[Source: Joe Hanel, Journal Denver Bureau] — National forests have at least 325,000 historic sites hiding among their trees, and most of them are at risk because of a lack of money at the Forest Service, according to a national preservation group. “Thousands of significant landscapes, structures and sites — places that record important chapters in America’s story — are in danger of being lost forever,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The group released its 52-page national report Thursday in Denver.
Moe cited Chimney Rock Pueblo (pictured) as a great example of historic sites on Forest Service land. The ruins between Durango and Pagosa Springs mark the northernmost outpost of the Chaco Canyon civilization. The Forest Service and local volunteers from the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association have cooperated to preserve the pueblo. But the Forest Service needs a full-time person to work at the site, Moe said. “The Forest Service shouldn’t have to depend on the kindness of strangers to preserve historic sites,” he said. But other sites don’t enjoy the same high profile. Of the 325,000 known historic sites on national forest lands, only 2,000 are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And archaeologists have surveyed only about one-fifth of America’s national forests, according to the report. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]