Environmental Science Associates is pleased to announce that Tony Overly, MA, RPA, has joined the firm as Cultural Resources Practice Lead. Of his nearly 30 years of experience in heritage preservation, Tony has spent the last decade as an archaeologist for the Bureau of Land Management, most recently serving as the State Archaeologist for California and program lead for archaeology, paleontology, and tribal relations.

In his new role with ESA, Tony will be leading a growing team of one hundred distinguished precolonial and historical archaeologists, geoarchaeologists, maritime archaeologists, architectural historians, preservation planners, and curation specialists.

“Tony brings a powerful combination of both unparalleled expertise in cultural resources compliance and heritage preservation in varied circumstances and leadership skill that will lead the cultural resources team to continued success and new and enriching opportunities as we look ahead,” says Leslie Moulton-Post, ESA’s President and CEO.

Tony is an expert in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA), the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and the California Forest Practice Act. His expertise also extends to complex project delivery, regional planning, and multi-party consultations—he thrives working in situations that require creative approaches to achieve successful outcomes.

Tony’s career has included a number of landmark projects, such as the Programmatic Agreement under Section 106 of the NHPA for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan that spanned 11 million acres of BLM lands, which was successfully negotiated and executed approximately one year after robust consultation and outreach with 45 federally recognized tribes; 7 tribal organizations; 89 federal, state, and local agencies; and about 145 other organizations. His innovative approach to achieving compliance for this massive project informs future utility-scale renewable energy projects involving preliminary cultural resource site sensitivity modeling, a scientific peer review process, a cultural resources training program, and a regional compensatory mitigation fee addressing cumulative impacts.

ESA has been providing cultural resources consultation services for clients across all of the firm’s markets, including water, community development, surface transportation and ports, energy and industrial, airports, and natural resource management for more than 40 years. Having developed incredible depth and breadth of experience and expertise, the ESA cultural resources team delivers resource planning, compliance, mitigation, and management for complex projects across the West.

“I’m thrilled to join the ESA team,” says Tony. “The organizational commitment to an inclusive workplace is paired with an enthusiasm to help clients on the most complicated multiple resources scenarios. Add in the highest quality technical expertise in heritage resources and other specialties and I have found a place that is a perfect fit for me.”

Tony has conducted field work in six states, holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology (Archaeology) from California State University, Sacramento, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology (Archaeology) from University of California, Davis. He is qualified as a Principal Investigator under the Secretary of the Interior’s professional qualifications standards and is a Registered Professional Archaeologist.