JRP Senior Historian Heather Norby recording a segment of Lower Cherry Aqueduct in Tuolumne County. The aqueduct was constructed in 1917 as part of the Hetch Hetchy water supply system.
Founded in 1981, JRP Historical Consulting, LLC is one of the oldest and most experienced historical consulting firms in the nation.
We specialize in water resource investigations related to Western water rights; land use histories; expert historical services for litigation and dispute resolution; and cultural resources management including Section 106 of the National Historical Preservation Act and California Environmental Quality Act compliance.
Our professional staff meet the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards under History and Architectural History (as defined in 36 CFR Part 61).
JRP has worked on a wide variety of projects throughout California and the western United States for a multitude of public and private clients.
We are a Certified Small Business with the State of California, Small Business Concern (NAICS code 541690), and GSA Contract Holder (GS-10F-091AA).
Find Out More About What JRP Can Do For You
OUR SERVICES AND EXPERTISE
With four decades' worth of experience, JRP offers an array of historical consulting services focused on environmental / natural resources and cultural resources. We have particular expertise in water resources and land use history, cultural resources management / historic preservation, expert historian services, and Section 106 (NHPA) and CEQA compliance. Find out more about what JRP can do for you:
Western prior appropriation water rights
Pre-1914 (California) water rights
Federal reserved water rights - military, Native American, and National Forests
Historical flooding events & levee performance
Potential Responsible Parties (PRPs) for CERCLA
Historical public road and coastal land access
Historical navigation / susceptibility of navigation
Federal and State legislative histories relative to natural resources / environmental issues
CULTURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT / HISTORIC PRESERVATION
Detailed historical evaluations of the built environment - residences, commercial buildings, farmsteads, industrial complexes, public works facilities, bridges, water conveyance structures, military installations, and historic districts
Cultural resources sensitivity studies such as those for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and Caltrans highway / road projects
Cultural landscape reports - urban and rural
Historic properties documentation for California State Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) / State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) concurrence
EXPERT HISTORIAN SERVICES
National Archives and state and local archives research experience
Archival / primary records research for litigation support and dispute resolution
Expert witness testimony
SECTION 106 (NHPA) AND CEQA COMPLIANCE
Full range of compliance documents for built environment resources, including those per Caltrans Standard Environmental Reference, and in conformance with Caltrans Section 106 Programmatic Agreement
Historic resource evaluation reports (HRER / HRIER)
Historic Property Survey Reports (HPSR)
Findings of Effect (FOE)
Memorandum/a of Agreement (MOA)
Programmatic Agreements (PA)
Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) / Historic American Engineering Record (HAER)
MEET OUR TEAM
JRP’s professional staff includes architectural historians, historians, and research assistants with degrees or advanced degrees in history and historic preservation. All of our principals, partners, and historians meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards for Architectural History and History as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR Part 61). JRP principals and partners are seasoned, professional public historians with proven management capabilities in the financing, staffing, budgeting, and scheduling of research and historic evaluation projects. Meet our team:
M.A. History (Public History), California State University, Sacramento (1996)
B.A. Women's Studies, and B.A. Italian, University of California, Davis (1990)
Meta Bunse, President / Principal
JRP President Meta Bunse is a historian / architectural historian who consults with federal, state, and local agencies, and private sector environmental, engineering, and law firms. Her work has included hundreds of cultural resources management and litigation support projects throughout the state of California, as well as Oregon and Nevada. Meta has conducted field recordation of historic properties in California and Nevada, and has conducted extensive research at many public and private repositories throughout the West and the National Archives in Washington, D.C. She has authored and contributed to numerous technical reports for Section 106 (NHPA) and CEQA compliance, such as findings of effect, mitigation agreements, treatment plans, historic property documentation, and mitigation monitoring.
Meta joined the company in 1990 as a research assistant, and after earning a master’s degree in Public History, has been a partner at JRP since 2002. She became president in April 2019. She has been active in state and local organizations, such as the California Council for the Promotion of History and she served eight years on the City of Woodland Historic Preservation Commission. Meta also teaches a graduate seminar in cultural resources management as part of the California State University, Sacramento, Capitol Campus Public History Program.
