.

    In March of 2020, this team was able to offer interested tribes a three-day workshop at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort in Nevada, with expenses associated with the workshop covered by the BIA. Four Nevada tribes were able to attend: Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation; Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe; Moapa Band of Paiute Indians; and Walker River Paiute Tribe. The workshop was a tremendous success. The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony THPO lent tremendous insight; the BIA Western Region archaeologist discussed compliance from a federal perspective; and the BIA THPO program manager shared her knowledge of the ins and outs of the THPO application process. Logan Simpson tied all the pieces together. The BIA’s genius was not in putting together a class, per se, but in arranging a supportive environment where tribes could complete their THPO application while attending, getting all the help they needed from experts in the field.

    In the short time since the workshop, the Director of the NPS signed Tribal Historic Preservation Agreements with two of the tribes so that they could assume certain THPO duties on their tribal lands in Nevada. The NPS has now entered into 200 THPO agreements nationwide, which is an exciting milestone for the Tribal Historic Preservation Program. Word of our success in Nevada is spreading and the team is getting calls from other tribes that are interested in participating in the next workshop. Logan Simpson is proud to be a part of this unprecedented effort, and we look forward to showcasing our continued commitment to tribal sovereignty and resource preservation.

  • Sonoqui Wash Phase II Data Recovery


    The Town of Queen Creek requested Logan Simpson complete Phase II archaeological data recovery at site AZ U:14:49 (ASM), a prehistoric Hohokam village site also known as Los Pozos de Sonoqui, which had been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places prior to planned construction of the Sonoqui Wash Channelization Project. The overall project’s goal was to develop and implement a plan for channelization of segments of Sonoqui Wash to improve regional flood control. The Phase II project area encompassed approximately 24 acres.

    During the planning stage of the data recovery project, Logan Simpson recommended that the Town consult with affiliated Native American tribes as our staff knew that this site was important to tribal communities. The Town agreed to consult with the tribes, and Logan Simpson included specific questions within the project’s research design in the Historic Properties Treatment Plan (HPTP) that addressed Native American perspectives on water and water management especially given that it was known that a large prehistoric reservoir was present in the project area. In their review of the HPTP, the Gila River Indian Community, Tribal Historic Preservation Office highlighted and praised Logan Simpson’s proposed plan to coordinate tribal outreach with O’odham tribal representatives and elders to obtain O’odham perspectives about the project’s archaeological findings and results.

    Prior to conducting fieldwork, crew members received cultural sensitivity training through the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to ensure that all crew members understood tribal importance of the resources they would be working to excavate. The excavations resulted in the identification and documentation of 112 features associated with the prehistoric period. One of those features was a massive, centrally located retention basin with an estimated storage capacity of 1,200 cubic meters (317,000 gallons). The reservoir is one of the largest prehistoric reservoirs documented in Arizona. It is an oval-shaped reservoir that measures approximately 38 m by 25 m with a maximum depth of approximately 7.5 m. The reservoir is associated with the late Classic Period portion of Hohokam settlement (A.D. 1375-1450) and demonstrates the inhabitants’ ability to create accessible local water sources by diverting and harvesting runoff into artificial or natural basins. The reservoir underscores the site inhabitants’ ability to successfully harvest rainfall for year-round domestic use. It operated for no more than 50 –60 years and could have supplied domestic water for up to 530 people annually.

    The ethnographic study of contemporary O’odham groups’ traditional water storage technologies, cultural views of water, technical aspects of water harvesting and storage, and related issues in the southern Arizona desert complemented the archaeological work. Logan Simpson engaged Dr. J. Andrew Darling to lead the study, and he interviewed tribal leaders and elders from the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Gila River Indian Community. Furthermore, he brought these tribal members to the excavation site to see the features unearthed by Logan Simpson’s archaeologists.

