National Park Service, Department of Interior Image with Arrowhead ParknetLinks to Pastcontact Title Image entitled Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, Preserving America's Heritage
home link imageprogram description link imagegrants/cost-share link imagecurrent news link imageconferences/training linkconferences/training link imagepublications link imagelinks link imageroute 66 map link imagecontact us link image

 

MINUTES OF THE
ROUTE 66 CORRIDOR PRESERVATION PROGRAM
ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING
ALBUQUERQUE, NM
February 9-10, 2006


Program Manager Mike Taylor opened the meeting with introductions and housekeeping announcements.

Mr. Taylor noted that two members were unable to attend the meeting, Mike Wallis and Robert Scott Taylor. He asked the advisory council members to introduce themselves.

Advisory council members present were:

David Bricker – State of California
James Conkle – California Route 66 Preservation Foundation
David Dunaway – University of New Mexico
Melvena Heisch – State of Oklahoma
Michael Jackson – State of Illinois
David Knudson – National Historic Route 66 Federation
John Murphey – State of New Mexico
Mary Ann Naber – Federal Highway Administration
Carolyn Gallagher Pendleton – Kansas Historic Route 66 Association
Tommy Pike – Missouri Route 66 Association
Jim Ross – Oklahoma Route 66 Association
Phyllis Seitts – Bureau of Land Management
Gregory Smith – State of Texas

In addition to the advisory council members, the following National Park Service (NPS) representatives were in attendance:

Jere Krakow, Superintendent, National Trails System – IMR
Mike Taylor, Route 66 Program Manager
John Conoboy, Chief, Interpretation and Resource Management
Kaisa Barthuli, Assistant Route 66 Program Manager
Josina Martinez, Budget Analyst

Mike reviewed the agenda and explained how the day would progress.


Federal Advisory Act

The first item on the agenda was to review the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Critical points noted:

• The advisory committee serves the public interest
• Requires that different points of view be represented
• Council members should occupy diverse occupations
• Membership is balanced in terms of points of view
• Members have expertise and skills that parallel the program staff
• A charter must be developed and filed
• A balanced membership is maintained
• Allow the public to speak or file written statements
• Announce all meetings in the federal register 15 days in advance of any meetings
• Maintain all documents for public inspection.

The estimated yearly cost for an advisory council meeting is approximately $20,000, which also includes NPS preparation, implementation and follow-up time. Meetings will be held once a year. Major and opposing viewpoints should be represented. Numerical parity is not required; no individual or group has the right to be on the committee.

Mike reviewed the FACA charter.

Imogene Anaya, Human Resources Officer for the Intermountain Region Santa Fe Support Office of the National Park Service presented a short session on ethics. Advisory council members are representatives and are not covered by the same restrictions as federal employees. Special government employees are subject to ethics laws. Mr. Conkle said that e-mails could be an area of concern and it should be noted if they are not to be shared with the public.

Ms. Martinez discussed administrative details and reimbursement of travel expenses.


Overview of Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program

Mr. Taylor then provided an overview of the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. A gentleman by the name of Bob Audette, from near Edgewood, New Mexico, was one of those early on to realize the importance of Route 66 and brought the need for attention of the Mother Road to the public. Because of this type of attention and comments from the public, Congress directed the National Park Service to conduct a special resources study. Although there are few hard copies of the study left, it is available on the website. The study provided options of how the government could be involved in the preservation of Route 66, which ultimately resulted in the 1999 Route 66 Preservation Act. Mr. Knudson also provided background on how the federation became involved in getting the Act passed. There were a series of meetings held and in 1999, the Act was passed. Mr. Taylor reviewed the Act and emphasized the importance of the Act and how it governs what the program and the council do. It is the basis of why the program exists. After the Act was passed, the National Park Service was required to establish a program. Mr. Taylor was hired in 2001 as the Program Manager and Ms. Barthuli was hired in 2002 as the Assistant.

In January 2002, a meeting was held with various partners in Albuquerque to solicit recommendations as to what direction the program should take. A summary of the proceedings of the meeting was discussed. The goals of the Albuquerque meeting were to:
• Goal 1 - Agree upon criteria and program guidance for ways to best preserve the most significant and representative resources along the Route 66 Corridor.

• Goal 2 – Discuss various types of technical assistance that can be provided by the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program to best help partners in preserving the most representative and significant historic resources.

• Goal 3 – Explore ways to leverage preservation funds from other sources to match federal dollars.

• Goal 4 – Establish an ad-hoc group to advisor the National Park Service on formulating a permanent advisory committee.

Mr. Knudson was involved in the passing of the Act and discussed the political problems he encountered in getting the bill passed. It was viewed by many as a “Republican” bill because of the support of Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), and there was some Democratic opposition.

Ms. Barthuli presented a power point presentation on the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program . She discussed once again the passage of the Act and the meeting held in 2002 which resulted in the following mission statement developed by Program staff:

“The National Park Service, Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program collaborates with partners to provide funding, technical assistance, and education towards the long-term preservation of the most representative and significant resources of the historic Route 66 corridor.”

Program strategies have been to identify partners and historic resources, evaluate preservation issues, values, preservation education, provide financial and technical assistance, and to serve as a clearinghouse. Partners include Congressional leaders, state legislators, state historic preservation officers (SHPOs), departments of transportion (DOTs), local and state tribal agencies, Route 66 associations, other nonprofit organizations, and private landowners.

Inventories of transportation related historic properties on Route 66 have been completed in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico with partial inventories in Arizona and California.

Preservation issues on Route 66 include escalating values in urban areas, balancing safety and capacity needs with preservation, adverse impacts to roadbed through road improvements, lack of awareness of Route 66 as a valuable historic resource, and a paucity of local historic corridor management plans.

