Site Stewardship Program
Oregon Basin Site
Established in 2006, the Wyoming Archaeological Site Stewardship Program (WYSSP) is comprised of concerned people committed to protecting and preserving Wyoming's rich cultural heritage. Professional heritage/cultural resource specialists and trained volunteers work together to monitor cultural resources throughout the State, adding to the existing documentary record, sustaining a regular presence to deter looting and vandalism, and reporting these activities when they occur.
The primary purposes of the Wyoming Site Stewardship Program are:
- To protect and preserve prehistoric and historic cultural resources for the purposes of conservation, scientific study, interpretation, and public enjoyment.
- To increase public awareness of the significance and value of cultural resources.
- To discourage/deter site vandalism and looting.
- To assist with permanent management of monitored sites.
- To promote understanding and cooperation between the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, the Bureau of Land Management, and the interested public.
The Wyoming Site Stewardship Program is sponsored jointly by the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Wyoming. These two agencies exercise oversight of the program. Other agencies, organizations and individuals are invited to become official supporters of the program. To learn more about becoming a sponsor or supporter contact the State Historic Preservation Office or the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management.
What does it take to become a Wyoming Site Steward?
Anyone who is interested in learning more about cultural resources and their preservation, and who is willing to sign and adhere to the Code of Ethics can be a site steward. Stewards will serve on a voluntary basis and will be recruited and selected without regard to race, religion, age, sex, national origin, or handicap.
Site Stewards must:
- Have a sincere interest in preserving Wyoming's cultural resources;
- Be at least 18 years old. Those under 18 years old may participate with a parent or guardian who is a trained site steward.
- Complete the required training before participating. Training consists of both classroom instruction and in-field training with a WYSSP field coordinator.
- Sign the Code of Ethics after completing training and fill out a Volunteer Services Agreement (to monitor sites on BLM land)
- Enjoy driving and hiking in remote and sometimes rugged areas
Responsibilities of Wyoming Site Stewards
The primary objective of the stewardship program is to periodically monitor selected cultural resources to maintain a record of resource condition. Information collected by stewards will include evidence of new vandalism or looting, and evidence that the resource may be deteriorating from natural conditions or inadvertently from human activity at and near the site. The following responsibilities of the site steward are carried out in consultation with the site stewardship program field coordinator:
- Monitoring sites on a regular basis on an agreed upon schedule
- Establishing a photo monitoring system, including photo monitoring points
- Filling out monitoring forms after each visit and providing them to the field coordinator
- Reporting any changes in condition to the field coordinator; reporting as soon as possible any evidence of new vandalism or looting
- Assisting with site record updating as needed and reporting any unrecorded cultural resources that may be observed to the field coordinator
- Notifying the field coordinator if unable to perform a monitoring trip
- Sharing your itinerary with someone who can alert authorities in the event that you don't return home as scheduled
- Following reasonable and accepted safety procedures for working outside
- Making recommendations to the field coordinator for signs, fencing, etc. that may improve management of the site
Information on vandalism and looting, reported promptly, can greatly increase the effectiveness of investigation. Information on other conditions that may be affecting a site is used to improve general site management. Each volunteer site steward has responsibility for one or more particular sites and works with a site stewardship field coordinator to establish the monitoring requirements for each site to help preserve and protect sites.
For more information please contact Joseph Daniele (307-777-8793) or John Laughlin (307-777-3424) at the State Historic Preservation Office or Ranel Capron (307-775-6108) at the Bureau of Land Management.