Cultural Resources In Idaho

The Larter Family next to their Grandfather's Homestead in Custer County

The BLM's public lands host a unique and diverse body of heritage resources, while chronicle our nation's past. We all share this heritage - and the opportunity to enjoy and protect it. Respect these special places, take only pictures.

Archaeology in Idaho is as diverse as the people who live here.  Thousands of years ago, Idaho was inhabited solely by native peoples who traveled long distances across the landscape in search of wild game and edible plants.

More than 200 years ago, Lewis & Clark made their historic trip through Idaho with a Shoshone woman, Sacajawea, as their guide.  About 130 years ago, hundreds of immigrants traveled through Idaho on their way to the west coast on rugged, dusty trails that would later come to be known as the Oregon and California Trails.

With the new settlers came railroads, ranching and mining. Many Chinese came to Idaho to work on railroads and mines in the 1880's. The Basque also came to graze sheep in the vast deserts of Idaho. During the Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corp built numerous projects in idaho. During World War II, Idaho was the site of a Japanese internment camp.

The remains of these events are often still visible today.  Preserving these remains reminds us of our common heritage, which shapes who we are today and what we will be tomorrow.

Wilson Butte Cave

Idaho BLM Cultural Resource Publicatons
Note: The publications listed below are available upon request to Bureau of Land Management. Contact the Idaho Bureau of Land Management Public Room: (208) 373-4000.

Hutchison, Daniel J., and Larry R. Jones, tech. eds. Emigrant Trails of Southern Idaho. Idaho Bureau of Land Management, 1993. [sells for $8]
James, Ronald L. Ruins of a World: Chinese Gold Mining at the Mon-Tung Site in the Snake River Canyon. John C. Lytle, tech. ed. Idaho Bureau of Land Management, 1995.
Wegars, Priscilla. Uncovering a Chinese Legacy: Historical Archaeology at Centerville, Idaho. Idaho Bureau of Land Management, 2001. [sells for $5]

Idaho BLM Cultural Resource Brochures:
A Step at a Time: The Oregon Trail . Idaho Bureau of Land Management, 1993.
The Oregon Trail in Idaho and Other Emigrant Trails (revised). Idaho Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Travel Council, 2003.
The Flight of the Nez Perce through Leadore and Island Park, Idaho to West Yellowstone, Montana, August 1877 Auto Tour . Idaho Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Idaho State Historical Society and Island Park and West Yellowstone Historical Societies, 2002.
Idaho Lewis and Clark National Backcountry Byway and Adventure Road . Idaho Bureau of Land Management - Salmon Field Office and the Salmon Challis National Forests, 2001. (BLM publication no. BLM-ID/GI/90-016+4333 rev 01).
Lewis and Clark Expedition, Lemhi County, Idaho . USDA-Forest Service, Idaho Bureau of Land Management, and River of No Return Interpretive Association, n.d.
Lewis and Clark, Naturalists in Lemhi County: A Naturalist’s Journey with the Corps of Discovery . Idaho Bureau of Land Management,USDA Forest Service – Salmon Challis National Forest, n.d. (BLM Publication No. BLM/ID/GI-00/002+1050)

Other Publications:
Crosby, Mike. Joined by a Journey: The Lives of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery. Idaho Bureau of Land Management, 2004.
This publication is sold for $15

In the Spotlight

2015 Cultural Resources Report

Family donates historic Canyon Creek Station to BLM

Site Index

2014 Cultural Resources Annual Report

Cultural and Paleontological Use Permits


Tribal Relations

Boise District

Coeur d'Alene District

Idaho Falls District

Twin Falls District

The Nee-Me-Poo Seasonal Round

Nee-Me-Poo Seasonal Round

This image represents the Nez Perce Tribe's seasonal round. It is a small fraction of the natural resources used prior to 1877 by the Nez Perce. Each month is in the Nez Perce and English languages. In 1877, the U.S. Army pursued the non-treaty Nez Perce people from Idaho into Montana over 1,100 miles. The Nez Perce were relegated to reservations after 1877 where resources were not as accessible. Congressional designation memorialized this incident as the Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail.