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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 352

RAC members learn about cultural sites

Members of BLM's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council traveled into a rugged and remote corner of northwest Nevada recently, during a field tour and meeting focusing on cultural resource management.  At several stops on public lands managed by the Surprise Field Office, the members saw examples of the cultural and historic sites protected by the agency.

RAC members stand around a site containing an artifact.
RAC member Frank Bayham explains the significance of an artifact to RAC members.  Bayham, an archaeology professor at California State University, Chico, explained why it is important for members of the public to leave artifacts rather than collecting them.  He also discussed how archaeologists learn about past activities by carefully studying the layers of artifacts in the ground.  Artifact collectors who dig into sites destroy these layers and severely limit what archaeologists can learn from them, Bayham said.

A tilting building at the Bitner Ranch
At the rustic Bitner Ranch, now in public ownership, RAC members learned about the site's importance in the homesteading and ranching history of the region.  They also learned why the site was important to prehistoric people.

Members look closely at the ground
At a site near Cedarville, Calif., RAC members looked closely at the ground, learning that something as common as an anthill can reveal secrets of the past.

The 15 members of the Northeast California RAC work closely with managers of the Surprise, Alturas and Eagle Lake field offices, providing advice on the full array of the BLM's natural and cultural resource management responsibilities.

- J. Fontana, 10/08

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 352

Last updated: 09-30-2015