The values of Route 66 include:

• Economic and social values
• Educational values,
• Aesthetic values, the beauty of the landscape
• Historical values

The program provides educational outreach, workshops, meetings, conferences and publicity. A publicity plan has been developed to raise awareness of the significance and importance of the preservation of Route 66.

The program also provides technical assistance through site visits, by e-mail, phone, letter writing, and has serve as a clearinghouse for preservation related information regarding Route 66. A website has been developed and a yearly newsletter is published.

Financial assistance has been provided through a cost share program. To date, 61 projects have been funded by the program at a cost of $927, 711, with partner share amounting to $817,915.

The program provides funding for preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration. The priority is for transportation related properties such as motels, gas stations, hotels, and signs. Projects funded also include surveys, historic contexts, and national register nominations. This information will be compiled into a comprehensive database. The program has also provided funding for planning documents, local corridor management plans, historic structure reports, and preservation treatment plans.

Research, education, and oral history are also objectives of the program. Oral history training workshops have been conducted for all Route 66 states. Existing sign ordinances have been researched and a model historic sign ordinance has been developed. Brick and mortar projects have been prioritized over planning projects.

After a short break, Ms. Naber discussed the upcoming National Historic Roads conference in Boston on preserving historic roads.


Program Goals

Mr. Taylor discussed the program goals that have been developed by staff for the period encompassing FY 2005-2009. (refer to program goals and strategies in handouts). The following discussions ensued while discussing the goals:

Scenic Byways program.
There are great initiatives along Route 66 with the scenic byway program that are administered out of FHWA. The scenic byway program provides funding for corridor management plans, interpretation, brochures, etc. Mr. Taylor said they hope to get an All American highway designation for Route 66 in the future which would encompass all eight states. Scenic byway definitions differ state by state. Ms. Pendleton said they have run into problems with scenic byways in Kansas. John Conoboy suggested she talk to Kansas Department of Transportation about this. Ms. Seitts said that portions of the road could be scenic while other portions could be historic.

A discussion ensued on the definition of the All American Highway designation. It defines the road itself as a destination. The National Road and Selma to Montgomery are All American Roads. The scenic byway program is administered by FHWA, which makes funds available. Ms. Naber explained that funds are available only for items for public enjoyment, i.e., the outside of a hotel that everyone can see as opposed to the interior where someone would have to pay to visit.

Partner efforts with other U.S. highways. There are many other historic highways that need assistance. The Lincoln Highway just finished their resource study. Mr. Bricker said he believed there have been two other congressional acts passed for U.S. Highway 101 and U.S. Highway 99.

Mr. Murphey asked Ms. Naber if she knew of any states that had a program for treatment of historic roads. She said it has been very difficult because there are so many historic roads and trails. It would be easier if you define a specific resource, i.e, Route 66 in Oklahoma. There ensued a discussion on how difficult it is to implement and maintain a program for historic road treatment. Ms. Heisch mentioned that if there are no federal funds involved, it is difficult to monitor how these roads are maintained before damage is done. Mr. Taylor said education and awareness is critical. Local management plans could play a part in preventing this from happening.


Field Trip

A field trip to sites along Route 66 in downtown Albuquerque was scheduled for the lunch break. Mr. Ed Boles, Preservation Planner, City of Albuquerque would be leading the field trip and he was introduced to the group.

Mr. Boles discussed the efforts the city has undertaken in trying to preserve Route 66 resources. It has been difficult due to the variety of resources, from buildings to roadbeds. Mr. Boles explained the route the tour would take, beginning at the El Vado Motel, driving up Central, east to Nob Hill . He provided background on the El Vado motel and the history of what is currently happening with the property. The Route 66 preservation efforts in Albuquerque began with a study in the early 1990’s by David Kammer to identify and evaluate places along Route 66 in New Mexico, which resulted in the inclusion of several properties in the national register. Albuquerque is like many other cities with many Route 66 resources. They have many motels that have been destroyed in recent years. There were over 100, and now less than half survive. They are not being saved because they are not commercially viable and are located in areas that are economically and socially deficient. There is a city effort to deal with problem properties, a safe city strike force. The city buys them for the purpose of demolition or forces the owners to close them. However, there are also efforts to buy some properties and rehab them. The El Vado Motel was designated a City of Albuquerque landmark. Whenever a landmark is proposed to be demolished, the owner must show there is no way to make the property an economic success. There is a one year moratorium to give the city time to find a way to preserve the property.

Program Goals (continued)

After the field trip, the group reconvened and Mr. Taylor continued his discussion of program goals.

Monitoring threats. There was discussion on how to coordinate with SHPOs to establish monitoring threats on the ground and along the route which would be reported to the SHPOs and local organizations. Mr. Knudson proposed the adopt-a-segment initiative to keep people posted on what is happening along the road. Mr. Ross discussed the loss of the Dosie Creek bridge in Oklahoma and noted that the bridges built in the 1930’s and 1940’s are at the end of their lifespan.

Document historic sites according to HABS. Mr. Jackson said it is very expensive to document sites according to HABS. HABS quality is top of the line, perhaps a lower level of recordation would work better for a comprehensive documentation program along the road. Mr. Smith said a possibility is to use the local university architectural students to do some of this work. It was stated that documentation could be used for rehabilitation projects, not just to record loss.

Cultural landscapes. No focused work has been done on landscape documentation. Ms. Naber said that Carol Ahlgren worked on this issue on the Lincoln Highway.


