Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Historic Preservation Office Receives Over $200,000 State Historical Fund Grant for Cultural Resources Management Plan

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The first government-to-government contract signing between Colorado’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) took place at the History Colorado Center in Denver on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2011. The contract is for two grants totaling more than $200,000 that the THPO received from the Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), a program of History Colorado.

Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Terry Knight, Colorado State Historic Preservation Officer Ed Nichols, and Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Chairman Gary Hayes

As the first residents of the State of Colorado, this moment only further strengthens the longstanding partnership that we have with History Colorado.

The first government-to-government contract signing between Colorado’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) took place at the History Colorado Center in Denver on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2011. The contract is for two grants totaling more than $200,000 that the THPO received from the State Historical Fund (SHF), a program of History Colorado.

The grant award will go toward developing and implementing a THPO Cultural Resources Management Plan for the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. Steps include developing criteria for prioritizing areas, archaeological sites, historic buildings requiring assessment and treatment, establishing a fee and permit schedule, and establishing protocols for undertaking, including unanticipated discoveries — all to ensure THPO daily activities run smoothly.

To implement this plan, the Ute Mountain Ute THPO plans to develop a website detailing permitting and other pertinent information, establishing protocols for report and permit review and collecting or acquiring site records from previous work on the Reservation. The THPO also plans to build a database of these records, surveying areas, sites and buildings for cultural resources work.

Chairman Gary Hayes stressed the importance of the grants between the THPO and SHPO. “Exercising our tribal sovereignty, these first grants will benefit the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Historic Preservation Office by ensuring longevity for the office and aiding with daily operational activities so that we can concentrate on preserving important historic sites on our tribal land. As the first residents of the State of Colorado, this moment only further strengthens the longstanding partnership that we have with History Colorado,” he said.

Ed Nichols, State Historic Preservation Officer and President and CEO of History Colorado said this grant award is an important step for the Ute Mountain Ute THPO. “A strong relationship between the Colorado SHPO and Ute Mountain Ute THPO is vital, and this first contracts signing is a historic moment for both offices.”

About the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Historic Preservation Office
On December 19, 2009, the National Park Service formally approved the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe to take over certain duties from the State Historic Preservation Officer within the boundaries of the Tribe’s reservation in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The Tribe thereby assumes responsibility for review of federal undertakings and, following a period of transition, other functions with the exceptions of certification of local governments and the evaluation of tax credit rehabilitation projects. The creation of the THPO represents an important development ensuring that Tribal concerns are met in the consideration of historic resources: “The mission of the Ute Mountain Ute THPO is to plan and implement protocols for the preservation and management of the cultural and historic properties on Ute Mountain Ute tribal lands; to advise and work with federal, state and local agencies on the management of the Tribe’s historic properties; to educate and inform tribal members and the general public on the Ute Mountain Ute’s rich cultural heritage; and to advise the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Council on historic preservation protocols and policy.” The THPO will develop a Tribal Historic Preservation Plan for Tribal lands. Please contact: Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, P.O. Box 468, Towaoc, CO 81334.

About History Colorado and the State Historical Fund
The State Historical Fund, a program of History Colorado (formerly the Colorado Historical Society) awards grants to public and non-profit organizations to preserve Colorado’s architectural and archaeological treasures for public benefit. The Colorado State Historical Fund receives funds for grants through a portion of tax revenues from limited-stakes gaming in the towns of Cripple Creek, Central City, and Black Hawk. State Historical Fund grants have helped preserve hundreds of historic schools, town halls, agricultural sites and other important resources in all 64 Colorado counties since 1993. For more information about History Colorado and its programs, visit http://www.HistoryColorado.org or call 303-HISTORY.

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Shannon Haltiwanger
History Colorado
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