An area resident was fined $225 for collecting an approximately 100 year old wagon wheel from the newly exposed lakebed at the site of former Lake Aldwell. Park rangers were alerted to the violation when they discovered the wheel listed for sale on craigslist. The seller was issued a citation on June 15, after the wheel was purchased by an agent of the park.
The receding waters at the sites of Lake Aldwell and Lake Mills have revealed many items left behind by early residents of the Elwha Valley. The public is reminded that many of these items are of historic significance and collecting such items is illegal in both reservoirs. "The remains of prehistoric and historic cultures are part of our heritage," said Olympic National Park Superintendent, Todd Suess. "When artifacts are stolen and archeological sites are damaged or disturbed, we lose important clues about the past, forever."
Strict laws protect artifacts and sites on state, federal and Indian lands and any artifacts found in the former reservoirs should be left where found and reported to the park. If a historic artifact or site is found, please contact Dave Conca, Chief of Cultural Resources, at Dave_Conca@nps.gov or 360-565-3053.
Last updated: February 28, 2015