Group hosts tour of important historic sites in Red Desert

(Press release) — The Alliance for Historic Wyoming (AHW) will host a tour of historic sites in the Red Desert in Sweetwater County on August 16, 2014. The tour, featuring a variety of local historians and cultural experts, will begin at 8:00 a.m. at Western Wyoming Community College and will conclude at 5:00 p.m. 

The event is part of AHW’s Unbarred series, which provides glimpses into preservation efforts throughout Wyoming. The tour will discuss historic land use and modern issues, concerns, and procedures that come into play with oil, gas, and public land use on both the landscape and cultural resources. “The historic Red Desert is a treasure-trove of unique historical and cultural sites that document how we have interacted with the landscape in a variety of ways,” says Brie Blasi, AHW Board member and local historian. “But many of the best sites in the desert may be hard to access without a tour—and we have gathered a talented team to help interpret these special places.” The tour will span a range of decades and human influences on the desert landscape including American Indian rock art, emigrant trails, coal mining, and ranching. 

Throughout the tour, guides will encourage discussion of—and link together—historic and contemporary land-uses and land management. The event reflects the Alliance for Historic Wyoming’s mission to raise awareness of historic and cultural resources in the state and to empower people to protect them. 

Speakers include Sweetwater County Historical Museum’s Ruth Lauritzen, renowned local historians Ed Varley, and Bureau of Land Management archaeologist Gene Smith, among others. Participants are encouraged to share stories of their interactions with the landscape—or those of their ancestors—and to join in discussions of how we continue to use the landscape and preserve its unique historical setting and cultural sites.

Transportation is provided for the first 20 participants; others may caravan. A lunch inspired by the ethnic diversity of the region is also provided by Donna Toly of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. Participants should be ready to spend the day outside and dress appropriately. Extra water will be available and participants are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles. AHW is a nonprofit organization and they are able to provide these educational opportunities thanks to generous sponsors and members; a $25 donation is suggested for the tour.

The preservation workshop and Unbarred event is hosted by the Alliance for Historic Wyoming in partnership with Western Wyoming Community College, Sweetwater County Board of Cooperative Education Services, Humstone Consulting, Wattle and Daub Contractors, the Green River Historic Preservation Commission and Sweetwater County Museum Foundation, Starbucks Coffee, and Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. The Alliance for Historic Wyoming, Wyoming’s only statewide historic preservation nonprofit, is dedicated to protecting our historic and cultural resources in both the built and natural environments. 

To learn more about AHW, the organization’s work, and to register for this event, visit HistoricWyoming.org, email Carly-Ann Anderson at ExecDirector@historicwyoming.org or call (307) 333-3508.

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