Fred Blackburn began his career in southeastern Utah’s Natural Bridges National Monu-ment, as the first ranger for the Grand Gulch ranger program in 1974, protecting archaeological sites on 3 1/2 million acres of public lands. In 1979-81 he helped establish the Crow Canyon archaeological center, then returned to Utah to aid in establishing the White Mesa Institute at the College of Eastern Utah. That effort produced the innovative Wetherill/Grand Gulch research project, a four-year volunteer effort from 1986-90.
Fred currently works as an independent guide, author, and gentleman rancher. He volunteers his services to the Bureau of Land Management’s Anasazi Heritage Center near Dolores, Colorado, organizing the center’s Wetherill family collections to the center.
Fred co-authored Cowboys and Cave Dwellers, published by the School of American Research in 1997, with Ray Williamson. His contributions to other texts include “Handwriting on the Wall,” found in Anasazi Basketmaker, a cultural resource series publication by the Utah Bureau of Land Management in 1993; and “Historic inscriptions and the first recorded visits to Balcony House,” in A History of a Cliff Dwelling in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, by Kathleen Fiero. Fred has also completed a major research manuscript for Mesa Verde National Park (from which this book is derived) titled Historical Inscriptions and the Expeditionary History of Balcony House, Cliff Palace, Hemenway House, Little Hemenway House, Honeymoon House and Spruce Tree House: A history of Discovery, Exploration, Photography, and Documentation. Fred uses historical inscriptions as a primary research reference. He holds a biological science degree and secondary science education certificate from Fort Lewis College. He lives in Cortez, Colorado, with his wife Victoria and children Lucas and Julianna.
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