Positive Impacts by SPSS
USFS Post-Fire Assistance
In 2018 the Weston Pass forest fire burned over 13,000 acres within the South Park National Heritage Area and impacted a significant number of historic and prehistoric sites. In 2019 twenty-five Site Stewards and archaeologists volunteered nearly 400 hours and drove 2,500 miles to assist the US Forest Service in the Weston Pass burn area with erosion control at these prehistoric sites. These efforts will help prevent further destruction of cultural resources by environmental impacts and preserve the sites.
The Site Stewards work and hike in remote areas of South Park and frequently encounter previously undiscovered and unrecorded cultural resources. Trained to recognize the archaeological significance of these resources they will notify landowners owners of the findings and recommend appropriate follow-up. SPSS has the tools and professional archaeological expertise on staff to verify the resources, and assisted by Site Stewards formally survey, record and report the sites to the State of Colorado.
Private Prehistoric Sites
In 2019, answering a private landowner inquiry about "a pile of rocks" located on the property, Site Stewards verified the features as prehistoric cultural resources. Further verification of the artifacts, features, and property context by two professional archaeologists indicated that the area was actually both historically and prehistorically significant. Site Stewards and a professional archaeologist spent several weeks formally surveying, recording and reporting two new sites to the State of Colorado.
On behalf of the South Park National Heritage Area, SPSS submitted a letter supporting the nomination of this ranch to the Register of Endangered Places. This historic homestead is unique in its Pueblo Revival style and has been in danger of collapse for many years. This structure is regularly monitored by SPSS. The ranch won this highly competitive nomination and is now eligible to receive federal funding for restoration and preservation. See Colorado Preservation article and video.
Memories are the core of oral histories from which meaning is extracted and preserved. Oral histories collect these memories and personal commentaries of historical significance through recorded interviews. They can bring to life the day-to-day activities of people in specific settings across the landscape adding depth and color to a context. SPSS conduced an oral interview of a former resident of the historic Tarryall-Cline Ranch at the site, recording it for the South Park National Heritage Area archives. Other oral history activities are currently in progress.