Introduction to the Huron

By Margaret Hanson

I am a Resource Assistant placed on the Huron national forest in the heritage department as one of their archaeologist. This department is responsible for locating cultural sites and protecting them from further degradation. My first week on the windy Huron forest has been a windy one but a great introduction to what its like working in Heritage. It has been filled with many emails, a carousal of introductions, and lot of outdoor activity. My supervisor is was welcoming and excited for my arrival after officially meeting him. For my first day he invited me the morning meeting with the rest of the departments to introduce myself and get to know a few people. It was a bit intimidating however that was quickly squashed when everyone was war, and welcoming, which that meeting alone has allowed me to feel confident to make connections with new people. Here I met Abbie who is another Resource Assistant and she took me out one day to collect Jack Pine cones so the forest can replant it’s Jack pine for on going warbler bird migration projects. Below is an example of the type of cones they need to collect, two 5 gallon pails makes a bushel and they are trying to collect 1,000,000 bushels this year. In my slowness I only collected half a bushel.

Another day we had to collect pictures for some reports so my mentor took me for a tour around to see how things are laid out and view the ecology of the area. One of the spots we stopped was at the Au Sable river where they had been doing some updating work at a way side. During this time I was able to take took a look at the local river. There is not much water here so the AuSable is a major local focal point, which flows through the forest and out into Lake Huron. Many local events and celebrations center around a large canoe marathon that runs every summer, it has been unclear to me where it starts but its a multi mile trek that finishes at the outlet of the lake.

Lastly we were able to get into the nuts and bolts of cultural resource work. We are going to rec areas to make sure that any work they are going will not disturb previous human occupation sites starting as modern as 50 years and older. We do sample testing called shovel testing to find small amount of data that can tell us if there were people there and potentially who they were. This in turn helps us to identify the history of the land and protect that history from being lost and destroyed, along with educating about thing that worked or didn’t work to maintain forest health. We couldn’t pick a more beautiful day or location to check it out, and it will be a project that we are working on for the next couple weeks.

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