Historic sites might need erosion protection

Oct 9, 2013

An environmental consulting firm is considering anti-erosion measures for a pair of historical sites east of Gillette.

 This summer, the Bureau of Reclamation hired S.W.C.A, formerly Steven W. Carothers and Associates, to map and collect samples at archeological sites near Keyhole Reservoir which had suffered water damage in 2011. The bureau feared the sites are vulnerable to erosion.

 S.W.C.A Field Director Andrew Owens says the historical sites were home to early cattle ranchers and Native Americans, respectively.

 Owens says artifacts gathered from the sites might hold new details about previous inhabitants. Owens was excited for the information that the Native American complex mighthold, saying, “It’s gonna show us whether or not these people came seasonally or they came during one big event, how long they had been coming there… it shows a tradition, a complex, a way of life that exists in a narrow window of Wyoming’s history.”

 Owens expects his firm will propose that the Bureau of Reclamation install a rock barrier, known as riprap, to prevent future water damage to the sites.