Coordinate with partners. The Act does not require an overall management plan, but directs that local efforts along the road will be coordinated. An important part of the program is to coordinate with local officials. The program is interested in conducting an inventory of existing corridor management plans. There are concerted efforts on the road to raise community awareness of needs and initiatives. Mr. Conkle said they have succeeded in Flagstaff because of the meetings and awareness that have been developed. Getting the community educated is very important as is coordinating with SHPOs. Ms. Naber asked if it would it be possible to link the website to existing plans that other states/areas have developed.

Implement the cost share grant program; review and update application guidelines. This is a great deal of Ms. Barthuli’s workload. Scope of work, contractual obligations, monitoring projects/contacting contractors. A discussion ensued on whether there were too many grants involving small amounts of money. Would it be better to fund fewer but larger projects?

Implement a technical assistance program. Mike and Kaisa are on the road working with partners approximately one week out of every month. An effort is made to visit each state at least twice a year. A trip report is submitted at the completion of each visit. Mr. Knudson asked if they visited every site which submitted a proposal. Ms. Barthuli replied that they’ve visited some, but have not been able to visit all. The grant program is such that there is no program control over what projects are submitted for funding consideration.

Phone consultations, meetings, and workshops. Preparation, implementation, and follow-up take quite a bit of staff time. Program staff collaborates with partners for many of these workshops. For example, last year a workshop was held in Monrovia, California, with the collaboration of the California Route 66 Preservation Association. The SHPO’s office was also very involved. Many local government officials attended and it was very successful. Participation in the Environmental Protection Agency leaking underground workshop in Arizona was also very successful.

Manage survey information. Ms. Barthuli is working on the development of a relational database to combine inventory data from all eight Route 66 states. It has been decided by staff to back off the idea of building a GIS database for now. The focus now is on the synthesis and integrity of existing data into a relational database. The program is hoping to hire an intern this summer to work on this. This will give us the first opportunity to look at that data from an integrated national perspective. It is thought that this data could be used as the basis for a GIS database in the future. It is hoped the relational database will be made available online. Mr. Murphey asked who would maintain the database. That decision will have to be made if the program sunsets.

Mr. Jackson mentioned the Curt Teich postcard collection, which has many Route 66 images. He said they are very approachable and would be good to work with to make the images available over the Internet .

Develop and maintain website. A program website has been developed with some links, basically listing training opportunities, notice of Federal Advisory Council, etc. Ms. Naber suggested that there be links to related sites provided. It is one of the more frequently visited sites of the NPS Links to the Past website. FHWA is linked to the Route 66 web site, and Ms. Seitts suggested they link to recreation.gov.

Develop and maintain the national register initiative. A Route 66 National Register Itinerary website is under development. When completed, travelers can plan trip on Route 66 based around national register sites. The site will start with 50 sites and add more later. The program may hire an intern to help facilitate the compilation of the research part of this initiative. To date, part-time volunteers have been working on the research.

Maintain and distribute the Directory of Financial and Technical Assistance. It is difficult to manage because there are constant changes to this document. It is available on hard copy and the web site.

Oral history. At the Albuquerque meeting in 2002, Dr. Dunaway emphasized the importance of capturing oral histories. National Public Radio asked him to document the history of Route 66 which he did in a series that aired in 2001. He has also authored a textbook on oral history. He has been working with the NPS program for four years to train citizen historians and consult in oral history as part of historical documentation. He has set up the following priorities: The first is training citizen historians to collect their own history; conducting weekend workshops which involve planning, learning how to conduct oral history interviews through all the states. The second function was finding and preserving oral histories relating to Route 66. He has finished copying Tom Teague interviews. Most importantly, to develop a research infrastructure that future generations can build on. Dr. Dunaway has conducted a feasibility study on having a network of state repositories and negotiated with various libraries and historical societies in each state to do this. In many cases this will lead to depositories doing the history of Route 66 locally. His goal is for a national center for Route 66 data to lay the basis on the research infrastructure for the history of Route 66, to create a center where people can go and find comparative data about the whole road and not just state sections. This would involve a great deal of coordination between states. The third priority has been to produce publications. Two documents have been developed, a Route 66 Oral History Reader, and a “Route 66 Oral History, A Manual.” This latter document will be published by the Government Printing Office and is available to anyone who wants to begin an oral history project in their community. He feels the history of Route 66 lies with the citizen historians.

Ms. Barthuli mentioned that the Act states that an oral history program for the road will be developed. The largest oral history collection of Route 66 material is located in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

Dr. Krakow suggested an oral history of the migration along Route 66. Dr. Dunaway has just finished editing the first anthology of Route 66 which has information on the migratory patterns.

Curation needs. The Act states that the NPS will identify how the NPS will deal with curation needs. To date, these needs have not been addressed by the Program. There are many visitor centers and museums along Route 66, with many mom and pop type operations.

Assessment of Route 66 related museums/visitor centers/ numbers of tourists traveling the road
Program staff intend to look at getting a study funded which would identify the museums/visitor centers and what type of story they are telling. If the same story is being repeated, they might suggest how these local museums could better interpret the route, make the stories more localized. Another component of this study would be to determine how many people are actually visiting Route 66. The number one question from Congress and other decision makers is how many people are cruising the road. There is a general idea, but no good hard data is available.

There’s a concern that there could be an overabundance of visitor centers and museums starting to pop up on the road. Part of the proposed assessment would entail what museums/visitor centers already exist and how they could better exchange information/ideas among themselves. Mr. Knudson noted that no one has come up with a way to count visitors along Route 66 accurately. Mr. Conkle said he thought it was critical and that it was more important to spend money on these surveys than the small rehab projects. It would have greater benefit. Mr. Taylor said there have been benefits realized from these small projects, such as the El Reno sign. This is one of the items they want to discuss later. Mr. Conkle said he thought the money was not being used most effectively. We make a bigger effect talking to people at all levels, showing them what they’re doing. Ms. Barthuli said that if there is nothing happening on the ground, there is nothing to show people. Mr. Bricker said that the integrated approach needs to be implemented. You must have evidence that there is value to what is being done. It takes time. Mr. Jackson said the smaller scale projects such as roof rehabilitation can be important, but not if there is a lack of capacity by the grantee or community to go further than that. Mr. Jackson said it is important to finance projects that build capacity, such as historic structures reports and local corridor management plans. This may be more cost effective for preservation. Ms. Heisch asked how much competition they have for grant money.

