Friday, November 30, 2007

9 Million Dollar Donation to Tree Ring Lab & The Future of the West

Southwestern Archaeology Making the News - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Agnese Haury Provides U of A Tree Ring Laboratory with a Nine Million Dollar Gift: A climate record of the world over thousands of years is written in the 2 million tree specimens collected by the UA's tree-ring laboratory, an archive now boxed away and stacked floor to ceiling in the cramped bowels of Arizona Stadium. With a $9 million donation the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research will formally announce Friday, the collection is on the verge of moving from its ignoble home to a new climate-controlled facility that will expand its accessibility to researchers and the public.

- University of Arizona Examining Preservation at the Home of A. E. Douglas: The Douglass House, a turn-of-the-century home once owned by the UA's first academic superstar, has long attracted the attention of preservationists on campus and is now an administration priority for restoration. "There is very significant and sincere interest in restoring the building," said Albert Tarcola, director of facilities management. "It's on my list as No. 1 to be restored."

- Is the West losing its Wild? The search for fossil fuels across the American west is turning some of the nation's last open spaces into industrial zones and putting protected areas and wildlife risk. Jim Robbins reports on how the U.S. government is allowing energy companies to carve up treasured landscapes—one well at a time - Conde Nast Traveller

- (Related Story) Study of Threats to National Parks Finds Southwestern Archaeological Parks in Danger: Though protected from development, these ten parks are in harm's way. - Conde Nast Traveller

- The Viking Age in Iceland is the Topic of the Newest Feature on the Archaeology Channel: The Viking Age in Iceland, heretofore known to us primarily through the oral tradition as expressed in the Icelandic Sagas, now is yielding up its secrets through the methods of archaeology. The cultural and environmental dynamics of the Conversion Period, when Christianity became established, is the subject of A Viking Landscape: The Mosfell Archaeological Project, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Preservation at Camp Naco, I-10 Bypass Meetings, National Heritage Areas

Archaeology Making the News - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Preservation at Camp Naco Moves Forward: Thousands of American troops swarmed here long ago, a response to border friction of a different era. A visible reminder of that turbulent 1911-1923 timeframe — the stucco-walled barracks and officers quarters of Camp Naco — has been placed on the Arizona Preservation Foundation’s 2007 Most Endangered Historic Places list. - Sierra Vista Herald

- Public Meetings on I-10 Bypass begin Tonight: The Arizona Department of Transportation has announced the dates of locations for the next round of public meetings on the subject of an Interstate 10 bypass route. All meetings will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with a presentation at 6 p.m. Please attend a meeting and make your voice heard regarding the impact of an interstate bypass through rural and environmentally sensitive landscapes.
Http:// - MS Word Document

- Preserving Hopi Katsina Carving Traditions: When she was 19, Debra Drye took her future in her hands. "One day, I asked my grandfather what would happen to our community when there's no more kachina carvers. "Without a word, he handed me a knife." Kachina carvers are traditionally men. Nonetheless, Drye is perhaps the only Hopi woman to reverse long-standing tribal traditions, tackling the challenge of preserving her culture by carving kachina dolls.

- National Heritage Areas Catching on and Generating Controversy: Every region of the country has its own piece of Americana that locals brag about to visitors. Increasingly, they are asking Congress to help spread the word through a little-known federal program that designates National Heritage Areas. After approving just two dozen such areas since the early 1980s, Congress adopted 10 last year. The House signed off on six more last month, and the wait list is growing.

- New Mexico SHPO to Give Talk on Sustainabity and Preservation at the Univeristy of New Mexico: Katherine "Kak" Slick will discuss linking historic preservation with sustainability in a public presentation Nov. 30 in Albuquerque. Gov. Bill Richardson appointed Slick as the state historic preservation officer in 2003. With more than three decades of experience, Slick is considered one of the most accomplished historic preservationists in the country, said Chris Wilson, director of the historic preservation and regionalism program at New Mexico State University's School of Architecture and Planning. The presentation is free and open to the public, November 30, 2007. It begins at 5 p.m. at UNM's George Pearl Hall at the School of Architecture and Planning on the corner of Central Ave. and Cornell NE. - New Mexico Business Weekly

