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Partners in the preservation of the New Fork Historical Park This site is permanently preserved and made accessible to the public through a strong private-public partnership involving twenty-one Federal, State, County, non-profit, private, and corporate organizations.  Thanks to unique agreements with the Bureau of Land Management, purchase of the property by the Sublette County Historical Society was funded by industry donations to mitigate impact of development on the historic setting of the Lander Trail through the Pinedale Anticline natural gas field. The site is managed by the Sublette County Historical Society with the support of the other organizations. Federal Government Advisory Council on Historic Preservation – Consulting party on programmatic agreements Bureau of Land Management – Consulting party on programmatic agreements, historical research, donation of sign bases National Park Service (National Trails Intermountain Region) – Development of site and interpretation plans, concurring party on programmatic agreement State of Wyoming Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund – Grants for archeology and interpretation signs Wyoming Department of Transportation – Highway directional signs Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office – Consulting party on programmatic agreements, archeology and interpretation review Wyoming Game & Fish Department – Wildlife friendly fencing, haul gravel, and site monitoring Sublette County Sublette County Historic Preservation Board (CLG)–Grants for entrance and regulatory signs Sublette County Road & Bridge – Construction and maintenance of parking lot and access road Corporate and Private PacifiCorp – Donation for purchase of property SWEPI LP (Shell) - Donation for purchase of property, kiosks on highway 191 Ultra Resources, Inc. - Donation for purchase of property, kiosks on highway 191 USU Archeological Services – Archeological investigations Olson 3-H Ranch – Land swap and commitment of no surface disturbance for mineral rights Universities Wyoming Conservation Corps (University of Wyoming) – Bridge, fence and trail construction Utah State University (Spatial Analysis Lab) – Loan of geophysical equipment and analysis Non-Profit Organizations Alliance for Historic Wyoming– Concurring party on programmatic agreements Lander Trail Foundation – Concurring party on programmatic agreements Oregon-California Trails Association – Concurring party on programmatic agreements, historical research, interpretation review, promotion Sublette County Historical Society – Consulting party on programmatic agreement, ownership & management of the park Wyoming Archeological Society (Upper Green River Basin Chapter)– Archeological excavation and research Wyoming Community Foundation (Sublette Community Foundation) – Funding for WCC construction
PARTNERS Representatives of the organizations involved in negotiation for funding of the New Fork River Crossing Historical Park. (Standing left to right) Jay Fear (SCHS), Dan Dockstader (LTF), Larry Elcock (RMP), Aimee Davison (Shell), Sam Drucker (BLM), Chris Nelson (RMP), John Huston (BLM), and Clint Gilchrist (SCHS). (Sitting left to right) Fern Linton (OCTA), Angie Thomas (SCHS), Laurie Hartwig (SCHS), Jermy Wight (LTF), Lesley Wischmann (AHW), and Tom Rea (AHW, OCTA). Not pictured Cally McKee (Ultra). Photo courtesy Sublette County Historical Society.
REPRESENTATIVES Representatives of the BLM and companies providing funding for the New Fork River Crossing Historical Park. (left to right). John Huston (BLM), Larry Elcock (Rocky Mountain Power), Aimee Davison (Shell), Chris Nelson (Rocky Mountain Power), Sam Drucker (BLM). Not pictured Cally McKee (Ultra). Photo courtesy Sublette County Historical Society.

Agreements pave the way for historic New Fork River

Crossing Park Joint media release, September 30, 2010

Historical significance of the

Lander Trail and New Fork River Crossing

Historical Park site

The Lander Trail is part of the federally-designated National Historic Trails. Unlike other emigrant trails that evolved from repeated use, the Lander Trail was actually a constructed road, the first federally funded road west of the Mississippi River. The 256-mile wagon road, built in 1858, started at Burnt Ranch near South Pass, in Wyoming, and ended at Fort Hall in Idaho. It was an alternative to the original Oregon Trail through Fort Bridger, saving up to seven days of travel, avoiding larger desert sections and avoiding expensive ferry crossings over the Green River. The road was engineered and built by its namesake, Frederick Lander. Lander had an extensive background in railroad construction in the east and had been part of the Pacific Railroad Survey in 1853. He worked on improving emigrant trails from 1857 until entering the Civil War in 1861. Lander died from a battle wound in 1862. He estimated that 13,000 emigrants used the new road in its first full year 1859. The road was used extensively until the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869. The road continued to see some emigrant traffic into the 20th century and played an important role in the settlement of the area. Major river crossings like the New Fork were significant markers for the emigrants because of the peril in crossing, but were also common camp spots. The New Fork River crossing was one of the most difficult on the Lander Trail, and because it followed an 18-mile waterless desert, the crossing was also a camp site for most emigrants. River corridors were later prized homestead sites, so almost all river crossings are now on private land.

