Addressing the Inevitable: Site Preservation Efforts in the Face of Global Climate Change

Author(s): Connie Reid; Neil Weintraub

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me: What Have We Learned Over the Past 40 Years and How Do We Address Future Challenges" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Global climate change is contributing to the escalation of large catastrophic wildfires across North America. Fires are increasing in frequency, intensity, and scale, posing one of the greatest contemporary threats to thousands of archaeological and historic properties across the western US. Modern tree densities in many forests far exceed historic norms. Coupled with warmer, drier and erratic weather patterns, forests are experiencing more frequent stand replacement fire. During these events, heavy equipment, extreme heat, winds, and post-fire flooding are resulting in devastating effects to fragile sites. Post fire damages are particularly destructive in the American Southwest, where seasonal monsoon precipitation patterns often generate massive flooding and erosional events immediately following wildfires. On the Kaibab National Forest, archaeologists are working with project planners, fire fighters, scientists, and volunteers to preemptively manage cultural resource sites to increase site resiliency during wildfires and to develop post fire treatments that help preserve sites threatened by erosion and vandalism. This presentation illustrates current methodologies and integrated planning efforts utilized by forest staff to actively protect and preserve vulnerable sites on National Forest lands.

Cite this Record

Addressing the Inevitable: Site Preservation Efforts in the Face of Global Climate Change. Connie Reid, Neil Weintraub. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452024)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25189