- Book Review, Reclaiming Diné History: A Diné woman from the Zia and Salt clans and the first Navajo to earn a doctorate in history (from Northern Arizona University in 1999), Denetdale has lately opened my eyes to some of the colonial backwash that is still swishing around and obscuring our view of the Navajo, the largest Native American nation in the United States. In her by turns scholarly and personal hybrid Reclaiming Diné History, Denetdale retells Navajo history in a way that treats the oral tradition with the same respect given to the written histories, written largely by the various colonial powers, or agents thereof. These written histories have long taken swipes at the continent's indigenous residents.

- Travelogue - Touring Kinishba: Seven centuries ago, this place might have seemed like a grand stone metropolis in a high lonesome landscape. The ruins site — near the town of Fort Apache on lands of the White Mountain Apache Tribe — was once a village with 500 or more ground-floor rooms, some of them standing two or three stories high. At its peak, around A.D. 1325, the prehistoric pueblo may have been home to 800 to 1,000 people.

Monday, November 19, 2007

San Diego Fire Impacts, Spirituality and Sense of Place in New Mexico

Southwestern Archaeology Making the News - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Assessing the Impact of the San Diego Fires on Historic Structures: We have been receiving many calls and emails from the public and members in regard to the historic sites that the fires may have affected. At this time verifiable information is scarce due to limited access. A comprehensive review of the historic structures damaged or destroyed in the recent San Diego County fires can be found the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) San Diego website:

- Seeking Spirituality, in Past and Present New Mexico: It is a blindingly bright Southwest autumn morning in Frijoles Canyon, site of a good-sized Ancient Puebloan settlement whose spare but suggestive ruins make up the core of New Mexico's Bandelier National Monument. I am alone, my labored breathing the only sound disturbing the cottony silence in this part of the canyon. Having just climbed 140 feet up three sets of ladders and worn rock steps into a large cleft in the canyon wall called Alcove House, I now descend a ladder to the dirt floor of a covered circular chamber called a kiva. - US News and World Report

- Ancient Puebloan Approaches to Water Harvesting Needed in the Modern Southwest: When I thought about how Coloradans of the past handled water needs, I was struck by the good sense of our oldest Colorado predecessors - the Anasazi Indians living in the arid conditions of what is now Mesa Verde National Park in the Four Corners area of southwestern Colorado. Simply put, the Anasazi collected and stored rainwater, an effective solution. Rainwater harvesting is practiced in various forms in states surrounding Colorado, including Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. - Rocky Mountain News

Thanks to Jackson Underwood for contributions to Today's Newsletter

Friday, November 16, 2007

ADA Kudos for Casa Grande National Monument, Park Service News, Rock Art Recording Opportunity

Southwestern Archaeology Making the News - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Larry Stewart, Facilities Manager at Casa Grande National Monument is Given Award for Innovative Practice in ADA Compliance: 2006 was a banner year featuring the biggest challenge yet: Turning the former stair-step access platform at the Hohokam ballcourt into an ADA-compliant viewing perch. Stewart said the initial plans called for an "earthen mound, low-maintenance/no-maintenance design" - which the park pulled off, opening the new platform in the fall of 2006. - Tri Valley Central

- Discovery of Glass Beads in the Southeast Leads to Questions About Spanish Colonization Routes: The discovery of glass beads and ancient slivers of iron in South Georgia, US, might prompt historians to reconsider the exact path that Spaniards took during their first successful colonization expedition in North America. The finding, made by a high school girl during a digging expedition, is of a glass bead no larger than a pencil eraser. It has four other beads, plus two ancient slivers of iron. Historians are certain that the beads came from the glass forges of Murano, a Venetian island. They're equally sure the beads were manufactured early in the 16th century. The Italians used them in trade with the Spaniards.

