Friday, March 21, 2008

San Pedro Valley Spared, Rick Renzi's Legal Issues Impacts Petified Forest Land Exchange

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

- San Pedro Valley Spared Development of Interstate Bypass: Arizona transportation officials will continue planning for a possible Interstate 10 bypass around Tucson and Phoenix but have dropped proposed routes through the environmentally sensitive San Pedro River valley. The state Transportation Board unanimously approved a motion dropping the two potential San Pedro River valley routes east of Tucson during a meeting here today.

- Arizona Representative Rick Renzi's Legal Problems Threaten Petrified Forest Land Exchange: When federal grand jurors handed up a 35-count indictment of Rick Renzi last month, they accused the Arizona congressman of cheating to win an election and abusing his powers for profit. But those details only describe the charges, not the environmental and economic fallout from the scandal. Renzi's political upheaval stymied a pair of huge federal land exchanges: One deal would have added 15,000 acres of dinosaur bones and archaeological ruins to Petrified Forest National Park, an expansion already approved by Congress.

- McDowell Sonoran Conservancy to Donate 1.6 Million Dollar Land Parcel for Scottsdale Preserve: The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy has accepted the donation of a conservation easement by a long-time MSC donor and supporter of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, and will transfer the donation to Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross at a ceremony in March. This donation, valued at $1.6 million, demonstrates both the willingness of the community to support MSC and the attractiveness land donations offer landowners because of their potential tax benefits.

- Lecture on Apache Sunrise Dance Tradition to be Offered at Besh-Be-Gowah Archaeological Park (Globe, Az). Saturday, March 29. For the past decade Prof. Carol Markstrom of West Virginia University has been conducting field research on the Sunrise Dance as well as coming-of-age rites of Navajos and Ojibwas; the results of which serve as the basis of her new book "Empowerment of North American Indian Girls." Saturday, March 29, she will give a 3 p.m. lecture about her research at the Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park in Globe as part of the Archaeology Awareness Month celebration. The author will be available to sign copies of her book following the lecture.

- National Trust for Historic Preservation Offering Intensive Course in Preservation Leadership: Preservation Leadership Training (PLT) is an intensive one-week experience tailored to respond to the needs of state and local preservation organizations and agencies. It emphasizes providing a participatory experience in leadership and organizational development techniques and the most up-to-date and effective information and training in current preservation practices, issues and action strategies. The next Preservation Leadership Training will be held June 21-28, 2008, in Portland, Maine. Applications are due March 31, 2008.

- Saving the Landscapes of the Ancient Maya, a New Feature on the Archaeology Channel: Interpreting archaeological sites requires an understanding of landscape and environment. And sometimes in saving one we also save the other, as exemplified by Saving the Cradle of Maya Civilization: Mirador Basin, Guatemala, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

- Archaeologist Brian Fagan Discusses his book, "The Great Warming" on the Daily Show: (Video Link)

- Paid Internship Opportunity: The Department of Archaeology and Landscapes at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest is offering two funded research positions for May 25 through July 25. These internships are intended for early-phase graduate students and advanced undergraduates who have previous field training and are looking for more experience conducting fieldwork and supervising field school students in a research-oriented setting.

Thanks To Gerald Kelso for Contributions to Today's Newsletter.

Note: Due to the Society for American Archaeology meetings next week, the Southwestern Archaeology Today newsletter service will be on hiatus March 23-30.