Historic preservation board moves ahead

Joy Ufford photo The Monument Ridge fire lookout station sits high on the ridge overlooking Hoback Basin and Bondurant to the north and east.

SUBLETTE COUNTY – The Sublette County Historic Preservation Board met on Tuesday to get the lay of the land, with winter snows hampering access to many of the historic sites it oversees.

As a certified local government (CLG) entity, the preservation board meets monthly like any official board and had a list of “dormant” projects – mainly inaccessible at this time – as well as several interesting new projects in the works.

Board members Clint Gilchrist, Dawn Ballou, Dr. Bob Beiermann, Don Schooley, Carmel Kail and Dave Vlcek approved a motion to complete and submit its Big Sandy Lodge nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

Big Sandy Lodge, located at the southern end of Mud Lake at the base of the Wind River Range, marks the spot where adventurer Finis Mitchell pitched his fishing camp in 1930. The land with a lodge, guest cabins, sheds, corrals and working structures is owned by the Forest Service and DeWitt Morris and family now operate the special-use permits that come with the resort.

Known for its remoteness, Big Sandy Lodge is still a recreational destination.

The board voted its approval for consultants to complete the nomination, which Gilchrist and others plan to submit to the State Historic Preservation Office on June 9.

In other news, the board received a grant to begin evaluation of the Dunham Ranch, owned by Mike and Tara Miller, as a potential candidate for the National Register of Historic Places.

Reviewing its “dormant” projects, the board discussed signs at Fort Bonneville, transporting sturdy “beaver slide” hay equipment from LaBarge to Big Piney and funding DNA and isotope studies for two Native American skeletons found in Pinedale and housed at the University of Wyoming.

Currently “inaccessible” projects include the renovated Deadline Ridge fire lookout, the Prospect and the Monument Ridge fire lookout near Bondurant, in remarkably good shape but needing a new foundation, windows and roof.

The Sublette County Historic Preservation Board CLG meets next on April 25 at 3 p.m. at the Marbleton Senior Center.



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