- Volunteer Opportunity for Rock Art Recording: Sears Point Rock Art Site Recording Opportunities in 2008. Four, one-week sessions: January 6 - 19 and February 24 - March 8. Trained rock art site recorders are invited to help Don Weaver, Bob Mark, and Evelyn Billo map and record the Sears Point site on BLM property in Southern AZ. You may volunteer for any of the four one-week sessions (or for 2, 3, or all 4 of them). Sears Point is an extensive site with petroglyphs on basalt cliff faces and boulders and other related archaeological features. You must sign the BLM volunteer form and agree not to disclose site information. You need to be in good physical condition, be aware of steep slopes, snakes, bees, etc. Contact Evelyn Billo at

- Early Man in SE Nevada to be Featured as Part of Native American Day At the Lost City Museum in Overton NV (Saturday).

- Progress on the National Park Service Centennial Initiative: In 2016, the National Park Service turns 100 years old. In preparation for the birthday bash, lawmakers are trying to wrap up a special present. They're calling it the National Park Centennial Initiative. The plan calls for an extra $3 billion for the National Park System over the course of 10 years.
According to the plan, $1 billion would go directly on top of the Park Service's current budget and would be directed at basic park operations. The rest would be part of a challenge. Essentially, the federal government would match private donations up to $100 million a year. That money will be directed at new projects.

- National Park Service is Embracing Virtual Field Trips: The "Tails from the Tetons" electronic field trip has seven "webisodes" covering topics including wolves, forest fires and how plants and animals adapt to their environment. The final Webcast was a live question-and-answer session with rangers. Teachers tune in for free, and the National Park Foundation and other nonprofits pick up production costs.

- Internet Based Integration of Data For Preservation and Research at Historic Annapolis: A new online tool developed by the University of Maryland makes Annapolis one of the most accessible cities in the world archaeologically and historically. The developer says the tool could have wide application in other cities with major historic areas. The Web site, Preservation Search, offers immediate access to interactive maps, photos and text of the Annapolis historic district. It provides far greater digital detail and comprehensiveness than in almost any other city, according to its creator, University of Maryland archaeologist Mark Leone. He adds that it will be a boon to homeowners, city officials, preservationists and tourists.

- Weekend of Events at the Arizona State Museum: Friday, November 16, 2007
Speaking Volumes: A series of discussions in honor of the ASM Library’s 50th Anniversary Join us for coffee and conversation 4-6:00 p.m. Guest speakers include Ray Thompson, ASM director emeritus and John Olsen, head, UA Anthropology Department. Free and open to the public. Your generous donations will help the library meet its mission. On November 16, 17 and 18, 2007 the Arizona State Museum Celebrates Member Appreciation Days. As we approach Thanksgiving, Native Goods, the museum store, shows its appreciation for new and continuing ASM members by offering a double-discount weekend - 20% OFF ALL PURCHASES. Some restrictions apply. On Saturday, November 17, 2007 the museum offers another CULTURE CRAFT SATURDAY: Stories Masks Tell, 1-4 p.m. Arizona State Museum offers one final chance to enjoy the exhibition “Masks of Mexico: Santos, Diablos, y Mas” before it closes forever. In a free, family-oriented program, folks can hear and see the stories that masks tell through dance and drama. Performers include performance artist Zarco Guerrero, Ballet Folklorico La Paloma, Mariachi Aztlan and luchadores El Cuervo and The Prophet.

- Reminder: Participation Forms for Arizona Archaeology Month are Due Tomorrow, Nov. 17. Dear Friends of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month: If you are planning to have an event or activity during the 2008 celebration of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month (and we hope that you are!), please note that your participation forms are due on November 17th. It is important that we get your information around that time, as we will be needing to get it entered and ready for publication in the Listing of Events brochure. Thank you very much for your continued support of your state's heritage education efforts! Sincerely, Ann Howard, Public Archaeology Programs Manager, SHPO.

Thanks To Dwight Riggs for Contributions to Today's Newsletter

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hayden Homestead to be Preserved in Place, Leupp Internment Camp

Southwestern Archaeology Making the News - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Tempe Historic Preservation Commission Supports Development Plan that Preserves Hayden Homestead: Tempe's Historic Preservation Commission whole-heartedly backed a redevelopment plan for the historic Hayden home-turned-Monti's La Casa Vieja steakhouse Thursday night, after vehemently trashing previous designs and sending the developer "back to the drawing board" only weeks before. "The new plan not only recognizes, but further honors this historic building," said Ann Patterson, who was one of the commission's most outspoken opponents of the previous version.

