Columbia Pulp proposes to construct a straw pulping facility along the Snake River in Columbia County, Washington. The facility will utilize straw pulp, an abundant resource in the vicinity, for use in paper and other products. SCJ Alliance is assisting Columbia Pulp with development and environmental compliance of the pulping facility. Plateau Archaeological Investigations completed a preliminary cultural resources review of the proposed undertaking as part of the State Environmental Policy Act process. This review indicated that within the project area five previously recorded archaeological sites. Additionally a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligible Traditional Cultural Property was identified encompassing the Project Area.
The proposed project includes construction of a straw pulp mill plant facility (approximately 47 acres) and a land application of effluent (two adjacent areas totaling approximately 419 acres). The straw pulp mill facility area will include the pulping buildings, a chemical tank farm, administrative buildings, a straw storage area, and an area for future development.
All 467 acres of the Project Area were covered with pedestrian survey, and the straw pulp mill facility area was shovel probed. In addition to revisiting and assessing the current condition of the five previously recorded sites within the Project Area, pedestrian survey of the Project Area resulted in the identification of one new historic site, three pre contact talus sites, and three historic isolates. No sites were identified as a result of the sub-surface investigation. Plateau identified a total of 29 features within the Project Area. This includes: 10 talus pits, seven historical objects, five rock piles, three rock shelters, two rock alignments, and two possible worked areas on the basalt outcrop.
None of the identified/revisited sites or isolates are individually eligible for listing on the NRHP, nor will any be affected by the proposed undertaking. Plateau recommended the pre contact rockshelters and talus pits are avoided during project implementation. Plateau strongly recommended consultation with interested and affected parties, as the NRHP-eligible TCP should be fully considered before the Columbia Pulp – Straw Pulp Plant Project moves into the development phase.
Location: Columbia County, Washington