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Los Alamos National Laboaratory representatives Dr. Phillip Noll, Jennifer Payne and LeAnn Purtzer discussed ongoing environmental stewardship projects at LANL last week.
The trio talked about LANL’s efforts to evaluate impacts of laboratory activities on cultural resources, assess ecological risks, and prepare environmental assessments, cultural resources reports and mitigation plans. They talked about the LANL Trails Working Group, which inventories, maps, and prepares historical reports for the many trails on LANL property that are used for recreational purposes.
Federal laws provide the basis for protecting natural resources, while regulations construct the framework for how this is done at LANL. Many of these stewardship activities are the responsibility of the laboratory’s Environmental Services Group, including biological and cultural resources management, national Environmental Policy Act compliance, pollution prevention, and the laboratory’s Environmental Management System. As part of the environmental protection program, LANL specialists oversee and manage the laboratory’s cultural resources programs. Several laws including the National Historic Preservation Act and various regulations establish the policy, standards and processes that govern LANL’s resources management activities.
The LANL Trails Working Group was established in December 2003, and includes representatives from local citizen hiking groups, Los Alamos County, Forest Service, Park Service, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the NNSA Los Alamos Site Office. The Trails Working Group carries out the Trails Management Program, which was a requirement stipulated in an NNSA environmental assessment that was completed in 2003. The program addresses various issues related to hiking on laboratory property. Through this program, an active needs assessment was completed on how to manage foot traffic, control looting and vandalism, protect the scientific value of sites near trails and provide the proper respect for sites that are sacred to local pueblos.
Noll began his career at LANL as an analytical chemist more than 20 years ago and has held several different positions over the years. For the last two years, Noll has been instrumental in running the Trails Management Program and has first-hand knowledge of most of the trails at LANL.
Payne is the team leader for the Resources Management Team at LANL. Payne has worked at the laboratory for almost 14 years, where she has been part of excavations and archaeological surveys.
Purtzer is the lead archaeologist at LANL. Purtzer has been working as a professional archaeologist for 14 years, and her specialties include Section 106 cultural resources compliance and tribal consultation. She joined the laboratory earlier this year.
To learn more about this and other PEEC programs, visit PajaritoEEC.org, email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org, or call 662-0460.