Apparently a local living near Olympic National Park never thought too hard about the saying that in a national park you should "take only pictures and leave only footprints."
Park officials say the unidentified individual spotted a wagon wheel thought to be about 100 years old in the lakebed of the recently drained Lake Aldwell and toted it home to sell.
Well, rangers have computers, too, spotted the wagon wheel on sale on Craigslist, and tracked down the seller. The seller was issued a $225 citation on June 15, after the wheel was purchased by an agent of the park, a park release said.
The receding waters at the sites of Lake Aldwell and Lake Mills have revealed many items left behind by early residents of the Elwha Valley. Park officials want you to remember that many of these items are of historic significance and collecting such items is illegal in both reservoirs.
“The remains of prehistoric and historic cultures are part of our heritage,” said Olympic National Superintendent Todd Suess. “When artifacts are stolen and archeological sites are damaged or disturbed, we lose important clues about the past, forever.”
Strict laws protect artifacts and sites on state, federal and Indian lands and any artifacts found in the former reservoirs should be left where found and reported to the park. If a historic artifact or site is found, please contact Dave Conca, chief of cultural resources, at Dave_Conca@nps.gov or call 360-565-3053.