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).