History & Culture

Hobo Creek steam donkey used for winching logs to a landing in Marble Creek Historic District.

The Idaho Panhandle National Forests (IPNF) contains the traces of human history dating back thousands of years. American Indians have lived on and used the resources of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest for thousands of years and continue to rely on the plants, animals and fish found within the Forest today. Starting in the early 1800s fur trappers and traders, Catholic missionaries, miners, homesteaders, loggers, recreationists and Forest Service personnel have left their mark on the densely forested valleys and mountains of Northern Idaho.

Our heritage web pages tell a portion the IPNF story through photos, articles and documents that have been produced since the Heritage program first began in the late 1970s. IPNF Heritage Contacts:

  • Shawn M. Gibson
    Forest Archaeologist and Central (Coeur d'Alene National Forest) Zone Archaeologist
    Idaho Panhandle National Forests
    3815 Schreiber Way
    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83815
    (208) 765-7306
  • Thomas Milter
    South (St. Joe National Forest)
    St. Joe Ranger District
    222 S. 7th, Suite #1
    St. Maries, ID 83861-1847
    (208) 245-6017
  • Elizabeth "Beth" E. Bigelow
    North (Kaniksu National Forest) Zone Archaeologist
    Sandpoint Ranger District
    1602 Ontario Street
    Sandpoint, ID 83864-9509
    (208) 265-6661 or (208) 443-6814 (Priest Lake Ranger District)


Historic Places to Visit

The IPNF has numerous locations where Forest visitors can step into the past. View the history of a few of them here and get directions for your own on-site visit.

The Role of Splash Dams in Northern Idaho

Lower Splash Dam

Marble Creek Splash Dam Passage Project

If you were to have a birds-eye view of Marble Creek as it winds through narrow rock canyons, you would notice several sites where jumbled piles of weathered logs appear to have tumbled from the streambank into the waterway. A closer look from another angle or at low flow reveals a certain amount of order or arrangement to the logs. What is the significance of these structures, and why is there a renewed interest in them?

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