- History of the Leupp Internment Camp: There isn't much left today on the site of a World War II isolation camp in Old Leupp on the Navajo Reservation -- rubble, brush, bits of sandstone blocks, rusty cans and twisted metal. And silence, almost complete silence, where Japanese-American men were held against their will in a fenced camp guarded by armed soldiers. - Arizona Daily Sun

- The 'Kino Missions' of Arizona and Sonora" topic of Old Pueblo Archaeology's Third Thursday lecture by Anthropologist/folklorist James S. "Big Jim" Griffith. November 15, at 7:30 pm. Our guest speaker Jim Griffith received the Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology and Art History in 1974. He is currently retired after heading up the Southwest Folklore Center of the UA Library for nineteen years. He has written several books and many articles on the folklore, folk life, and traditional arts of Arizona and Sonora. Griffith has led Kino Mission Tours for the Southwestern Missions Research Center for over twenty years.Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s monthly “Third Thursdays” lecture programs are held on the third Thursday of each month starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Pueblo auditorium, 5100 W. Ina Road Bldg. 8. Free. For more info: 520.798.1201

- New Video on the Archaeology Channel - Lewis, Clark, and the Clatsop in Oregon: We gain a fresh perspective when we hear about important historical events as related by indigenous people and their oral traditions. The winter spent by explorers Lewis and Clark on the Oregon coast as told by the native Clatsop people is the subject of A Clatsop Winter Story, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel

- Reminder, Lecture Tonight in Tucson (Tuesday, November 13, 2007): The Enigmatic Mystery of Chacoan Cylinder Jars. There are only 210 known ceramic cylinder jars in the prehispanic American Southwest. 192 of those come from Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. Patricia Crown, professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico, explores the production of the unusual vessels and reveals new insights into their use at Chaco. Lecture at 7:00 p.m. at the Center for English as a Second Language, room 102 (one building east of ASM north). Reception follows the lecture at Arizona State Museum. Free and open to the public. This is the 2007 Southwest Land, Culture and Society Annual Distinguished Lecture.

Friday, November 9, 2007

More On Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Area, Lectures and Training Opportunities

Southwestern Archaeology Making the News - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Correction / Update: The Enigmatic Mystery of Chacoan Cylinder Jars Lecture will be held Tuesday, November 13, 2007. : There are only 210 known ceramic cylinder jars in the prehispanic American Southwest. 192 of those come from Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. Patricia Crown, professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico, explores the production of the unusual vessels and reveals new insights into their use at Chaco. Lecture at 7:00 p.m. at the Center for English as a Second Language, room 102 (one building east of ASM north). Reception follows the lecture at Arizona State Museum. Free and open to the public.

- Progress on the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area: It's fair to say that the idea of heritage tourism found an early life in the wilds of Arizona. While building swanky hotels and lunch counters throughout the southwest along the Santa Fe Railroad, the great travel impresario Fred Harvey noticed how fascinated people were with anything relating to the region's mysterious, seemingly unknowable indigenous people.

- More on Santa Cruz Valley NHA: The cottonwoods, willows, mesquites, and palo verde trees that once towered over the banks of the Colorado River near Yuma, Ariz., have returned. These native trees once again shade hikers and shelter wildlife, thanks to a massive wetlands restoration effort in the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. Since the area was officially designated in 2000, the groups working within its boundaries have also restored a historic bridge and created an $80 million riverfront development plan to revitalize the heart of the town. Now, the West may soon get its sixth national heritage area, in the Santa Cruz Valley of southeastern Arizona.

