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.