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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monte Cristo WA - See it before it's gone

As of the Fourth of July snow depths still were impressive in Glacier Basin and at Poodle Dog Pass. A winter avalanche widened the trail to some ten feet at the steep, exposed rock area by Glacier Falls. Roughly fifteen feet of snow remained in the basin. On the Poodle Dog side ice axes were recommended for descending, and the upper trail was hard to find. Several feet of snow remained at the creek crossing, along with a blown down log across the trail at the beginning of the rock slide.

from Monte Cristo Preservation Association

Cascade Earth Sciences of Spokane Valley, WA, contractor for the Forest Service, completed its annual high water sampling the last week of June. They helicoptered in a ton and a half of supplies and operated out of the townsite. In the middle of September their crew will return to take low water samples, creating baselines to help evaluate the success of the cleanup.

At this point it appears we may be able to use the new access road next year to remove MCPA materials and tools from the townsite for storage until the project is complete. Permission will be required from both ranger district and regional levels.

To date there is no Memorandum of Agreement between the Forest Service and the Washington State Historic Preservation Office as to how artifacts and historic sites are to be handled. This is an area of major concern for us. We hope damage will be minimal with artifacts inventoried, stored professionally, and made available for study and interpretation.

No reply was made to our inquiry as to where the proposed townsite repository might be located nor what its size might be. It appears that many project details remain to be worked out.

I spent a day last summer with the president of the assocaiton at Monte Cristo. I know one area of concern is the site of the concentrator remnants. This site appears it may be destroyed completely.


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