Message #359:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Fire Rehabilitation in Utah
Date: Sun, 03 Nov 1996 22:37:30 -0700
Encoding: MIME-Version: 1.0


From: Mark Henderson


The following artcle appeared in the Ely Daily Times, Thursday, October
31, 1996, page 3.  You and other SASIG watchers might
be interested in trying to follow this one:

Fire uncovers Indian Artifacts
SALT LAKE CITY (AP)-  Wildfires that burned tens of thousands of acres
of brush across the Utah desert this summer have also revealed a trove
of ancient American Indian artifacts, causing disagreement over the
restoration of the charred land.  The scorching of 182,000 acres in the
west Utah desert has made it easier for archaeologists to spot what they
think are remnants of ancient Indian cultures.  "What we're seeing  are
things like flint chipping stations, or maybe the remnants of a fence,"
said Dave Henderson, area manager for the federal Bureau of Land
Management.  Archaeologists have persuaded the bureau to postpone
reseeding and tree removal so they have time to root around for more
sites that until now were hidden by undergrowth.  Some of the artifacts
appear to predate the Fremont or Anasazi Indians, who lived in the area
from around 375 B.C. to the 1300s.  They were discovered during a
federally required survey of the land designed to protect possible links
to the past prior to restoration, a process one archeologist complained
was moving too quickly.  "We're only being allowed to survey 20 percent
of the burn area for artifacts," Eugene Romanski said.  He said the
restoration work, which can include the dragging of a thick chain
between two bulldozers to uproot dead trees, could destroy sites that
may be as old as 10,000 years.  The bureau postponed the restoration,
which it said must be done at some point to prevent widespread erosion. 
"Sample surveys said our basic assumptions about the archaeology of the
area were  wrong," said Garth Portillo, an archaeologist working for the
bureau. "We're trying to do the right thing here and not go off
willy-nilly and be harmful to the resources and be sorry about it
later."