The Lander Trail today

The Lander Trail has been marked and can be followed on public land for much of its length including the 18-mile desert section through the Green River Valley which is bisected by the Pinedale Anticline. The BLM and companies carefully manage the road through the Anticline with a no surface occupancy (NSO) for ¼ mile on each side of the trail. Additionally a 3-mile viewshed buffer limits drilling activities, and best management practices minimize impacts to the road setting. "The New Fork River Crossing land purchase marks a milestone in the achievement of adequate mitigation for impacts to cultural resources like the Lander Road due to the development of natural resources in the area," said David Welch, Oregon-California Trails Association, National Preservation Office. Realistically, it is not possible to eliminate all impacts to the road setting. Instead of mitigating each separate impact to the road (i.e. a new well pad) as natural gas development progresses, these agreements recognize the overall effects over the life of the development and define an appropriate collective mitigation. John Fowler, Executive Director of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation said, "This was a good outcome for all parties, demonstrating how the Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act enables projects while protecting our heritage when creatively applied. The BLM mitigated adverse effects to the historic Lander Trail from both a new transmission line and additional gas and oil development. It permitted both efforts to proceed while protecting the historic river crossing by placing it in the hands of the Sublette County Historic Society."

Plans for the New Fork River Crossing Park

The New Fork River Crossing Historical Park sits about 5 miles west of the crest of the Anticline and just on the edge of the Pinedale Anticline Project Area (PAPA). The park is 104 acres in size with more than half a mile of river frontage. The setting at the park is very similar to what emigrants experienced 150 years ago. The goal is to leave the area as untouched as possible, so development of park facilities will be minimal. A parking lot will be developed at the entrance and the rest of the property will be accessible only by walking trails with interpretive signs. The park will be open in the summer for day use with no overnight camping. SCHS plans to open the park sometime during the summer of 2011. "The New Fork River was an oasis after the desert to emigrants 150 years ago, half way along their 6-month journey to Oregon or California. During the peak summer months hundreds of people each day camped here before or after braving the dangerous crossing. After the emigrant era, the crossing was never cultivated, so remains today much like what the emigrants experienced. The gas development through the Pinedale Anticline could last a generation or two, but the New Fork Crossing Historical Park will now last forever. This is a tremendous legacy Shell, Ultra, PacifiCorp and the BLM have made possible," said Clint Gilchrist with the Sublette County Historical Society. Related Links: Wyoming Conservation Corps helps with new historical park - Pinedale Online, May 30, 2011 Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA)
Preserving the New Fork River Crossing site

