Wilderness and Cultural Resources: Symbiotic Management Pei-Lin Yu Rocky Mountains Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit March 6, 2013 At Issue: How best to balance management of cultural resources in wilderness? Neither answer is correct: both sets of laws apply equally in wilderness. Medicine Wheel, Wyoming Lower Logging Lake Boathouse, Glacier NP Yet conflicts do arise… --Between cultural resource and wilderness managers, as well as special interest groups and members of the public. Is there a way to work together in such a way as to avoid conflicts before they go to court? A strong point of intersection for shared wilderness values and cultural resource values is Wilderness Character Black Canyon of the Gunnison, CO The Qualities of Wilderness Character 1. Untrammeled 2. Undeveloped 3. Natural 4. Outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation (the above contribute to all wilderness) FIFTH QUALITY: “Other features, based on the last part of Section 2c, “Definition of Wilderness,” in the Wilderness Act, that a wilderness “may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.” (the Fifth Quality makes each wilderness distinctive) Grave of un-named slave. Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Cultural Resources fit into the Fifth Quality of Wilderness Character and speak to unique qualities of each wilderness Traditional Cultural Property, Spirit Mountain Wilderness, NV --But how do we define cultural resources? “Cultural resources” is a managerial term used by federal agencies. NPS: archaeological sites, ethnographic resources, cultural landscapes, and historical structures and sites. BLM: archeological sites, Native American traditional items, historical objects or documents, or even cultural uses of the natural environment. US Forest Service: remnants of past cultures. The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966: Historic Properties are legally defined "any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion on the National Register"; such term includes artifacts, records, and remains which are related to such district, site, building, structure, or object” (16 U.S.C. Section 470(w)(5). Balcony House courtyard, Mesa Verde NP The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966: Historic Properties are listed, eligible, or potentially eligible to the National Register of Historic Places because they meet one or more criteria: (a) associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or (b) associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or (c) embody distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or (d) have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history. The characteristics that make a cultural resource eligible to the National Register likely contribute to the unique qualities of wilderness character. Combining the expertise and experience of cultural resource experts and wilderness managers allows us to share information and leverage capacities toward better management. Please Weigh In: Think of a cultural resource or type of resource in a wilderness area you know. Does it contribute to the character of that wilderness? If yes, how? Please type your answer briefly into the Q&A pane. We will select a sample of your answers. Ice Patch Archeology and Paleoecology Project, Glacier National Park 2010- present Case study in unique contribution of cultural resources to wilderness character, with a climate change twist: Ice Patch Archeology and Paleoecology Project, Glacier National Park * Previously stable ice patches contain perishable organic artifacts and paleobiological remains in a ‘deep freeze’ for thousands of years * These items contribute to wilderness character through their representation of evolution of past ecosystems into today’s wilderness, adding to our understanding climatic fluctuations in the formation of landscapes, and connecting Native Americans with traditional and spiritual linkages to alpine areas Ice Patch Archeology and Paleoecology Project, Glacier National Park (continued) * Climate change is melting ice patches, exposing these items to destruction, loss, and theft, with ramifications for resource stewardship and wilderness character * GLAC is partnering with Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Blackfeet Nation, U.C. Boulder, U. of Wyoming, and U. of Arizona to protect and document exposed items in culturally appropriate manner, and learn more about dynamics of ice patches and contribution to today’s park ecosystem. Work is conducted without impacts to wilderness character of the park. --kudos to the Climate Change Response Program for funding this important work! Case study in successful planning for cultural resources through their contribution to wilderness character: Historic cabins in Zion Wilderness, Zion National Park. * Cabins contribute to unique character of ZION through historical connection with early natural resources science in the park, and integrity and uniqueness of cabin feeling and construction * Minimum Requirements Analysis of actions needed to maintain those characteristics Historic cabins in Zion Wilderness, Zion National Park (cont’d) * Customizing actions to meet MRA and ensure that impacts to wilderness character are minimal and temporary * Placing actions in context of wider wilderness planning * Implementing actions --kudos to Jock Whitworth and folks at ZION for their successful collaboration! When conflicts appear… *Keep communicating. *Include a broad array of expertise and stakeholders. *Document, document, document. *seek common ground and work toward the hard stuff *be creative; leave no option off the table *if adverse effects cannot be avoided to a cultural heritage resource, there are options. -- Minimizing adverse effects -- Mitigating for adverse effects (did I mention, be creative?) -- Cultural resources people have this tactical knowledge. Talk to them! --Thank you! Questions?