To date, 111 eligible project applications have been received, 61 have been funded. Mr. Ross feels that the whole thing is rooted in awareness. He agrees with Mr. Conkle that the brick and mortar projects are good for the property owner; however, these projects get lost in the expanse of the highway. He thinks the surveys are vital. Until you know what properties are there, how can you prioritize and know which need the most attention? In terms of keeping the program alive, the surveys and a tourist count is what is going to matter to the people in Washington. That should be a priority in every state – Oklahoma is the only state that has a comprehensive road survey. (clarification: Program staff did not mention that Illinois and Kansas also have comprehensive road bed surveys. Texas, New Mexico and Missouri have identified priority road segments, but these need to be further inventoried and recorded) The priority should be a roadbed survey in each state, followed by an updated structure survey, putting the data into context and prioritizing. A substantial list of historic register nominations have evolved as a result of these surveys. Mr. Taylor said other states have done the historic building survey and historic register nominations, but not road surveys. Mr. Ross stated that they need to think of the long-term benefits. This data is very important especially if the program sunsets. Dr. Krakow asked if any statistics have been relayed to Congress on how many volunteer and organization hours have been contributed to the Route. Give examples, products of your work, to key members of Congress or committees that show this taxpayer-supported effort really pays off. Mr. Conkle said the advisory council’s efforts should be to make this program successful, and they should not focus on who gets the money for small projects. Mr. Knudson said a professional team would be required to determine how many people travel the road and would cost a minimum of $20,000. Mr. Ross said there has to be a way statistically to use road counters and look at guest registers and come up with a reasonable number of visitors. Mr. Knudson said it must be done by an experienced research organization so it will be credible. Mr. Taylor asked if there was a consensus from the council that this needed to be done. There was consensus that an Economic Impact Study including visitor statistics should be done. It was stated that Overland Victory Trail has done one. Ms. Heisch mentioned that Rutger’s University may have experience/advice on this topic.

Another suggestion was to develop a class for children teaching them about Route 66. There isn’t a week goes by that this isn’t requested. Creating an awareness of Route 66 among the youth and determining how many tourists actually travel Route 66 are two high profile items that will get a lot of attention in the media. These are both critically important.

There was further discussion that information on visitor statistics will be of great importance not only to the government, but also to private foundations. Dr. Krakow asked what the outcome would be if the statistical data is collected, how will this information be used? Mr. Knudson said it would be used to market the road, for corporate sponsorship, and in numerous other ways to keep the program alive. Ms. Heisch noted that if these statistics are available to local officials, it can help show that the historic resources are worth preserving. Dr. Krakow said that this awareness also has an implication for funding components and is a great educational and economic opportunity.

Ms. Naber said that while we’re out counting visitors, we cannot lose resources. We need on the ground projects to show what the potential is. The small investment projects get local publicity and keep local communities involved. Mr. Ross said they are both vital.

Mr. Conoboy said that if the program is reauthorized, the Act may need to be revised to be more effective. It is currently preservation oriented, towards bricks and mortar projects. Mr. Conkle said volunteer/advocate involvement and passion is important, they are doing it because they care. After paid people go home or leave, advocates are all that remain. No one will remember the small grants, so it’s important to make a big impact.

Mr. Murphey asked about the shelf life of the surveys. Mr. Ross said the surveys only have to be done once. The rest can be used for brick and mortar and other projects. The program is about to end so there is a need to conduct the surveys soon. Surveys do need to be updated every five-six years.


Annual Budget and Travel

Mr. Taylor reviewed the budget from 2001-2005. The average annual appropriation has been approximately $300,000 over the life of the program which means the buying power has diminished. Although travel costs may seem high, they cannot do their job without traveling. To date, the program has received $1.68 million.

Mr. Taylor advised the group that he is no longer working on Route 66 full-time. He has also been assigned to El Caminjo Real de Tierra Adentro, and approximately one-third of his salary will be charged to that program, thus freeing up more funds for the Route 66 program. Dr. Krakow explained that we are currently operating under a travel ceiling and that travel spending is being monitored by our Regional Office and Washington.


Cost Share Program

Ms. Barthuli reviewed the cost share program. Historic building survey work has been done in many of the states. The number of applications received in the last grant cycle was less than in previous years. Government contracting has been cumbersome to some extent, and a new application format used in the last grant cycle may have discouraged people from applying. However, the Route 66 program has taken steps towards making the process easier. Mr. Pike said many of these property owners do not apply because they do not trust the government and think they’re will be strings attached. It is not free money. It was stated that the cost share grants have to have a payback to the public. The application process can be tedious for those unfamiliar with grant writing and program staff is working towards helping all applicants as much as possible. Mr. Jackson said the local associations or federations might be able to assist locally. Counties that have a grants coordinator could help. We need to encourage applicants to seek out help.

Ms. Barthuli discussed the process of how the grants are administered and the evaluation criteria. The grant cycle is open annually from the end of January when the request for proposals is sent out. In that process, program staff revises or refines the evaluation criteria based on issues raised in past years. They select a peer review panel each year to look at the applications that include an association member, a SHPO member, a national Route 66 federation member, Mr. Taylor, Ms. Barthuli, and one other NPS member. The application deadline this year is April 28. The reviewers have 6-8 weeks to review and return comments/recommendations. The grant award decisions are largely based on those reviews.

