I've lately come upon two State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs) who insist that all correspondence with them be carried out via hard-copy letters and attachments -- no emails or attached electronic documents.
When I cornered a staff member of one of the offices and inquired about this seemingly retrograde and anti-environmental policy -- which wastes time and money, complicates digital file management, and requires the killing and processing of trees with all the attendant environmental impacts -- I was told that it was standard policy at most if not all SHPO offices, and necessary in order to maintain a "paper trail."
The latter argument is idiotic, of course; innumerable federal agencies maintain "paper trails" in electronic contexts. I can't remember the last time I had to file my tax returns on paper, for example, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation routinely corresponds electronically about Section 106 cases. But I wouldn't put it past the National Park Service to have demanded the maintenance of paper files by its Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grantees.
Can anyone enlighten me about this? Do most SHPOs promote deforestation? Is it mandated by HPF grant administration policy?