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Team: North
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
The Fur Trade Comes to Flaming Gorge
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FS-ashley-mtnmantalk.jpg

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Looking over the vast expanse of Flaming Gorge Canyon National Recreation Area, Ashley National Forest

Looking over the vast expanse of Flaming Gorge Canyon National Recreation Area, Ashley National Forest
Courtesy USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region

It has been said that "the written history of the country west of the Rockies where Americans made their first stand for possession begins with a single name and a date painted high on a mountain precipice." The name is "Ashley" and the date is "1825". The precipice on which W. H. Ashley wrote his name overhung a river flowing through eastern Utah. The name and date are now covered by waters of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

Ashley, with six of his men, started down the Green River in boats constructed from buffalo hides and local timber on April 21, 1825. On Saturday May 2, Ashley wrote "we entered between the walls of this range of mountains, which approach at this point to the waters edge on either side of the river and rise almost perpendicular to an immense height." Thus, the explorers passed through the Flaming Gorge, the first recorded entry of white men into the area now included in the Ashley National Forest.

Ashley National Forest, Ashley Creek, and Ashley Valley received their names from this early explorer. Others in Ashley's party lent their names to the surrounding area: Bridger Valley named for Jim Bridger; Jackson Hole namef for David Jackson; Provo River and the city of Provo for Etienne Provo; and Sublette County, Wyoming, for William Sublette.
for Tuesday, September 24
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