A recent video produced by the Oregon Department of Transportation provides insights into the importance of “culturally modified trees” or CMTs and how states need to treat them, especially during post-wildfire recovery efforts.
[Above photo by the Oregon DOT]
For example, in September 2020, devastating wildfires burned nearly one million acres of forest across Oregon. During the removal of hazardous trees and debris following the fire, archeologists and tribal monitors recorded many archeological sites, including CMTs.
Several CMTs could not be avoided during tree removal so, as part of the mitigation effort for having to remove those CMTs, Oregon DOT created training video with the assistance of Oregon tribes as well as other federal and state agencies.
That video – one of several produced in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Oregon DOT, Historical Research Associates, Inc., and consulting firm WSP USA – reinforces the importance of culturally-significant archeological sites and how transportation agencies and others should treat them.