“Archeology for Trail Builders” Training Held in Wisconsin
On May 5-6, more than 50 agency and partner organization staff and volunteers participated in an “Archeology for Trail Builders” workshop organized by the National Park Service Ice Age and North Country National Scenic Trails staff. This unique training opportunity brought staff and VIPs from both national scenic trails to the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, to learn from professional archeologists from the college, National Park Service Midwest Archeological Center, U.S. Forest Service, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Additional instruction was provided by the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office, and by the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Menominee Nation.
This 2-day training course focused on learning and developing skills that will allow participants to understand and appreciate the relationship between the landscape, cultural resources, and the development of foot trails. The topics included an overview of the prehistory and history of the Great Lakes region, how to read a landscape like an archeologist, the Section 106 process and how it applies to planning and developing multi-jurisdictional trails, tribal concerns, and identifying and protecting cultural resources that may be encountered in trail work. The second day of training was spent in the field visiting pre-historic, historic, and traditional cultural sites on the Menominee Reservation. Historic village sites, gardening and farming sites, and a lumber camp were include in the field trip.
The training was extremely well-received by everyone who participated, including the instructors who stated that this was their first opportunity to learn about the trails and the quality of the work completed by the VIPs. Asked if their expectations had been fulfilled, the volunteers responded with a resounding “Yes!”
Did You Know?
The oldest exposed bedrock along the Ice Age Trail occurs at the Dells of the Eau Claire in Marathon County and Grandfather Falls in Lincoln County. In both areas bedrock outcrops have been dated at about 1.8 billion years old.