rock art in foothills

Petroglyphs in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.

cabin at Sequoia National Forest

Recording observations during a site visit. (Photo by D. McIntosh.)

Suggested checklist for site steward visits

A site steward recommended the following guidelines. A lot of this is intuitive, but it is easy to forget to note something in the field, and then remember it only after you get home!

What to do at the first visit:

  • Take measurements,
  • Establish fixed points from which to take photos during each visit,
  • Record specific observations about the site, and general observations about the surrounding area,
  • Orient a scale map of the site.

A checklist of items to record on subseqent visit includes:

  • Record setting -- date, time and weather. (We had been puzzled by a tombstone -- by chance, I viewed it at a different time of day, and then we realized that what we thought was the front was the back, because we saw faint raised letters visible at 2:30 pm on a sunny day in Jan!
  • Take photos from a consistent spot (fixed photo station). It's easier to detect alterations that way and track natural changes.
  • Note the presence/absence of vehicle tracks; footprints; signs of animal disturbance, or water/wind disturbance; evidence of human disturbance; litter; vandalism or missing artifacts; changes in access roads/trails/campsites; and changes in water channels, rock falls, other natural occurrences. If any of these are present, then describe and photograph them.