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Contact: Heidi Pierson, 360.816.6255
Contact: Doug Wilson
For Immediate Release
NCRI ARCHAEOLOGISTS RECOGNIZED FOR WORK AT FORT CLATSOP
Vancouver, WA - Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is pleased to announce that its Northwest Cultural Resources Institute (NCRI) archaeologists were honored as part of the National Park Service Pacific West Region’s Archaeological Survey Team, receiving the Regional Director’s Resources Management Award for Cultural Resources Stewardship.
On October 3, 2005, the fifty year old replica of Fort Clatsop—the Lewis and Clark expedition’s quarters during the winter of 1805—was destroyed in a tragic fire. Within forty-eight hours the National Park Service made a commitment to reconstruct the replica fort. Part of the reconstruction project required archaeological investigation of the fort replica site in order to attempt to answer questions about the original fort’s location, configuration, and appearance. A team of park service archaeologists, directed by NCRI staff, was quickly formed to perform subsurface excavation on the site of the replica fort. These individuals tabled personal and professional priorities to come to Fort Clatsop on short notice and spend the month of November excavating in the cold and wet. While it is disappointing to all that the location of the original fort remains a mystery, archaeological work provided an important interpretive and educational opportunity for visitors to the site during Lewis and Clark bicentennial events. A report on the work is expected in 2007.
Doug Wilson, Director of the NCRI, said, "This important project engaged archaeologists from throughout the region to present publicly a fresh look at the ongoing search for Lewis and Clark’s winter encampment."
Background: The Northwest Cultural Resources Institute (NCRI) is a cooperative partnership based at the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, dedicated to facilitating research and educational activities relating to the cultural resources of the area.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. The Vancouver National Historic Reserve brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi River, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver’s role in regional and national development. The Reserve's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, festivals, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities -- create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.