- Public Comments Sought on World Heritage Site Designations: National Park Service staff recommendations and those of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO regarding sites to be included in a new U.S. World Heritage Tentative List have been published in the Federal Register for public comment. All comments received will be considered by the National Park Service and the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks and the Secretary of the Interior for their use in developing a final U.S . Tentative List, which is to be submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre by February 1st. NPS staff recommendations, along with recommendations by the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, appear at the end of this release. Public comments will be accepted for 30 days. - National Park Service

- Phoenix High School Students Pitch in to Assist Mesa Grande: Students at Westwood High School won't have to leave their neighborhood to get a history lesson about the Valley's ancient culture and maybe a civics lesson as well. The sophomores in teacher Brian Buck's college-bound classes are planning to marshal forces with the Arizona Museum of Natural History to raise money to pay for an interpretative visitors center, dubbed Mesa Grande Cultural Center.

- Safford Lecture Focuses upon Ancient Cultural Melting Pot: The hugely popular Discover Anthropology lecture series will continue Saturday, Nov. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the college’s Discovery Park Campus with “An Ancient Cultural Melting Pot: The Safford Basin in the 13th and 14th Centuries.” The lecture will be presented by Dr. Anna Neuzil, a ceramic analyst for Tierra Right of Way Services. "Dr. Neuzil worked extensively in the Gila and Aravaipa valleys while developing her dissertation. - Eastern Arizona Courier

- Oro Valley Considers Preservation Plans for Steam Pump Ranch: Members of the public came out to voice their opinions and concerns about historic preservation efforts at Steam Pump Ranch, Oro Valley’s territorial-era settlement. Representatives from the architectural firm Poster Frost were on hand to explain three preservation scenarios for the ranch house and 15-acre property, which dates to the 1870s.

- Training Opportunity: The Nevada Archaeological Site Stewardship Program (NASSP) is holding a Basic Site Stewardship Training class in Sparks, NV in November 17th at 9 am at the USFS office in Sparks, Nevada; . We have site stewards assigned throughout the State of Nevada and are in need of help to preserve and protect at-risk sites; if you can’t make this training class we will put your name on a list and let you know when the next class will be held. Space is limited, so all interested volunteers should RSVP to Joanne Murray the Nevada Northwestern Regional Coordinator at or (775) 424-4050 by November 15th. All site stewards are required to complete this class before being assigned a site on public lands located within Nevada, so bring your family and friends so that they too can become a steward and help preserve Nevada’s diverse archaeological and paleontological resources for the future.

- Training Opportunity: Section 106 Procedures: The Section 106 Essentials is a two day course designed for those who are new to Section 106 review or those who want a refresher on its basic operation. Taught by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), this course explains the requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, which applies any time a federal, federally assisted, or federally approved activity might affect a property listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

- Training Opportunity: High Definition Documentation for Archaeology and Architecture. This two-day, 3 hour webinar will provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of high-definition documentation (HDD) for cultural heritage, with the intention of producing digital content that is also useful for public interpretation and tourism. Multiple technologies and methods will be shown and discussed, including GPS, panoramic photography, high-dynamic range photography (HDR), 3D laser scanning (HDS), and data archiving and management. Case studies of the use of HDD at Mesa Verde National Park and the Statue of Liberty will be used to demonstrate field application and usage of this methodology. The webinar, workshops and information on HDD was developed with funding from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). - National Park Service

Thanks to Brain Kenny, Gerard Kelso, and Sali Underwood for contributions to today's newsletter

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chaco Cylinder Jar Lecture in Tucson, Possible Reprieve for Texas Preserve, Navajo Weaving

Southwestern Archaeology Making the News - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- The Enigmatic Mystery of Chacoan Cylinder Jars is the subject of the 2007 Southwest Land, Culture and Society Annual Distinguished Lecture: There are only 210 known ceramic cylinder jars in the prehispanic American Southwest. 192 of those come from Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. Patricia Crown, professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico, explores the production of the unusual vessels and reveals new insights into their use at Chaco. Lecture at 7:00 p.m. at the Center for English as a Second Language, room 102 (one building east of ASM north). Reception follows the lecture at Arizona State Museum. Free and open to the public.

- Park Service Offered Opportunity to Purchase Texas Preserve: The Texas School Land Board on Tuesday gave the National Park Service 90 days to submit an offer to buy the Christmas Mountains Ranch. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson wants to sell the 9,000-acre tract, because the state, he says, cannot adequately conserve the land. The Conservation Fund donated the land to Texas in 1991 with strict restrictions on its use.

