March is Archaeology & Heritage Awareness Month in Arizona, and the Kaibab National Forest is celebrating by providing free programs to the public every Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon throughout the month.
Scheduled events include a Thursday evening lecture series and Saturday afternoon hikes.
Each of the lectures in the Thursday evening series is free to the public and will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Williams Ranger District office, 742 S. Clover Rd., Williams. Due to limited seating, please call ahead for reservations at (928) 635-5600.
• Thursday, March 1: Protecting Cultural Resources during the 2010 and 2011 Wildfire Season. This presentation will discuss the efforts that Kaibab National Forest archaeologists and firefighters took to protect and reduce fuels on and around dozens of historic sites on the Williams and Tusayan districts. Presented by Neil Weintraub, archaeologist, Williams and Tusayan districts.
• Thursday, March 8: History of Sheepherding on the Kaibab National Forest. The lecture will discuss the history of historic sheepherding on the Kaibab and the development of the Forest Service policy about grazing sheep. It will include information learned during interviews with local sheepherding families. Presented by Margaret Hangan, forest heritage program manager.
• Thursday, March 15: The Kaibab Tribal Relations Program Place Name Project. This presentation will focus on recent collaborations with our tribal neighbors to document the historic Native American place names on the Kaibab. Presented by Mike Lyndon, assistant forest archaeologist.
• Thursday, March 22: Conservation Education on the Kaibab. Over the past few years, Kaibab National Forest employees have continued their efforts to do conservation education programs. This presentation will take an in-depth look at the multitude of the Kaibab’s educational outreach programs. Presented by Erin Woodard, assistant archaeologist, Williams and Tusayan districts.
• Thursday, March 29: Internet Imagery and Archaeological Site Protection. Kaibab archaeologists have used new, high-resolution aerial imagery on the Internet to discover new archaeological sites. However, the Internet also poses new protection challenges as users post directions to or geo-reference photographs of archaeological sites on the World Wide Web. The lecture will also present the pros and cons of increasingly accessible archaeological information as a result of the Internet. Presented by Neil Weintraub, archaeologist, Williams and Tusayan districts.
Kaibab archaeologists will also be offering free exploratory hikes to Keyhole Sink on the Williams Ranger District every Saturday in March at 2 p.m. To participate in one of these educational excursions, please meet at the Oak Hill Snow Play area, 4 miles west of Parks, Ariz., on the south side of old Route 66. Bring boots and warm clothing, as this three-quarter-mile hike (one way) will take place despite any inclement weather conditions. Be prepared to get wet as a waterfall often cascades off the lava flow, requiring walking through ankle-deep water to access the rock art. Please call ahead for reservations at (928) 635-5600.