Lander Trail

New Fork River Crossing

Historical Park
Sublette County Historical Society, 307-367-4101, PO Box 909, Pinedale, Wyoming, 82941
Home General Information Photo Gallery History Partners Contact & Directions Grand Opening
WCC crew, building footbridge, 2011
WCC crew, building fence stile, 2011
Archaeology, WY Cultural Trust Fund, 2011 & 2012
Archaeology, Dr. Ken Cannon, 2011 & 2012
Achaeological Surveys, Molly Cannon, 2011 & 2012
Public Archaeology Dig, 2012
Parking lot, Sublette County, 2012
Parking lot & ADA trail, Sublette Co. Road & Bridge, 2012
Parking lot & trails, National Park Service, 2012-2014
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Nancy Brown Alliance for Historic Wyoming Lesley Wischmann Bureau of Land Management Ranel Capron David Crowley J.D. “Sam” Drucker Shelly Gregory Chuck Otto Judyth Reed Don Simpson Businesses & Organizations Bonneville Archaeology Josh Criddle, Pinedale Rental Joe Kautza, Rocky Mountain Sculpture Office Outlet Pinedale FFA Pinedale Lions Club Pinedale Online! Pinedale Rental Kent Profit, KP Trucking Rocky Mountain Sculpture Western Veterinary Clinic Wyoming Trails District Boy Scout Troop 18 Individuals Joel Bousman Family Hannah Cackler Teresa Cackler Joe Kautza Mike Kautza Mindi Crabb Cody Criddle Josh Criddle Spencer Criddle Stephanie Crockett Robert Cross Joseph Debebe Bob Diehl Ian Douglas Levi Douglas Rosie Douglas Jolene Everitt Mackinzie Everitt Jeff Goltz Martin Hudson Jerry Kirchhoff Reggie Moritsch Trevor Moritsch Tyler Moritsch Duncan Murdock Riley Murdock Sarah Murdock Judi Myers Rollie Myers Ann Noble Maureen Rudnick Megan Sharpless Jamie Schoen Sara Schults Summer Schultz Gary Stephenson William Stephenson Karen Stewart Nathan Stewart Garley Swain Bill Wadsworth Lander Trail Foundation Jermy Wight National Park Service Sharon Brown Steve Burns Correen Kolisko Donnelly Kimberly Finch Lee Kreutzer Aaron Mahr Chuck Milliken Stacy Myers Olson 3-H Ranch Ena Olson Mike Olson Mack Olsen Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA) Travis Boley Randy Brown Kathy Conway Don Hartley John Krizek Fern and Fred Litton Dave Mead Tom Rea Bill Watson Dave Welch PacifiCorp Larry Elcock Brian Fritz Jeff Hymans Rick Lungman Nancy Sikes Shell Aimee Davison Darci Sinclair Sublette County Joel Bousman Bill Cramer Matt Gaffney Mary Lankford Jim Latta John Linn Andy Nelson
Sublette County Historical Society Dawn Ballou Jon Boroff Hannah Braun Peggy Bryant Tim Crawford Sam Drucker Derick Farr Jay Fear Kimberly Fletcher Clint Gilchrist Laurie Hartwig Jim Mitchell Millie Pape Geoff Sell Jackie Sell Sam Sharp Angie Thomas James Thomas Ron Wilson Sublette County Historic Preservation Board Kim Andrews Dawn Ballou Bob Beiermann Clint Gilchrist Janet Montgomery Paul Scherbel Jonita Sommers Dave Vlcek Sublette County Road & Bridge Rob Binning Casey Calhoun Duke Early Mike Egle Doug Mika Vod Orr Billy Pape Butch Penton Ron Smith Mark Steele Austin Wright Sublette County School District #1 Rex Hamner, Sublette County FFA Ultra Petroleum Cally McKee Upper Green River Basin Chapter, Wyoming Archaeological Society Barry Fisler Mike Hawkins Maxine Leckie Jocelyn Moore Courtney Skinner Monte Skinner Mary Lynn Worl USU Archaeological Services Ken Cannon Molly Cannon Brennen Cannon Quincy Cannon Cody Dalpra Patty Jackson Courtney Johnson Houston Martin Gary O’Brien Jason Patton Jonathan Peart Utah State University  Geoarcheology Field School   Judson Finely and students Molly Cannon – Spatial Analysis Lab Wyoming Community Foundation Janet Bellis Alexis Berg Carolyn Bing Jason Clark Ana Cuprill Sam Dadelahi James Duran Becky Gregory Nancy Guio Julia Healy Dayle Read Hudson Debi Morely Wyoming Conservation Corps Nancy Davidson Tyler Dooley Patrick Harrington Amy Healy Sam Nissim Julie Postma Jade Shevling Tyler Shevling Tim Sowecke Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund Renee Bovee David Cunningham Jim Davis Dave Kathka Nancy Schiffer Susan Stubson Wyoming Department of Transportation Pete Hallsten Darin Kaufman Wyoming Game & Fish Department Miles Anderson Cade Clark Butch Parks Floyd Roadifer Hilda Sexhauer Brianne Thiele Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) Richard Currit Mary Hopkins Beth King Laura Nowlin Judy Wolf

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