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Idaho Government Documents



Site Report: Bear Lake County

SITE REPORT - BEAR LAKE COUNTY Number 304 December 1981 Historic- site reports contain information designed to assist in two preservation functions. One is preservation planning at the local level. The other is the work of federal agencies in carrying out their responsibilities to comply with historic- preservation requirements prescribed by federal statutes and regulations. These reports summarize local archaeological, historical, and geographical contexts; existing surveys of historic sites; architectural, engineering, industrial; and other cultural resources; and available maps and literature concerning each area. Natural geographical, rather than governmental, boundaries have been used to identify seventy- two areas that vary greatly in size. Site reports reflect a broad cultural and geographical disparity characteristic of diverse regional components found in Idaho, but the areas are designed to incorporate cultural elements of immediate local significance that need to be taken into account for preservation planning. 1. Geographical context: Bear Lake Valley is around 6,000 feet in elevation, but in a section dry enough to require irrigation. Some higher ridges are timbered, and Meade Peak rises to feet. Bear Lake ( half in Utah) is southern Idaho's largest, and offers important recreational attractions. Bear River, flowing across northern Bear Lake Valley, provides a major access route from Wyoming's continental divide plains to Idaho's broad Snake plains. North of Bear River, Bear Lake County is largely mountainous with important phosphate resources. 2. Prehistory and significant archaeological sites: people have inhabited southern Idaho for fourteen thousand years or more. Until about eight thousand years ago they were noted primarily as big game hunters. Since then, they specialized more in camas, bitterroot, and other natural crops and seeds, as well as in smaller game. But they continued to hunt large game that remained after earlier elephants, camels, giant sloth, and other ice age creatures left as climatic conditions changed. 3. Cultural resource surveys and archaeological literature:

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