Posted by: wadahp | June 3, 2010

Box Canyon Archaeological Dig "Open House"

Colville, WA—the Pend Oreille Public Utility District (PUD), Kalispel Tribe (Tribe), and Colville National Forest (CNF) officials are hosting an archeological dig “open house” to members of the public and the media. Visitors interested in joining the group should be at the Panhandle Campground on the east side of the Pend Oreille River, 15 miles northwest of Newport, WA at 1:00 p.m. on Monday June 14.

Visitors will get a short briefing about the site before following the trip leader in their vehicles to the dig site where they can expect to view food processing ovens and other ancient features.  According to CNF Archeologist Steve Kramer, previous investigations of the area exposed multiple human occupation levels dating up to 500 years old.

Kalispel Tribe Cultural Resource Manager Kevin Lyons agrees that this data recovery process is important in preserving the rich historical economic information stored in the soils.  

Lyons says, “Data recovery exercises are absolutely essential; each site is subject to loss in the future.”
When asked about his thoughts on this specific project he said, “It’s responsible, it’s important, and it’s happening.  The Tribe, PUD, and Forest Service are working together to get done what needs to be done.”

 Visitors are encouraged to observe and learn about the archeological activities, but refrain from collecting information exposing the site’s exact location, such as photos referencing the area and the site coordinates.

Throughout the day, visitors will have opportunities to talk with project lead archeologist Brent Hicks, PUD Regulatory & Environmental Affairs Director March Cauchy, and Kalispel Tribe Cultural Resource Program Manager Kevin Lyons.  
The Box Canyon Hydroelectric Project, completed in 1956, is located on the scenic Pend Oreille River, ninety miles north of Spokane, Washington.  Pend Oreille PUD was the first PUD in the nation to build a hydro-project.

As a result of box canyon relicensing agreements, the Kalispel Tribe, Public Utility District and the Forest Service collaborate on methods of mitigating resource damage that results from Box Canyon Dam operations.  

For more information contact Mark Cauchy at Pend Oreille PUD 509-447-3137.

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