SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST — Travel up the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway with USFS Archaeologist Erin Potter, who will provide fascinating insights along the way. Interested parties will want to meet at the Forest Service Office in North Fork at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 20 and then explore parts of the Scenic Byway (4281) as far as Fish Creek.
Erin Potter is the Bass Lake District Archeologist for the Sierra National Forest, working out of the North Fork office. Her primary responsibility is to make sure the Forest is in compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and other laws pertaining to cultural resources, including anything 50 years old or older.
On this tour, Potter will speak on a combination of prehistory, ethnography and history of each area. Ethnography is the scientific study of the customs of individual peoples and cultures.
“I am planning on three-to-four stops, most likely overlooking Hooker’s Cove, Source Point and Fish Creek,” says Potter, who has been working for the Forest Service as an archaeologist for over 20 years. She originally received a BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz and her MA in Anthropology from Chico State. She’s been on the Sierra for over a decade.
Potter explains that cultural site location information is confidential, so the tour will speak more to general areas that events and activities occurred.
“There is so much history on the Forest that is not common knowledge and I hope to inspire people to learn more about the local forest, the events that shaped the current forest and the depth of time use that has resulted in the sites that make up the cultural heritage of the Sierra National Forest.”
When the tour is complete around lunchtime, the group will head back to Clearwater Station/Ross Cabin for some sustenance and folks can visit Ross Cabin if they want to. That marks the end of the tour when people can travel back to North Fork at their leisure.
Meet at the Bass Lake Ranger District Forest Service Office in North Fork at 9 a.m. and bring water, lunch and comfortable shoes.
The SVSB Association’s mission is to increase awareness and tourism on the scenic byway. They have made improvements such as signage along the byway and at various stops, made improvements to the stops, such as rails and benches at Mile High Vista, Redinger Overlook, etc.
Members of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway association put on tours each summer to acquaint the public with different parts of the byway, including botany, history, geology — and this year, Archeology.
Funding comes from memberships, which will be available at the tour and the Grizzly Century bike ride.