Idaho and Nevada tribes protecting historic sites

Tribal rangers from southern Idaho and northern Nevada Indian tribes will use helicopter flights over their ancestral homeland in the Owyhee Front this weekend to keep watch on important cultural resources and help protect them from vandals and thieves.

The Shoshone-Paiute Tribes on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation are descended from Western Shoshone and Northern Paiute bands that made the Great Basin region their home for thousands of years.

They have many sacred sites within the new 517,000-acre federally protected Owyhee wilderness created in 2009, as well as across the entire canyon-laced region that includes parts of Oregon, Idaho and Nevada.

Ted Howard, tribal cultural resources head, says the flights will provide a status report on ancient fishing villages, burial grounds, even “vision quest” sites that the tribes still aim to keep secret.

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