Dear Fellow Preservationist:
On behalf of the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona State Parks and Trails and the conference planning committee, I am delighted to invite you to join us at our 15th Annual Arizona Historic Preservation Conference, which will be held in the Town of Oro Valley in Pima County, June 14th-16th, 2017. The intent of the conference is to bring together preservationists from around the State to exchange ideas and success stories, to share perspectives and solutions to preservation issues, and to foster cooperation between Arizona’s diverse preservation community.
The theme of this year’s conference is inspired by our host community’s tagline, “It’s in our Nature.” Preservation is indeed in our nature; all of human-kind possesses a fundamental instinct to protect and enhance the places that tell the stories of where we come from and who we are. History and memory are indelibly intertwined in not only our built environment, but also in the open spaces that we have either experienced through our personal activities or in our greater collective consciousness as Arizonans. The National Historic Preservation Act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1966, provides explicit recognition of the essential role historic preservation activities play to the nation’s psychic well-being. Article I of the act establishes “the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people.” It is my greatest privilege as State Historic Preservation Officer to be able to work with all of you who – in either professional or volunteer roles – work tirelessly to foster this fundamentally natural “orientation” to preserve heritage resource among your colleagues, friends, family and broader communities.
Building upon our theme, we will focus on the intersection of nature and preservation, whether through examination of cultural landscapes and Native American heritage resources where integrity of the natural setting is of paramount significance, or through exploring varied means of protecting our historic built environment and archaeological resources in light of natural forces, such as erosion, fire damage and climate change. Enhanced conference programming and tours will also be sponsored by SHPO’s parent agency, Arizona State Parks and Trails in recognition of the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the State Parks system. State Parks has not only provided the “nest” for SHPO’s program, but also exemplary stewardship that recognizes the role heritage resources play in the conservation and enjoyment of Arizona’s natural areas.
As always, the Preservation Honor Awards will be the focal event of the conference. The 36th Annual Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Awards, presented by the State Historic Preservation Office and the Arizona Preservation Foundation, recognizes people, organizations, and projects that represent outstanding achievements in preserving Arizona’s prehistoric and historic resources. The 30th Annual Governor’s Awards in Public Archaeology, selected by the Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission, recognize excellence in archaeological awareness, conservation and education. The awards make the conference more than a venue to learn, debate and network; they also ensure a celebration of outstanding historic preservation efforts and achievements.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all in Oro Valley this June!
State Historic Preservation Officer
Arizona State Historic Preservation Office
Arizona State Parks & Trails