Mr. Knudson then suggested that they skip the discussion on this process to free up time to discuss important issues that the council needs to resolve. Mr. Taylor asked the members if they agreed. Mr. Bricker said maybe they could go through the agenda items in a more abbreviated manner and free up some time.

It was noted that the Davis-Bacon act is no longer required. Davis-Bacon was a great hindrance to the applicants. Applications guidelines now stress the importance of OSHA standards needing to be met. These are the two substantial changes this year.

Mr. Taylor and Ms. Barthuli presented some examples of successful projects and some problematic projects.


Chairman/ Vice-chairman Elections

After a short break, Mr. Taylor suggested that the agenda be altered to vote for the chairmanship of the advisory council. He explained the role of the chairperson and then opened the floor for nominations. Mr. Bricker nominated Mr. Jackson. Mr. Ross nominated Mr. Bricker. Mr. Conkle said he supported the idea of a co-chair and he nominated Mr. Murphey as chairman. Because he has done work on Route 66 and because of his geographically availability he then nominated himself as vice-chair. Ms. Gallagher said she was going to nominate Mr. Conkle as chair, but he said he would have to decline because he would not be able to devote the time. Mr. Taylor said they would vote for chair and then vice-chair. The nominations were closed. Mr. Jackson declined the nomination. Mr. Bricker and Mr. Murphey agreed to the chairman nominees.

It was discussed and decided that in addition to Mr. Conkle, the runner-up would also be considered for vice-chair.

A vote was taken and John Murphey was elected by a vote of 6 to 5.

The council then voted on a vice-chair. Mr. Bricker was elected by a vote of 8 to 3.

As his first order of business, Chairman Murphey asked if the council could be productive due to the late hour or if it would be best to adjourn for the day and resume the following day. It was agreed that the meeting would continue.

Chairman Murphey suggested the future of the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program be discussed.

Mr. Knudson wanted to discuss how to increase funding and the sunset or reauthorization. Mr. Taylor also wanted to discuss donations, where the program would be housed after sunset, coordination after sunset, and getting the associations together.


Program Funding/Reauthorization

Mr. Knudson said there has been a great deal of effort by some individuals to increase program funding. He feels there needs to be a team to apply pressure to Congressional members to increase funding; the grass roots people need to be more aggressive. Mr. Conkle said that at the 2002 Albuquerque meeting, it was discussed to put a “dog and pony” show together to go up and down the road. He feels this is still viable, not necessarily lobbying, but educating people about the program. Mr. Ross said he does not think the Corridor Act authorizes payment for lobbying activity, and Mr. Taylor agreed. However, if the presentations were informational in nature, and intended to create an awareness of the preservation needs, then these types of presentations are fine. The partners would need to find a sponsor to pay for lobbying efforts on their own. Mr. Pike said he spoke to his Congressman, Roy Blunt at a preservation conference, and that he is aware of Route 66 and supported the Act. Mr. Pike advised the Congressman that the program was going to sunset and asked what needed to be done to extend the program. Congressman Blunt asked him to give them the information needed and he did not see any problem with reauthorizing. However, an increase in annual funding would probably not be available.

Mr. Bricker said that he thinks the program may be missing an opportunity by not educating the youth of America on the route. He thinks there may be potential to reach a large international audience by using an entity such as MTV to educate the youth. Mr. Conkle said that 3 weeks ago he filmed a television show called “On The Road With Jim Conkle.” There is a possibility that what Mr. Bricker is talking about is already in the works. HGTV is looking at this show. HGTV is very supportive of preservation. Each show will center around a preservation project.

Ms. Naber suggested putting the successful projects in a handout as an educational tool that could be passed on to Congress. One page Spotlights have already been developed for many projects, which need to be put on the program website. There is a publicity plan that includes reaching out to the media and getting media attention to these projects. Other methods of educating the public were discussed, such as articles in National Geographic. Dr. Krakow said NPS is now just beginning to explore these issues and has a recently appointed public affairs individuals who might be able to assist with brainstorming ideas about publicity. Ms. Seitts said they meet annually with state tourism individuals. Chairman Murphey suggested that we should do a media package. Dr. Krakow thought it should be a multiple approach. Mr. Jackson said they would have to decide if they wanted to advertise Route 66 or what the NPS has done on Route 66. He wants it to be genuine and authentic. Mr. Ross asked if this was directed towards Congress for funding purposes or if this was geared to the public. Mike said we do not operate in isolation, everything we do is with partners. The media that we pitch needs to reflect what the NPS, along with other entities, is doing along the road. The publicity plan addresses how to approach different groups. Who is going to do it, who is going to pay for it. Mr. Conkle said there is now a Route 66 display at the Smithsonian. Many people are not aware of that. He said you need to self-promote. For $900 you can send out news releases that will go out to newspapers throughout the world. Ms. Naber asked what our message is if we are going to send out these releases. Mr. Jackson suggested measuring our performance, new things on the national register, what we’ve done, and what still needs to be done. Chairman Murphey said he thinks there could be two workgroups, one for media and one for how the surveys will be done. Mr. Ross agreed with the accountability of convincing Congress; it would be good if there was a good briefing paper/booklet. He would be willing to work on an annual report.

