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The Oklahoma National Guard’s Cultural Resources Management Team took home first place in the Army National Guard Environmental Security Awards for 2022 in a ceremony held at Camp Robinson, Arkansas, Jan. 24.
The award was given to the CRM Team in recognition of their work building an exceptional program that focuses on building the knowledge and transparency that is essential to the training and readiness missions of the Oklahoma National Guard.
“It is an immense honor to earn this award,” said Eric Voss, Camp Gruber’s environmental supervisor. “The award puts Oklahoma on the map within the Army National Guard and shows that we are leaders in the realm of cultural resources. We hope that what we do in Oklahoma is able to translate to other State Army National Guard cultural resource management successes.”
The mission of the Cultural Resources Management Team is to support troop readiness by ensuring compliance with federal cultural resource laws.
Over the past two years, the CRM Team has brought more cultural compliance in-house, achieved major cost and resource savings, as well as built stronger relationships with the State Historic Preservation Office and Tribal partners. They conducted visits to 64 sites eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, established documentation conditions and refined site boundaries.
The Team launched a restoration of the historic Greenleaf dam this year, near Braggs, Oklahoma, saving not only the dam as a historic structure, but also protecting training lands from impacts of the dam failing.
They consulted with the State Historic Preservation Office, the Oklahoma Archeological Survey, OKARNG Architect and Engineering and federally recognized tribes with ties to Camp Gruber in order to ensure the restoration would be sympathetic to the history of the dam.
The CRM Team also took on the restoration of the historic Greenleaf Lodge and Pray Ranch buildings.
The success of the Team can be attributed to team cohesiveness, perseverance, and support from leadership, Voss said.
The CRM Team’s focus on transparency and knowledge has been essential for the development of a program that protects the state’s cultural resources while also meeting the needs of the Oklahoma National Guard.