- Hohokam Canals 101:"The Hohokam engineers were keenly aware of the local topography, the dips and slopes, drainages and soils. They developed a sophisticated knowledge of the flow of water through channels and developed a series of techniques for delivering water to the surface of the fields. Each technique was appropriate for a specific topographic setting, such as steep slopes and flat river terraces." - The Arizona Republic

- Navajo Weavers, The Next Generation, Works on Display at the Heard: Discover the work of the next generation of Navajo weavers at the Heard Museum West's new exhibit. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Through March. Heard Museum West, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise. $2-$5. 623-344-2200, - The Arizona Republic

- Related Story, Men who Weave: In William Whitehair's family, everyone weaves rugs, except for his sister. Despite the prevailing Navajo perspective that weaving is for women, the story goes that Whitehair's father supported his career choice. He said, "If you're going to weave, do it well."

- Second Archaeology Expo Planning Meeting for 2008 Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona State Parks 1300 W. Washington, Phoenix. Please come and share your ideas as the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) continues planning for the 2008 Arizona Archaeology Expo that will be held on March 1-2, 2008 at the Arizona State Museum, the University of Arizona in Tucson. We will be exchanging ideas with the various partners; discussing programming, publicity, lay out and organization, sponsors, funding, off-site activities, etc. The SHPO values our partnerships with you & we hope to see you at this meeting, and at future planning efforts, for the 2008 AAHAM public programming. For More Information, Please Contact: Ann Howard, Public Archaeology Programs Manager State Historic Preservation Office 602/542-7138, or Rich Lange, Arizona State Museum 520/621-6275,

- Archaeology of Caves and Rock Shelters to be Discussed at the Edge of the Cedars Musuem: Have you ever come across a rock shelter or cave and just had to look inside? Questions emerge: who else had been there; is that a fire hearth; did anyone ever sleep here; how old is that corn cob? As natural shelters, caves and even rock overhangs hold a mystique all their own. Humans have been drawn to caves since the beginning of time, for habitation, temporary shelter, storage, ceremonial observances, and connection to ancestors, among many other practical and spiritual considerations. Scott Nicolay has been fascinated by caves most of his adult life. It was this fascination that has led him to explore the history of human connection with natural openings in the landscape. Scott’s research focuses on the ritual use of caves and other earth openings in the Southwest. You are invited to hear Scott’s presentation on Thursday, November 15th, at 6:30 pm at Edge of the Cedars Museum. The program is free and open to everyone! The Edge of the Cedars Museum is located at 660 West, 400 North, Blanding, Utah. Contact us at 435-678-2238 for information on this and other quality programs and events.

- Archaeology and Geology of the Coachella Valley is the Subject of a Free Lecture on Saturday: Archaeologist Harry Quinn will discuss how the Coachella Valley's first inhabitants adapted the to the desert in "Secrets of the Santa Rosas" 10:30 a.m. this Saturday at the La Quinta Library. Quinn's talk, free and open to the public, will also touch on the geology of the Santa Rosa mountains and how the San Andreas fault system affects life in the valley. "People inquire all the time" about those issues, said Louise Neeley, La Quinta Historical Society board member. Quinn's presentation is part of Historical Society's monthly "Historical Perspectives" events. The event is free, and library is at 78-275 Calle Tampico. - The Desert Sun

Monday, November 5, 2007

Reform of 1872 Mining Law Possible, Anti-Preservation in Texas

Southwestern Archaeology Making the News - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Reform of 1872 Mining Law Would Force Mining Companies to Comply with Section 106: Laura Watchempino of the Haaku Water Office at the Pueblo of Acoma said Thursday that if the reform act gets through the House and Senate and past a presidential veto, “maybe there will be some hope for some real reform and these permits won’t be just automatically granted, because right now, that’s what they’ve been relying on — this 1872 mining law.” “The Forest Service and everybody has been saying, ‘OK, we have to let them explore because this is the law.’ Acoma and the 19 pueblos, Hopi, as well as the Navajo Nation have been saying, ‘Wait a minute. You have to consult with us under Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act.’ ”Watchempino is hopeful the reform act will provide a measure of protection for Mount Taylor, near Grants, a sacred site to the pueblos, Navajo and Hopi. - The Gallup Independent