    This research on O’odham creation stories and water use has elevated archaeologists’ understanding of the persistent connections of affiliated O’odham tribes with the Sonoqui Wash Site and the Queen Creek region. Ethnographic research has also demonstrated the extent, variety, and agricultural flexibility of O’odham communities in the Queen Creek watershed. It contributes to archaeologists’ understanding of the Queen Creek delta as a series of vooshan, shallow alluviated drainages that annually wash over their banks during the summer monsoon, creating broad well-watered areas suitable for farming and water storage. Many vooshan are visible on the Tohono O’Odham reservation today, where fields and villages have been abandoned since the 1950s or earlier.

  • Roundhouse Renewable Energy Project

    The Roundhouse Renewable Energy Project included: a Class I literature Review, Class III archaeological survey, mitigation/excavation of a multi-component site, leading cultural resources training for construction personnel, and conducting archaeological monitoring during construction. The linear transmission line consisted of 28 miles of cultural survey that included full documentation of previously recorded and newly recorded archaeological sites within the project area and providing recommendation of their eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). A full Class III survey report was prepared for submittal to the State Historic Preservation Office.

    The survey area encompasses a variety of prehistoric and historic sites. Prehistoric sites included lithic scatters and habitation sites, while historic sites included mining complexes, sheep ranches, and homesteads. After the completion of the cultural survey, the Logan Simpson project manager developed an avoidance and testing plan for nine NRHP-eligible sites in advance of the construction of the transmission line towers. The testing plan included a variety of mitigation techniques including avoidance fencing, monitoring, trenching, test units, diagnostic surface collection and shovel testing. Site mitigation included systematic mechanical trenching, unit excavation and controlled surface collections. Laboratory analysis and curation took place at Colorado State University. The mitigation report is nearing completion, and Logan Simpson provided an archaeological monitor for the project to ensure that NRHP-eligible sites are not disturbed during construction.

  • Montrose City-Wide Historic Resources Survey Plan

    Logan Simpson recently completed a city-wide historic resources survey plan for the City of Montrose, Colorado. The project was funded by a certified local government (CLG) grant provided by the Colorado State Historic Fund and established baseline data and priorities to help guide the wise use of the community’s resources. The creation of this historic resources survey plan overlaps with Montrose’s ongoing efforts to update its 2008 Comprehensive Plan, which will act as the official guide for the city’s strategic planning up to the year 2040. Logan Simpson’s survey plan includes evaluation of existing data, historic context development, limited reconnaissance level survey, descriptions of significant resources and property types, and public outreach. Through these efforts, Logan Simpson identified multiple historic resources for individual and district designations, documented the presence of significant landscapes, streetscapes, viewsheds, and historic and vintage signage, and identified over 25 different architectural styles and forms within City limits. The report also includes a discussion of goals, objectives, and a list of historic preservation priorities ranked in order of importance to be implemented over the next 15 years.

  • National Historic and Scenic Trails Methodology, Field Guide, and Training

    Logan Simpson’s landscape architects, archaeologists, historic preservationists, biologists, visual resource specialists, and recreation specialists recently worked with the BLM to develop a first-of-its-kind methodology to help inventory, assess, and monitor National Scenic and Historic Trails (NSHTs). Since National Trails often cross multiple administrative boundaries, the BLM purposefully designed the methodology so it could be used by all agencies and organizations who share management responsibilities. This integrated approach provides federal, state, and local agencies and trail organizations with a common framework as they inventory, assess, and monitor each trail’s resources, qualities, values, settings and uses.

    The National Trails Methodology considers four landscape elements―natural, scenic, historic and cultural, and recreation―and how they work together to define the nature, purposes, and uses of a trail. An interdisciplinary team made up of agency decision-makers, technical professionals in each resource area, and members of trail organizations and volunteer groups implements the methodology. Together, they determine how to study the trail—from the locations from which inventory will be conducted to how data will be collected and analyzed, and eventually to how resources will be monitored. Cross-agency participation is encouraged when trails cross jurisdictional boundaries.

