Olympic National Park announces it issued fine for artifact collection

Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — An area resident has been fined for collecting a wagon wheel thought to be about a century old after finding it in the newly exposed Lake Aldwell lake bed.

The person was fined $225 after an Olympic National Park ranger found the wagon wheel listed on Craigslist and purchased it, said Rainey McKenna, park spokeswoman, on Friday.

The park did not release the name of the person who was fined.

“We’re not putting out that information to protect the privacy of the person,” McKenna said.

The seller was issued a citation on June 15. McKenna did not know Friday if the fine had been paid.

The wagon wheel is now in the custody of the park’s cultural resources division, McKenna said, and is in storage in Port Angeles.

Elwha Dam was built five miles from the mouth of the Elwha River in 1913, and Glines Canyon Dam was built eight miles from the lower dam in 1923.

The dams, built without fish ladders, are being demolished to free the river for salmon.

The work is part of the $325 million Elwha River restoration project that began in September.

Demolition of the Elwha Dam was finished in March and the Glines Canyon Dam is expected to be removed completely next summer.

Lake Mills is within the park. Although Lake Aldwell was not within the park, the National Park Service was given jurisdiction over the area for the purpose of the restoration project.

Laws protect artifacts and sites on state, federal and Native American land, McKenna said in a prepared statement, and so collecting artifacts is illegal in both former reservoirs.

Artifacts found in the former reservoirs should be left where they are found and reported, she said.

They can be reported to Dave Conca, chief of cultural resources, at Dave_Conca@nps.gov or 360-565-3053.

Last modified: July 06. 2012 5:28PM
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