Informality rules at First Friday presentations
Diners and sippers at Helper's First Friday event last week had a chance to learn about what's ahead for the burned out area of Manti-LaSal National Forest, and also got to hear a summary of more than 10,000 years of Castle Country prehistory. Dirk Rogers and Brandon Jensen of the US Forest Service conduct an informal briefing for guests at the Balance Rock restaurant. The outlook for the burned area: Nature will take her course, but she's in no hurry. Forest campgrounds are likely to remain closed to camping until the post-fire hazards of flood, mudslides and falling trees abate. That could be years for some of them. However, habitat is already showing signs of new growth as aspens spread in the area that has been cleared of conifers.
USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum Archaeology Curator Tim Riley uses a railing as an impromptu lectern as he delivers a talk at the Happiness Within specialty beverage shop. With about 3,000 identified sites in Carbon County and 4,400 in Emery, there is plenty of evidence of human habititation the area going back to the last years of the Pleistocene Ice Age. Paleoindians of that age appear to have moved in small bands, and traveled far and fast as they hunted everything from mammoths and mastodons to smaller creatures. Stone artifacts have been found hundreds of miles from the source rocks, he explained. Modern bison are the last survivors of that era among big mammals. More recently, archaic Native Americans appear to have roamed from point to point on a seasonal basis. Finally, the Fremont settled the area, leaving behind pottery pit houses in the Tavaputs and San Rafael areas.