Larry Beidle

Hello, I am Larry Beidle, IPCAS’s newest At-Large Board Member and also the State CAS Recording Secretary for 2020. I originally joined the Colorado Archaeological Society when I was a graduate student at Colorado State University in 2008.  My CAS membership was sporadic until I joined the CAS Northern Colorado Chapter circa 2014. I became an IPCAS member in spring 2019.

I graduated with a BA degree in anthropology (emphasis on physical anthropology) from Colorado College in 1976. My first archaeological field experience was in the summer of 1975 when, under the supervision of Dr. Arthur Rohn of Wichita State University, one of his graduate students and I conducted an archaeological field school for a summer high school education program. We supervised 3-8 high school students in the initial site preparation, mapping and documentation of a Pueblo II site north of Cortez, Colorado. In late 1976 I was part of the archaeology crew for the Durango South Project, a salvage excavation of Basketmaker III sites under the direction of John D. Gooding. These experiences were in lieu of attending a formal archaeological field school while an undergraduate student.

I was involved in the early days of cultural resource management on federal lands. I was working for the US Forest Service as a volunteer recreation ranger and wilderness ranger on the Inyo National Forest, California, in 1977 when the forest Resource Officer noted I had archaeological experience and asked if I would be interested in joining the Forest archaeological survey crew. Of course I said “yes,” and so began my Forest Service career as a seasonal archaeologist/archaeological technician. I worked on the Inyo and Sequoia National Forests in California through 1983. I conducted field surveys where I located, identified and recorded all manner of cultural resources in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. I learned how to do historical archaeology out of necessity because it was generally ignored by my peers as their focus was on the prehistoric (Pre-Contact) record, a tendency in survey crews that still remains true today. I also became a member of NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) interdisciplinary teams drafting Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Reports, a wildland firefighter, and recreation ranger.

I left the Forest Service after 1983 when funding for cultural resources was sharply reduced. For almost twenty years, I was a paralegal and often an investigator for various governmental agencies and law firms. I also obtained a Colorado Peace officer certification but never served as a commissioned officer. However, I did spend the summers of 1988 and 2000 working on the Gunnison and White River National Forests as an archaeological technician. I continued being the primary researcher-recorder on survey crews for historic sites because of my experience. My first direct experience with public archaeology was in 2000 as a participant in the White River NF’s Passport in Time Ute Lifeways project.  Ute Lifeways also was my first direct involvement with tribal stakeholders.

I worked on the Gunnison National Forest (GNF) from 2002-2005 as an archaeologist. I also worked as a recreation ranger for the Forest in 2006 and 2007, but I had assignments completing cultural resources surveys and as a Fire Archaeologist. I was the primary heritage consultant, including collaborative and design contributions to a large poster exhibit, for the Gunnison Ranger District’s participation in the Forest Service’s and the Forest’s Centennial Celebrations in May 2005 in collaboration with Western State College and the Gunnison County Historical Society. I also was involved with the GNF’s Alpine Tunnel Historic District PIT project during this time.

I attended Colorado State University from 2008-2010 as a Master’s candidate in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology and focusing on historic archaeology, cultural resources law and practices, and public archaeology. During my time at CSU I completed both a professional conference poster and later a video poster exhibit on the historic Corner Saloon of Lake City, Colorado. I was a graduate teaching assistant for two undergraduate classes. I also was a crew chief for the Center for the Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) in the summer of 2008.

Over the last decade I worked as a technician, Forest Protection Officer, and fire archaeologist/resource advisor for the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service in Nevada, Colorado, and Idaho. Although semi-retired, I still am active in education and public archaeology through CAS and volunteer work with Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (Christian Driver).