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Historic Ranching in the California Deserts
2nd Friday Old Schoolhouse Lecture Series


Although principally a prehistoric archaeologist by training, since he joined the Mojave staff, Dr. Bob Bryson has largely focused on preservation issues related to historic ranching and mining in the East Mojave. He arrived at the Preserve at a time when extensive cattle grazing leases were being retired and their historic infrastructure turned over to the NPS. His responsibility was to inventory and evaluate the significance of all of the buildings, corrals, tanks, troughs, and other remains of desert ranching and put together a program for their preservation. Since completing an NRHP nomination for the 845,000 acre Rock Springs Land & Cattle Co. Historic District at Mojave he has turned his attention to the roughly 1700 historic mining features within the Preserve that still possess structural remains in need of stabilization and still pose a safety threat to the visiting public. As a result, Mojave’s ongoing preservation program focuses on both historic ranching and mining.

For the past ten years Bob Bryson has been working for the National Park Service, first as the Park Archaeologist and presently as the Chief of Resource Management at Mojave National Preserve, headquartered in Barstow. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Oregon where he worked on questions surrounding the development of complex chiefdoms in Micronesia and elsewhere in the Pacific. Prior to joining the NPS staff he was a researcher at the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin, helping to develop a macrophysical method of paleoclimatic modeling which he applied to archaeological studies of culture change in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.

Sponsored by the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park and the Twentynine Palms Historical Society, this lecture is held at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, on Friday, June 14 at 7 pm. This lecture is open to the public and costs $5 per person at the door. Optional dinner with speaker at 5 pm at the 29 Palms Inn, room is limited and attendees are responsible for their own meal. If interested in dinner please RSVP to Marion Gartner 760-361-1202 or

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