Monday, July 28, 2008

Chaco Road Studies and Resources Posted On Line, Ghost Towns

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

- Chaco Road Controversy, Needs Analysis Documents form San Juan County: CR7950 accommodates relatively few vehicle trips on a daily basis, the roadway is important to San Juan County for a number of reasons. The roadway serves as the primary access route to and from Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a functional role in the local roadway network created through a 1996 study and improvement project conducted cooperatively among the National Park Service, San Juan County, and the New Mexico Department of Transportation. San Juan County recognizes the park’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and considers the park to be a valuable cultural and economic resource. Since becoming the park’s designated primary access route, CR7950 has been the focus of an increasing number of requests for maintenance from park employees, area residents, and park visitors. In response to a growing number of requests from the public, the roadway requires an increasing amount of maintenance by County crews.

At the request of NMAC Members, documents relating to the needs analysis study are posted here. All files are in PDF format:

San Juan County Acceptance Letter -
Needs Assessment - Analysis of Changes in Road Use -
Entire Needs Analysis Study -

- Exploring the "Ghost Towns" of the Southwest: A ghost town is a place that is a shadow of its past glory. This can include everything from accessible historical towns — like Jerome, Ariz., or Calico, Calif. — to the ruins of forgotten mining towns, abandoned farm settlements or railroad stops that disappeared when the trains stopped coming. Towns that are remote, hard to gain access to and have very little remaining are known as "true ghosts," Underwood said. Todd Underwood of Prescott, Ariz., who hosts a Web site for ghost towners,, said he began ghost towning in 1976 with his father. "We were really fascinated as to how and why people would just up and leave towns. We were steeped in the mystery.

- Reminder, there is still time to Register for the Pecos Conference (August 7-10, Flagstaff Az).