Dr. Krakow said it would be best for the NPS to focus on preservation, and let the others take care of the media. He would like to meet with the NPS tourism expert. He doesn’t want to lose track of the reauthorization which seems critical to pursue. NPS cannot do that, but he has met with Congress and they are aware of this. We can provide support, but Mr. Pike’s suggestion to approach his Congressman is a good idea. It needs to be both the Senate and the House for reauthorization. Potential funding increases takes another strategy. Ms. Heisch said you can meet with your congressional delegations locally, it doesn’t necessarily need to be in Washington. The congressional staff makes many of the decisions, and taking them on a tour locally could have great results. Ms. Naber suggested a briefing book could be provided for this purpose. Mr. Ross said politicians like it when they get feedback on a program that is working. Mr. Murphey said it would be a good idea to require job signs on the project sites. Mr. Taylor said that congressional staff have indicated that reauthorization is very plausible. In terms of any money added to the program, that is something that the program cannot approach. Why do you want to be reauthorized, what are you going to do? Program staff needs advice from the council on what they need to do on and where they should go. It’s advice the Program is seeking, not directives. Mr. Conkle said that if they are going to try to reauthorize, they should go to Congresswoman Heather Wilson and Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman first since they are the ones who initiated the bill. They may not even realize that the program is not getting the funding that was authorized. Mr. Taylor said he has briefed all three and they know that the money has not been forthcoming. He has been told be happy with what you get.

Congresswoman Wilson, and Senators Domenici and Bingaman will be getting invitations to the rendezvous this June and will be recognized for the bill. Mr. Knudson said they have gotten recognition for this in the past. Dr. Krakow said that when individuals meet with Congress, the NPS can provide packets on activities along the route. It is important to compile figures on volunteer hours and money for the route.

There was a great deal of discussion on how Congress should be approached and what information they should be given regarding reauthorization. Mr. Conkle said he would rather see the program be reauthorized than for the entire $10 million to be given to the program before it sunsets in 2009. He doesn’t feel the money could be well spent. Mr. Taylor said an important use of the money is when program staff is on the road working with communities and private business owners in furthering preservation of the corridor.

Dr. Dunaway brought up economic development. Is this part of the main engine of what could move the reauthorization forward? He suggested that the program contact the grantees and their network of individuals and ask them to produce a letter in which they would evaluate the impact of this program in their town and the effect on their economic development. He thinks this would vastly strengthen the programs position. Mr. Ross said this would provide a great deal of credibility.

Mr. Knudson asked if Chairman Murphey could be a lobbyist as chairman. Mr. Taylor said that was not allowed.

Mr. Knudson asked if the program could hire a professional firm to compile statistics on the Route. Mr. Taylor felt that this could be done; however, federal contracting regulations would have to be followed. Mr. Bricker agreed that this should be done to insure credibility and accuracy, which is critical. Mr. Conoboy said we cannot do surveys unless they are approved by OMB. An economic impact study could be done. Mr. Taylor said they will look into the mechanics of getting this done. Since it was getting late, Dr. Dunaway suggested that anyone who has ideas on the survey, or any other issues that need in depth discussion, draft their ideas and present them the next day.

Meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.

The council reconvened at 8:30 a.m. on Friday with all participants present from the previous day with the exception of Dr. Krakow and Ms. Naber.

Chairman Murphey greeted the members and asked everyone to provide him with their e-mail contacts.


Public Comment Period

Chairman Murphey advised the council that the FACA meetings are open to the public and that this was the time period scheduled for comments by the public. There was a member of the public in the audience who wished to address the council. The Chairman asked the members to introduce themselves to him.

Mr. William Gilmore from Albuquerque addressed the group. He gave a short history of his family on Route 66. Bob Audette and others have started the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Gilmore gave an update of what this chamber is doing to promote the road. They have petitioned the Governor to change the name of Highway 333 back to Route 66. They are also working to improve signing along the Route, including a stenciling project. Mr. Knudson asked why they went out on their own instead of working with the New Mexico Association. Mr. Gilmore said they felt that they wanted to work more on Route 66 east of Albuquerque. They are not in competition with Route 66 Association and they plan to work closely with the Association.

The next member of the public to speak was Steve Maynes He is the chairman of the Route 66 Festival to be held in Albuquerque in June 2006. He provided a flyer listing the festival events and discussed what will be happening during the festival.

Mr. Taylor said that as an example of preservation efforts at these festivals, program staff organized a workshop in Monrovia, California last year in conjunction with the festival in which local government officials participated. They would like to do the same at the Albuquerque festival, and would like to know whether the council thinks this is a good idea. There is also a summit scheduled of Route 66 Association representatives on preservation issues, and this year the program is also thinking about doing a mini-workshop on oral histories. Dr. Dunaway said that his publication on oral history could serve as a guide. This would be part of the summit. Mr. Taylor said they will make a decision on this as soon as possible. Dr. Dunaway asked if it would be a day-long workshop or just a couple of hours. Mr. Taylor said he would want to leave the summit as a full day and have a half-day meeting regarding preservation issues and the other half day as an oral history workshop. This would add a whole day of travel and expenses for the people who would be involved. Dr. Dunaway thinks the target audience is not necessarily the association member. There are two different audiences for the summit and the workshop. Mr. Maynes said that the Friday morning of the festival did not have scheduled events. Mr. Conkle said that the preservation workshop and the summit could not be combined. A discussion ensued on what would be the best time for this workshop. They will discuss this and make a decision. Chairman Murphey suggested that this be discussed outside the council meeting.

Discussions and Recommendations

Recap of yesterday
Chairman Murphey restated some of the points made the day before which follow:

Should we explore an All American Road designation?

Road bed surveys have not been done for all states, and should be done before the program sunsets.

Awareness – Publicity/Marketing: are we getting the message out to the right people, and to the youth? Should we do something more systematic? What is the medium, PR person, Congressional briefings, how sophisticated should those be?

Money - Cost share grants: are the grants being used to the greatest advantage? Should we be funding larger projects which will attract more attention? Can economic advantages in recipient communities be demonstrated?

