High Country News Takes A Critical Look at Fracking on the Chacoan Landscape
By now you’ve probably heard that fracking is encroaching on and threatens Chaco Canyon. That’s only partially true: Chaco Canyon, Pueblo Bonito and its sibling structures are all part of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and thus protected from oil and gas and other development (though drilling-related light and noise pollution are a legitimate and significant concern). But it is now widely known that Chaco Canyon, itself, was merely the center of a larger society that extended hundreds of miles beyond the canyon’s walls, to dozens of related structures such as Twin Angels. These sites are concentrated in the central San Juan Basin, long a prime target for oil and gas drillers and now in the nascent stages of an oil-bearing shale drilling boom. And only a few of the sites, such as Aztec and Salmon Ruins and Chimney Rock, are formally protected. http://bit.ly/1FGP9Su – High Country News
Hopi Nation Joins Holocaust Art Restitution Project in Lawsuit to Fight Notorious “Paris Auctions”
The Hopi Tribal Council and the Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP) filed a lawsuit in France to appeal a recent decision by the French “Conseil des Ventes” (“Board of Auction Sales”), an administrative body in charge of regulating and supervising auction sales on the French market. The announcement of the lawsuit filing was made jointly by Herman G. Honanie, chairman of the Hopi Tribe and Ori Z. Soltes, of HARP. http://bit.ly/1bd39WJ – Native News Online
Archaeology Cafe (Phoenix) Welcomes David R. Wilcox
On April 28, 2015, Dr. David R. Wilcox will share The Hilltop Survey, West-Central Arizona, 1988–present, the results of a long-term survey of defensible ancient places in central Arizona. We meet in the Aztec Room of Macayo’s Central, 4001 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, near the Indian School light rail stop. Presentations begin after 6:00 p.m. It is best to arrive at about5:30 p.m. in order to get settled, as seating is open and unreserved, but limited. Archaeology Café is free, but guests are encouraged to order their own refreshments from the menu.
Bill Proposes Restoring Tribal Nations’ Rights to the Collection of Traditional Plants on National Park Lands
The National Park Service has proposed to modify the regulation governing the gathering of plants in national parks. The rule would allow members of federally recognized Indian tribes with traditional associations to areas within specific units of the National Park System to gather and remove plants or plant parts for traditional purposes. The gathering and removal allowed by the rule would be governed by agreements that may be entered into between the National Park Service and the tribes, and would also be subject to permits that identify the tribal members who may conduct these activities. The rule would prohibit commercial uses of gathered materials. http://bit.ly/1JX0jBr – National Parks Traveler
National Park Service Seeks to Expand Diversification As It Prepares for Its 100th Anniversary
The National Park Service will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. Ahead of this milestone it has launched a campaign called “find your park,” aimed at attracting a wider audience to experience parks, monuments, seashores and wilderness areas. CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reports from Los Angeles, California. From the Sequoias in California to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington to the Everglades in Florida, the National Parks Service has been stewards of these magnificent landscapes and monuments for nearly 100 years. http://cbsn.ws/1P188Zx – CBS News
Cliff Palace Closed for Stabilization
But on Thursday, the park’s jewel was closed off, visible only from an overlook as archaeologists started to work on preserving the site, repairing extensive cracks discovered a few years ago. Heavy foot traffic and gravity itself — and the fact that the dwelling is built on the side of a steep alcove — have all taken their toll over the years. “Everything is slowly moving downward,” said Gary W. Ethridge, a preservation archaeologist with Mesa Verde National Park said, as he pointed to a heavily traveled path on the edge of an alcove. http://bit.ly/1bi1waY – Cortez Journal
Privatization beyond the Pale
That is why it’s so disappointing that 51 U.S. senators, every single one of them entrusted with our nation’s well-being, recently cast a vote that could help destroy the West — one that could turn over America’s public lands to multinational corporations, lock out hunters and hikers, and shift control of our timber, our grazing rights, and our minerals, along with the very lifeblood of the West — our water — to profiteers and foreign interests. http://bit.ly/1G9e7aG – High Country News
Saving What’s Left of Cedar Mesa
Cedar Mesa is one of the most sublime and culturally evocative landscapes on Earth. Since 1987, I’ve made more than 60 trips to that outback in southeastern Utah, hiking, camping and backpacking on forays lasting as long as 10 days. Nowhere else in the Southwest can you find unrestored ruins and artifacts left in situ in such prodigal abundance. And though roughly 75,000 enthusiasts visit Cedar Mesa each year, that’s a drop in the bucket compared with the four and a half million who throng the Grand Canyon. By wending my way into the more obscure corners of the labyrinth, I’ve gone days in a row without running into another hiker, and I’ve visited sites that I’m pretty sure very few or even no other Anglos have seen. http://nyti.ms/1HJngJc – New York Times
Navajo Nation Efforts to Establish Conservation Area for Cedar Mesa
Even some Native Americans don’t know about the archaeological riches their ancestors left in Cedar Mesa. A week ago, on a tour of the area, a member of the Hopi Tribe was shocked to find his family’s Flute Clan symbol in a rock pictograph. “It was a very powerful, very emotional tour,” said Mark Maryboy, a Navajo elder. “A lot of them didn’t realize how much history and how much evidence their people left behind. There are many generations.” In a campaign to reclaim the place from Anglo grave robbers, off-roaders and benignly ignorant campers and hikers who have traversed the region since state and federal leaders carved it up to distinguish public from private land, Utah’s Navajos are leading a push to create the Bears Ears National Conservation Area in the southeastern corner of Utah. http://bit.ly/1HmIxrD – Salt Lake Tribune
Travelogue – Cedar Mesa
Sunday afternoon I drove out La Posta Road to my good buddy’s house. I’d been marinating in both passion and frustration for days. I knew I needed to get out of town. Like others here in Durango, the desert was screaming my name. I needed to feel the sun on my skin, breath in a deep blue sky and get lost in the red rock. The day prior, I called a half dozen friends asking around to find someone to go camping with. No success, and after going on three solo trips this year already, I wasn’t in quite the mood to brave the field alone. http://bit.ly/1HJgnYd – Durango Downtown
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Thomas C. Windes, Archaeologist, Chaco Project; Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico; and Research Associate, New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies who will give a lecture Ancient Structures of Southeast Utah Canyons on April 27 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe as part of the Annual Ancient Sites Ancient Stories Lecture Series held to honor the work of The Archaeological Conservancy. Admission is by subscription or $12 at the door. No reservations are necessary. Seating is limited. Refreshments are served. Contact Connie Eichstaedt tel: 505 466-2775 email:southwest email@example.com http://bit.ly/YhJddr – Southwest Seminars
Arizona Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission (GAAC) Awards in Public Archaeology Announced
The Awards are presented to individuals and/or programs that have significantly contributed to the protection and preservation of, and education about, Arizona’s non-renewable archaeological resources. The 2015 award recipients are: Professional Archaeologist: Neil Weintraub. Site Stewards: Doug Newton & John Scheuring. Tribe: H. Jill McCormick (Cocopah Indian Tribe). Government Agency: Town of Camp Verde. Special Achievement: Rick Karl (Arizona State Museum).
We hope you will join Archaeology Southwest in the recognition and celebration of these individuals and organizations that preserve our cultural heritage through excellence in public archaeology.
Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl for contributing to this week’s newsletter.