M.S. Historic Preservation, Columbia University, New York (1998)
B.A. History and B.A. Music, University of Rochester, New York (1991)
Christopher McMorris, Vice-President / Principal
JRP Vice-President Chris McMorris joined the firm in 1998, became a partner in 2006, and vice-president in April 2019. He specializes in conducting historic resource studies for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the California Environmental Quality Act as well as other historic preservation projects. He has served as a lead historian / architectural historian, principal investigator, and project manager on projects for federal, state, and local government as well as for engineering / environmental consulting firms. Many of these projects have involved inventory and evaluation of historic resources under the criteria for the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical Resources, along with analyses of effects projects may have on historic properties and measures to mitigate those effects.
Chris has expertise in historic bridges, along with historic resources compliance documentation for transportation, water conveyance, and development projects. He also has extensive experience preparing Historic Building Survey / Historic American Engineering Record (HABS / HAER) reports and assisting clients with compliance under the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
In addition to his work at JRP, Chris has served as a lecturer at California State University, Sacramento’s Public History Program, conducted multiple historic resources compliance training seminars, and presented at various California Preservation Foundation conferences. He is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation/National Trust Forum and California Preservation Foundation.
M.A. History (Public History), California State University, Sacramento (2005)
B.A. History, University of California, Los Angeles (1993)
Bryan Larson, Partner / Historian
Bryan Larson joined JRP in 1998 as a graduate student intern and rose to become a partner in 2015. His experience at the firm runs the gamut of JRP's services, from historical architectural and infrastructure surveys, to land use and water resource histories. With special expertise in cultural resources studies involving military installations, historical transportation routes, and high-tech/scientific sites, he has supervised or participated in projects throughout California and in Nevada, Arizona, and Utah.
In his nearly twenty years with JRP, Bryan has prepared a broad range of documentation to assist federal, state, and local agencies comply with Sections 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and local codes and ordinances, as these regulations pertain to historic architectural resources. His work includes preparation of historic context studies and evaluation guidance documents, survey and evaluation studies, and mitigation documentation including Historic American Building Survey / Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) studies and historical brochures. He has directed projects throughout the American West, and has undertaken an enormous amount of field recordation and research on historic buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, and sites.
Bryan is the treasurer and board member of the California Council for the Promotion of History (CCPH).
Ph.D. United States History, University of California, Davis (2006)
M.A. United States History, University of California, Davis (2001)
A.B. History, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York (1999)
Scott Miltenberger, Ph.D., Partner / Historian
Scott Miltenberger primarily provides expert historical services on environmental and natural resources issues. Since joining the firm in 2006, he has made numerous studies of riparian and appropriative water rights, historical ground water rights, and federal reserved water rights in California and throughout the West. Scott has also led historical investigations of flood events and levee performance, land / property ownership, survey / boundary disputes, and potentially-responsible parties for toxic clean-up under the provisions of CERCLA. He has testified as an expert historian in Sacramento County (California) Superior Court, Santa Clara County (California) Superior Court, and in the San Pedro-Gila River Adjudication, Maricopa County (Arizona) Superior Court.
Scott's professional experience extends to cultural resources studies and work in the academy. He has been involved in field survey and recordation of historic properties, and research and drafting of historic context statements for inventories and evaluations, findings of effect, and impacts analyses. Since 2012, Scott has served on the Historical Resources Management Commission for the City of Davis, California, and now serves as commission chair. He has taught at the University of California, Davis, and has contributed to historical journals, encyclopedias, and edited collections.
Scott is a member of the American Historical Association, the American Society for Environmental History, the National Council on Public History (Consultant, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
M.A. History, emphasis United States and the American West, University of California, Davis (1980)
B.A. History, University of Washington, Seattle (1974)
Stephen Wee, Retired Founding Partner / Senior Advisor
A founding partner of JRP with Rand Herbert and W. Turrentine Jackson, Stephen Wee retired from the partnership in April 2019 but remains a senior advisor to the firm. He has nearly four decades of experience as a consulting and expert historian on water, environmental, natural resource, and public access issues in California and the American West. Many of these studies have involved the allocation of federal or state water rights, such as riparian or appropriative water rights claims; rights to stored water; federal reserved water rights for Indian tribes, national forests or other federal land; basin-wide stream adjudications; interstate compacts; and other environmental, natural resource, and public access issues. This work has been undertaken in several Western States, including California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. These studies also have been undertaken on behalf of a wide array of state, federal and private attorneys; engineering / environmental consulting firms; federal, state, and local governmental agencies; irrigation, reclamation, and water districts; municipalities; public and private power companies; mutual water companies; and individuals or corporations owning land and utilizing water or other natural resources on public lands.