Reauthorization: how should we go about it, who should we contact?

Visitor Use/Economic Impact Study: getting an accurate count of people who drive/use Route 66, and the economic impact.

Mr. Murphey suggested the council come to a consensus on discussion points, work up a goal statement for each committee established, and volunteer for committees to make this happen.

Mr. Knudson said that the critical issue is that we hire someone to compile statistics. A vote was taken with 9-2 in favor of doing the survey.

Dr. Dunaway suggested forming the following committees: Accountability/Measurement of grant program and resource protection; All American Road designation; a strategic media committee to develop media strategy for publicizing Route 66; an education committee to provide materials and make presentations on Route 66 activities; a preservation committee; research and oral history committee; and a priorities committee.

Mr. Jackson suggested measuring tourist use is important, but so is resource accountability.

Mr. Bricker said that we have a lot of data that has been collected and we need to identify how to use that data. Prioritize where we can be most effective. Some efforts are needed to set up those priorities and how to implement those recommendations.

Mr. Ross said he thought that the briefing packet for politicians was very important. He understands the purpose of the council is to advise the Secretary on how best to preserve the road. He thinks some of the committee’s suggestions should be done by the associations since the council has limited time and resources. Mr. Taylor said he agrees; the committees are good, but the council cannot do this work alone. Mr. Jackson said various committee composition does not necessarily mean that the advisory council would have to comprise all the committees. As long as an advisory council member is on the committee it can include other members. Mr. Conkle said it should be open to other people outside of association members, city councils, DOTs, etc. Don’t depend on the associations. Mr. Ross said the associations have some responsibility and he thinks there should be some pressure brought on the associations to get them to do what they should be doing anyway. Dr. Dunaway asked if someone from the council could serve as a liaison with the associations. He clarified the role of the education committee stating that he was talking about creating briefing packets for Congress.

Sunset and reauthorization
Chairman Murphey said their purpose in this particular discussion is to advise the program on two things, sunset and reauthorization. Mr. Pike felt that reauthorization should be the number one priority.

Mr. Jackson said he did not feel reauthorization should be the first priority. He stated that reauthorization should be a by-product of program activities, not a goal. Emphasis should be on the program mission, including inventory, establishment of protection ordinances, National Register listings, etc. Reauthorization should not be the focus, rather is the program’s mission complete? This can be demonstrated through numbers/statistics to show progress and need. He reemphasized that the focus should not be on keeping the program, rather it’s about ensuring properties are protected. Others felt that it would appear self-serving to have reuthorization be the top priority.

National Register initiative
Mr. Taylor said he would like to discuss the national register initiative. Program staff have a responsibility to identify properties along the route for national register nominations. Approximately 40 properties have been nominated throughout the eight states. This is important because it affords the property owners an opportunity to take advantage of federal and state tax credits.


Committee Formation Discussion

Chairman Murphey asked how the council was going to go forward, if there should be a working group to do this. Who will take charge of the statistical headcount.

Dr. Dunaway thought we should first identify committees. And then discuss the issue. He again mentioned the committees he proposed and suggested streamlining them.

Mr. Smith said there should be a full discussion about priorities and then a decision on committees.

Points of discussion:

Accountability and Measurement Committee Mr. Knudson feels a contract should be done. Mr. Ross would also be willing to work on this. It should include economic impact of foreign tourists. The scope of work would reflect the type of information they want included. Ms. Heisch mentioned Donovan Rypkema “Place Economics” has done these type of studies and might be a good person to talk to about the model. Chairman Murphey asked if the study would consume the entire budget and there would be no cost share projects, would they still want to do it? The consensus was that we would have to stick to something we could afford. Scenic byways program could advise. Mr. Knudson said he thinks they could get a good survey for an affordable price. Dr. Dunaway thought the council could be advisor to chambers of commerce and departments of tourism. Mr. Bricker said they would need to find out who has jurisdiction of portions of the road; state DOT’s do not necessarily have jurisdiction. Mr. Ross stated that fairly recent traffic counts have been done and could be used. He thinks some of this data is available and could be shared. Mr. Pike thought that if the request came from the NPS, the local agencies would be more responsive.

It was suggested that this committee should determine the feasibility of hiring a consultation firm that will undertake the study which will fit within the program’s financial means. This will assist the program in giving us hard concrete figures with what is happening on the road and how to preserve the resources.

Prepare a briefing packet highlighting the success stories.

Dr. Dunaway proposed the following resolution The Federal Advisory Council on Route 66 requests that the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program evaluate the effectiveness of its’ efforts to date via follow up correspondence with communities that have received its grants or technical assistance. The program will ask its’ grantees to write out brief statements on the effects of the grants on the following areas:

• Effects of project on economic development
• Effects of the project on promoting partnerships and cooperation, including interagency cooperation
• Degree of support and technical assistance provided by the program during project
• Overall value of the project to the community as a whole.

Chairman Murphey thought technical assistance should also be taken into account, not just grant projects that were funded by the program.

Dr. Dunaway suggested taking a vote on this resolution. Dr. Dunaway made the motion, Mr. Conkle seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Education and Outreach Committee

Mr. Jackson and Mr. Smith agreed to serve on the education and outreach committee. Ms. Naber was also assigned to the committee in absentia.

After a short break, the council reconvened.

Preservation and Management committee
One of the purposes of the program is to identify the most important resources of the Route 66 corridor. Mr. Jackson and Mr. Smith said it is going to be the local entities that will protect the resources. Mr. Jackson stated that a lot of survey information is already available. Mr. Taylor and Ms. Barthuli need to meet with property owners and make them aware of the benefits of National Register nomination.

Chairman Murphey asked if they should be spending money to purchase plaques for properties to make them more visible.