    A companion Field Guide and training curriculum provide the step-by-step guidance needed to carry out the methodology. Both the Field Guide and training emphasize the use of existing programs, skill sets, and data standards whenever possible with simple checklists and a standardized monitoring form to ensure consistency across agencies. BLM anticipates that the NSHT Methodology, Field Guide, and Training will be rolled out in early 2020.

  • Rawhide Solar Facility Permitting

    Logan Simpson worked with Platte River Power Authority to prepare a 1041 permit application for construction of a 30-MW solar generating facility at the site of the Rawhide Power Plant north of Fort Collins, Colorado.  The project included a survey of the site’s biological and cultural resources and other related investigations. Following hearings by the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners, the project was unanimously approved.

  • LiDAR Cultural Resources and Environmental Support

    Rocky Mountain Power uses Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data collected from helicopter flights to measure minimum ground clearance, structural loads, wire sag, and wire tension along their existing electric transmission line network. Lines that pose a safety hazard are then repaired. Many of the lines pre-date environmental and cultural resources regulations such as NEPA, ESA, or NHPA. Logan Simpson helped Rocky Mountain Power navigate relevant regulations while ensuring that construction schedules were not impacted by unexpected environmental or cultural resources issues. Specific tasks included interfacing with federal and state agencies; large-scale literature reviews and due diligence studies to identify potential conflicts; GIS-based mapping, modeling, and database preparation; cultural resources inventories, site recording, and monitoring; and biological tasks like avian surveys, plant surveys, revegetation, and monitoring construction buffers for threatened and endangered species. We also identified construction access roads onto the right-of-way and facilitated the resolution of potential logistical issues that could impede construction.

  • Custer Gallatin National Forest Historic Overview, West Fork Rock Creek Road

    Logan Simpson worked with the Custer Gallatin National Forest to develop a historic context and NRHP evaluation for the West Fork of Rock Creek (WFRC) Road in the Beartooth Ranger District, Montana. Since the end of the nineteenth century, the scenic, 15-mile-long WFRC Road has been a transportation corridor for homesteaders, recreationists, and entrepreneurs. The purpose of the project is to mitigate adverse effects to the WFRC Road and its associated historic properties from a reconstruction project. Logan Simpson reviewed records and other materials, including oral history transcripts, historic maps, and NRHP nominations, to revise an existing overview and context for the road. The revisions addressed the Forest Service’s comments on the draft; added descriptive data for historic resources present within the corridor; provided photographs and figures to supplement the text; and re-formatted the context to align with NPS guidelines for historic contexts. Logan Simpson also rewrote the statement of significance of the WFRC drainage and updated the existing nomination for the individually-eligible ca. 1906 Rock Creek Ranger Station, the only Forest Service administrative site known to have existed in the WFRC corridor.

  • Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project Programmatic Agreement Program Management

    Logan Simpson recently completed the fifth year as the  programmatic agreement program manager (PAPM) for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project  (NGWSP) in northwest New Mexico and northeast Arizona. We are responsible for providing independent monitoring and review of BOR’s compliance with the NGWSP PA. Major tasks include assisting BOR with tribal consultation, report review, report distribution, and maintaining lines of NGWSP-related communication. Tribal consultation includes assisting members of 14 tribes with field visits to archaeological sites and traditional cultural properties, regularly updating tribes on NGWSP activities, and ensuring that tribes have opportunities to contribute to the decisions regarding the treatment of cultural resources. Logan Simpson has facilitated 15 PA workgroup meetings and has assisted BOR with review of cultural resources documentation for 21 construction reaches. In addition the Logan Simpson has assisted BOR with presentations to tribal councils and cultural advisory boards and with the development of an amendment to the PA drawing upon our experience drafting agreement documents for other agencies. Most recently, Logan Simpson successfully facilitated the development of a tribal monitoring program that will complement archaeological monitoring during project construction. We are currently drafting a “best practices” manual for cultural resources compliance and consultation for complex construction projects such as the NGWSP.  We were recently reselected and will continue our role as the PAPM for the next five years.