- Pending Sale of Texas Preserve Raises Troubling Preservation Questions: As a Comanche moon rose one night last week over the West Texas border town of Terlingua, the Christmas Mountains Association convened over Mexican food in the Longhorn Ranch Motel. "Proceed as if we're not going out of business," said Tom Alex, the group's president. But he did not sound confident. In Austin, 360 miles east, the state's general land commissioner was collecting bids to do what conservationists say is all but unheard of — selling a state wildlife preserve to a private buyer.

- Texas Judge Voids Archaeological Conservancy Donation: This month, a judge reaffirmed the right of the original owners to reclaim the 21/2-acre tract between RM 1431 and Parmer Lane in Cedar Park from an archaeological conservation group. The disputed land was never excavated, but it's next to an extraordinary piece of Texas history that attracted Collins and other researchers.

- Gila Cliff Dwellings Announces Change In Tour Schedule: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Superintendent Steve Riley announced today the seasonal change from two daily tours to one. Beginning on November 4, 2007 one guided tour of the cliff dwellings will be offered daily at 12:00 pm. Please allow 20-30 minutes to hike to the first cave where the tour begins. Visitors are always welcome to tour the dwellings on their own when the trail is open. The trail through Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, including holidays. All visitors must exit the monument by 5:00 pm. The Gila Visitor Center is open daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm (closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1st).

Friday, November 2, 2007

Congressional Action on Utah BLM, Preserve America, and Save America's Treasures. PeFo and Taliesin West Nominated for World Heritage Status

Southwestern Archaeology Making the News - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Congressional Leaders Attempt to Protect Utah Sites from the BLM Off Road Vehicle Plan: Today, ninety-three members of the House of Representatives sent an urgent letter to Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne requesting that he protect Utah’s irreplaceable archaeological artifacts and magnificent roadless areas from the damage caused by off-road vehicles. The congressional appeal comes at a critical juncture as DOI’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is rushing to finalize its proposed off-road vehicle travel plans, covering 11 million acres of Utah’s public land, by mid-2008. Travel plan decisions made in Utah could set the tone for off-road vehicle plans across the West.

- Clinton and Domenici Introduce Bill to Formalize "Preserve America" and "Save America's Treasures:" A new bi-partisan bill introduced by U.S. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, and Pete Domenici, R-NM, promises to formalize a program that has funneled money toward historic preservation. The Preserve America and Save America's Treasures Act (S. 2262) would formally codify the Preserve America and Save America's Treasures programs, which were started through presidential executive orders. The programs are administered by the Department of Interior and have operated without Congressional authorization, which would ensure their long-term viability, said Clinton and Domenici, who were joined by First Lady Laura Bush to unveil the legislation today in Washington, D.C.

- Decline in New Housing Market Impacts Archaeology in the Southwest: The housing slump may have slowed business for archaeologists in Arizona, but it hasn't made the need for their services a thing of the past. "Actually, in the Valley as a whole, there's a lack of field archaeologists," said Glen Rice, a partner at Rio Salado Archaeology LLC. "There's a lot of archaeology going on in the Valley, but there's a plateau in archaeology in the housing sector."

- Petrified Forest National Park and Taliesin West Move Towards World Heritage Site Designation: Petrified Forest National Park and Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West have taken a first step toward being recognized among the world's most significant cultural and natural treasures. The National Park Service has recommended that the northern Arizona park and Wright-designed buildings in Arizona and other states be included in a tentative list for consideration to join the UNESCO World Heritage List.

- Northern Arizona University Offers American Indian Heritage Month: Like a good harvest, this November's American Indian Heritage Month at NAU offers a bountiful menu. More than 60 events celebrate indigenous cultures with some of today's hottest Native authors, speakers, artisans, music, photography, art and more. From learning about celestial influences on Hopi life cycles to watching a Mayan basket take shape or witnessing the weaving of a Navajo chief blanket, diverse cultures find the spotlight in diverse ways.