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Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

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The Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site (KNRI) was established in 1974 for the purpose of insuring the preservation, interpretation, and research of unique historical and archeological resources associated with the Plains Indian and various cultural-historic periods (Hellickson-Key 1984). Cultural resource studies have revealed a wealth of archeological artifacts and historical sites within the KNRI (Lovick and Ahler 1982). At the present time, all fires are suppressed, although it is known that both fire and flood management played major roles in maintenance of the park's ecosystem. This study is designed to: (1) determine the effects of prairie fires on surface and subsurface archeological materials through an experimental burning program, (2) describe the potential impacts of various prescribed burning programs on plant communities and maintenance of the park ecosystem, and (3) based on the preceding results, develop a fire managerrent plan for future implementation at the Knife River Indian Villages NHS.