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Stump Holes and Soot Staining: A 15 Year Update on the Wildfire Hazard Reduction Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Author(s): Alan Madsen ; Sean Dolan ; LeAnn Purtzer

Year: 2017

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The frequency and severity of wildfires in northern New Mexico over the past several decades have increased, and wildfires often impact archaeological sites. In May of 2000, the Cerro Grande Fire burned approximately 48,000 acres of land in northern New Mexico including 7,650 acres within Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Following the Cerro Grande fire, wildfires continue to pose a threat to the Los Alamos community, LANL facilities, and cultural resources. In 2001, LANL implemented the Wildfire Hazard Reduction Project to reduce fuel loads (tree thinning) and to minimize impacts from future wildfires. A plan was implemented to survey burned and high risk areas, and mark all known and newly discovered archaeological sites for avoidance during tree thinning operations. Archaeologists surveyed approximately 7,800 acres and discovered 467 previously unidentified sites. Progress towards completion of site recording has been limited by budget, resources, and project load at LANL. As of 2015, 262 of the 467 cultural sites have been recorded. Sites consist of field houses, pueblos, cavates, rock art, trials, and artifact scatters ranging in dates from Early Archaic (5500 BC) to the Mahanttan Project (1940s). This poster documents the work LANL archaeologists have completed so far.

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Stump Holes and Soot Staining: A 15 Year Update on the Wildfire Hazard Reduction Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Alan Madsen, Sean Dolan, LeAnn Purtzer. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430603)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17119

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America