Over the years, Stephen also served as principal investigator on hundreds of historic resource studies undertaken by JRP for compliance with Sections 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the California Environmental Quality Act, as well as other types of historic site research, resource planning, or historic preservation projects in various western states. Many of these studies have involved inventory and evaluation of historic built environment resources, documentation of historic districts, and multi-component linear resources including water engineering features such as storage dams and complex water conveyance systems, including tunnels, diversion dams, canals, control features, and irrigation distribution features or power generation facilities. Stephen prepared successful National Register of Historic Places Documentation for seven historic districts on military installations in California and Arizona. Stephen has also prepared, overseen, or otherwise contributed to the preparation of numerous complex effects analyses, development and execution of mitigation measures, and preparation of draft agreement documents with State Historic Preservation Officers and other consulting parties.
M.A.T. History, University of California, Davis (1977)
B.A. History, University of California, Berkeley
Rand Herbert, Retired Founding Partner / Senior Advisor
A founding partner of JRP along with Stephen Wee and W. Turrentine Jackson, Rand Herbert retired in 2017. He now advises JRP on select research and management issues. Rand has worked as a consulting historian on a wide variety of historical research, expert witness, and cultural resources management projects for nearly 40 years. His experience has included the full panoply of cultural resources studies for history / architectural history, including research, context preparation, inventory and evaluation, assessment of effects, preparation of memoranda of agreement for mitigation of effects, and completion of mitigation measures under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and under CEQA within the State of California. Rand has also provided expert witness services and testimony in more than a dozen cases or administrative proceedings in California and Oregon primarily related to water rights, levee construction and failure, flooding, and land use controversies.
Between 2001 and 2012, he taught a graduate seminar in research and public history at California State University, Sacramento and has taught history at community colleges in Sacramento and Solano counties. Rand has served the City of Davis as a commissioner on its Historic Resources Management Commission since 2003, and has been its chair since 2006. In 1990, he was elected chair of the California Council for the Promotion of History (CCPH) and served a two-year term. Rand served as one of CCPH’s representatives on California Resources Secretary Douglas Wheeler’s Historic Preservation Task Force (1992–1994), and on the National Cultural Alliance’s Cultural Awareness Campaign, California Steering Committee.
Quality Results, Delivered On Time and On Budget
OUR PROJECT EXPERIENCE
Since 1981 - with clients that have included federal agencies and installations, state agencies, counties and regional authorities, cities and universities, water providers and public utilities, and law and engineering firms - JRP has developed a reputation for quality results, delivered on time and on budget. Our project experience encompasses historical water rights analyses, multi-year archival research leading to reports and expert witness testimony for complex real estate and water litigation, historical evaluations of single properties, field recordation of thousands of properties, and historic resources Section 106 / CEQA compliance documentation. Below are a few examples:
For over 20 years, JRP has provided historic research and compliance services for the SFPUC, including as extension to City Planning Department staff for tasks related to historic architectural / engineering resources. JRP reviews historic resources compliance documentation and prepares evaluations and analysis, such as for O’Shaughnessy Chalet at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park.
Established in 1888, Lick Observatory is the world’s first permanently occupied mountain-top observatory. JRP concluded that the Main Building and Crossley, Carnegie, and Shane Telescope domes were eligible for the National Register. JRP also provided recommendations to restore key buildings for a potential historic district, and prepared a Finding of Effect for the Shane Dome Antenna Project.
JRP prepared an historic context report for shipwrecks that occurred within one mile of San Nicolas Island, 1800-2000, for Southwest Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command. The report enumerated recorded lost vessels and casualties identified through archival research. It further described how the 1988 Abandoned Shipwreck Act applied to vessels identified as lost, and provided a framework for shipwreck evaluations.
JRP provides documentation regarding historical resources for projects subject to CEQA compliance. JRP provided such documentation for the Sacramento ESC Project (replacing Downtown Plaza) and its Environmental Impact Report. Tasks included historic resources inventory, analysis regarding impacts to Sacramento historic landmarks, and coordination with City staff regarding historical resources issues.
Since the late 1970s, JRP has been engaged in historical studies of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta - from investigations of hazards to navigation, to riparian and appropriative water rights analyses, and collection of historical documentation concerning flooding and levee construction and performance. Clients have included the State of California, local irrigation and reclamation districts, and engineering firms.
JRP’s extensive expertise with historic bridges includes inventory / evaluation, project effects analysis, and HAER reports. The firm has provided assistance to many cities and counties for Highway Bridge Program rehabilitation and replacement projects. JRP recently prepared a Finding of No Adverse Effect with Standard Conditions – Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Third Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project in San Francisco.