Dr. Dunaway asked for clarification. We have established a measurement committee, and an education and outreach committee, and now a preservation management committee.

The preservation management committee would recommend priorities to identify the most important resources on Route 66, and establish tools to protect the corridor as a result of the identification efforts under Section 2(e)(1) of the Act which states, “The Secretary shall provide assistance in the preservation of the Route 66 corridor in a manner that is compatible with the idiosyncratic nature of the Route 66 corridor.”

Chairman Murphey asked for volunteers for this working group. Chairman Murphey, Ms. Heisch, and Mr. Bricker will serve on this committee.

Strategic media committee
Dr. Dunaway discussed the committee for development of a media strategy. Mr. Knudson noted that since it is the 80th anniversary of the road, there is a great opportunity for publicity. It was discussed as to whether we really needed a publicity committee. Mr. Conkle discussed a newspaper that will begin publishing this year on a monthly basis. Mr. Taylor said they are talking about two different things, publicity of Route 66 and publicity regarding the preservation of the road. The council should focus on preservation success stories, not promotional activities along Route 66. The program already has a publicity plan, it just needs to be implemented. Mr. Smith asked if this could fall under education and outreach. Chairman Murphey was thinking along the same lines. Mr. Ross felt that absent member Michael Wallis would be an ideal person to serve on the committee. Mr. Pike said he would like to have some direction on how to get things in the local paper. The misconception about the association is that they are car clubs. Dr. Dunaway said the focus is not sending out press releases, but rather developing a media strategy. When do we want to have clout and to what end. What points do we want to get across. Dr. Dunaway and Mr. Conkle volunteered for this committee. Are they actually going to issue press releases or provide advice to the program? It would be the program that would actually issue any press releases. The council is advisory, they provide advice, not directives. Mr. Pike and Ms. Pendleton will also serve on this committee.

Mr. Conkle passed out a flyer regarding a state context study for California that has just been done entitled, “Life In the Past Lane, The Route 66 Experience.” Mr. Taylor said the other state contexts are on the web site.

Should another committee be formed for the All American Road designation? It was suggested that this would be a part of the preservation committee.

Review of committees and members established by the council:

1. Accountability and measurement committee – Mr. Ross and Mr. Knudson.

2. Education and outreach committee – Mr. Jackson, Mr. Smith, Ms. Naber.

3. Preservation and management committee - Ms. Heisch, Mr. Bricker, Chairman Murphey.

4. Strategic media committee – Mr. Conkle, Dr. Dunaway, Mr. Pike, Ms. Pendleton, Mr. Wallis.

Chairs were named for each committee:

1. Jim Ross
2. Greg Smith
3. David Bricker
4. David Dunaway

Mr. Pike said that his association would be willing to help any of the committees. Ms. Seitts indicated she could assist with each committee in her capacity as representative of the Bureau of Land Management.

Are these committees going to be in-house, or will we be recruiting outside help? Ms. Seitts said that the findings need to come back to the Advisory Council for full implementation or consideration. Mr. Taylor said that due to travel and funding availability, we will not be able to meet on a regular basis. Members can correspond by e-mail and phone calls, but they will be public record. Any members of the a committee who are not on the Federal Advisory Council would have to be approved by Mr. Taylor as the Designated Official.

Mr. Taylor discussed the legalities and technicalities of meetings. Dr. Dunaway asked that Mr. Taylor issue a memo clarifying this.

How the subcommittees will relay information to the council was discussed. Chairman Murphey suggested each committee chairperson report quarterly to Mr. Taylor, Ms. Barthuli, and himself. Mr. Taylor stated that within the next 2 weeks he will get information to everyone on the legality of committee meetings. Committee member contact information will also be distributed.


Miscellaneous

Chairman Murphey opened up the floor for any other items the council wished to discuss.

Mr. Pike said he feels the NPS should look at having a national museum with a library. They could get corporate sponsorship. It would be a big tourist draw. Dr. Dunaway said that we need to give value to collections that already exist. He would propose that they have a state repository in each state. The University of New Mexico has indicated its desire to build the Route 66 collection for the State of New Mexico, and interested institutions in the other seven states have also been identified. Ms. Barthuli said they are working with these institutions to look at the feasibility of developing a coordinated national program of oral history/research. Dr. Dunaway thinks the idea of a single physical place, or national center, where the information would be available is a great idea. Mr. Conkle recommends that they do something to keep the oral history project going. This year’s project is to conduct six to nine interviews with key people along the road. Mr. Taylor mentioned that conflicts of interest issues will have to be looked at in terms of directing Program funds to oral history projects managed by Dr. Dunaway.

Mr. Jackson thought it would be a good idea to try and entice the national road conference to a Route 66 location. He feels we need to expand and think in a broader sense. Use program resources to bring the conference to a Route 66 location.

Mr. Smith talked about the society of commercial archeology and provided information on their group.

There were no other items for discussion or announcements.

Next meeting. Mr. Taylor asked where and when the next meeting will be held. It had mentioned having a meeting in conjunction with next year’s festival. At this time it appears the meeting may be held in Clinton, OK. This would provide a great deal of opportunity for public involvement. The charter allows us to meet once a year. Mr. Knudson said the advisory council meetings should not be linked to the festival. Mr. Conkle suggested that the meetings be held in Albuquerque since there are so many people who would not have to travel. Ms. Heisch said that having all the meetings in Albuquerque would limits public access. Mr. Taylor suggested that the next meeting be held in early November 2006, location to be determined.

On behalf of the National Park Service, Mr. Taylor thanked the group for their participation, advice, input, recommendations, etc. He felt it was a very productive meeting.

Motion to adjourn, seconded, and passed.

Meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.



 

captions pagePrivacy & Disclaimer