Cultural Resources and Archaeology on State Trust Lands
We have a commitment—formalized in DNR policies and plans—to protect significant archeological sites and cultural resources on the more than 5 million acres of lands that we manage. We work with the Tribes throughout Washington state, as well as the public, to identify and protect these resources while carrying out management activities on the land.
Recognition and Protection
DNR recognizes the importance of cultural properties, current cultural uses, and historic and archaeological sites (cultural resources). Before conducting forest management activities on state lands, we check with the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to screen for known cultural sites. In addition, we screen all areas where activities are proposed, especially high probability areas such as stream beds and hilltops, in case they contain cultural resources that have not yet been identified.
Cultural resources may include artifacts, archaeological sites, or historic structures left behind by any of Washington’s people more than 50 years ago, as well as places and natural materials with cultural significance to Native Americans. Cultural resources can found throughout the state, both above and below ground and above and below water level. They can include graves, cave or rock shelters, culturally modified trees, tools, cracked rock, shells, shipwrecks, bones, weapons, and many other items. Some of these items date back thousands of years, and can be easily overlooked to the untrained eye.