Western Cultural conducted a Class III cultural resource inventory of 3,094 acres in the Cedar Creek Anticline, Chalk Buttes, Mill Iron, and Rich Burn areas under contract to the USDI Bureau of Land Management, Miles City Field Office in Wibaux, Fallon, Carter, and Garfield Counties of Eastern Montana. The BLM is proposing to reduce the fuels on federal property in order to reduce the potential for wildfires in the area. Possible actions include thinning or removing trees at risk of mountain pine beetle attack, removing or reducing fuels to decrease the fire dangers, and possible broadcast burning. While the specifics of those activities are not currently known, the survey reported herein was nonetheless proactively undertaken to assess the nature and extent of historic properties of the environs to better facilitate future project development and lesson potential impacts to cultural properties.
A total of four new cultural resources were located during this Class III Cultural Resource survey. These resources included a prehistoric lithic scatter, a historic can dump, a prehistoric rock cairn, and a historic petroglyph. This survey also revisited three previously recorded sites, including a lithic scatter, a prehistoric/historic tipi ring site, and a prehistoric rock cairn.
The project reports described the areas that were inventoried, the field methodology, and the results of the inventory with complete recommendations for the NRHP. Site forms for all resources located during the inventory were completed. Maps were created at a 1:24,000 scale showing the areas of potential effect, parcels inventoried, and the cultural resources located during the investigations. The project required knowledge of the prehistory and history of Eastern Montana, knowledge of archaeological and historical recordation and evaluations, as well as knowledge of the potential and current effects to cultural resources by the various projects proposed. The project required knowledge of the standards and guidelines of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and how to meet those requirements, as well as knowledge of the Secretary of the Interior’s standards and the ability to comply with such standards.