U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Cody Field Office
|Release Date: 09/08/10|
BLM and Marathon Partner to Protect Petroglyphs
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Cody Field Office recently partnered with Marathon Oil Company to protect a petroglyph site in the Oregon Basin near Cody.
BLM Archaeologist Kierson Crume knew something needed to be done to protect the cultural history found here. “In an area away from the main petroglyph panels,” Crume said, “a school group inscribed their names, without realizing they were covering several layers of prehistoric teepee designs.”
During an on-site visit with Regulatory Compliance Representative Randy Meabon of Marathon, which has operated in the area since 1917, Crume talked about future management of the petroglyph site. He thought that a protective fence keeping vehicles in a parking area at a reasonable distance would discourage parties and the associated trash and fires that have the potential to damage the sensitive cultural resources, without limiting public access. The only problem was that a wooden fence could end up in a bonfire.
Meabon had the idea of using drill stem as posts instead of wood. “We had all this extra pipe that would go to scrap metal if it wasn’t used,” Meabon said. Not only did Marathon donate the pipe, but Marathon welders cut the pipe into approximately 40, 4½ ft. lengths and welded a cap on each one. A BLM contractor pounded the finished posts into place and strung cable leftover from previous BLM projects between them.
The resulting 2½ ft. fence keeps people from driving right up to the base of the cliff face that contains the petroglyphs but still allows people to walk and see them. Access for emergencies and for people with disabilities was incorporated into the post and cable fence design. Both the BLM and Marathon hope the fence will result in better protection of the site and an improved experience for visitors.
“It’s nice to help save something of significance like this for the future,” said Meabon. “It was great we could be a part of preserving this area.”
The BLM reminds the public that while viewing and studying petroglyphs is encouraged, defacing or touching them is prohibited. Even oils from your hands can damage the petroglyphs and affect future site dating research.
For more information, please contact Kierson Crume at 307-578-5900.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
Cody Field Office 1002 Blackburn Street Cody, WY 82414
|Last updated: 09-22-2010|
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