Firsthand Account of Federal Hearing on the Fracking of the Chaco Landscape
When you represent regular people fighting against the oil and gas industry, you get used to playing David to their Goliath. Still, when I went into court on July 13, with my single co-counsel, I didn’t expect to have to face off against eleven government and industry lawyers at the opposing table. http://bit.ly/1IcDyKZ – Wild Earth Guardians
Fred Wendorf Passes
Archaeologist Fred Wendorf, whose 60-year career included seminal discoveries in the American Southwest and Africa, as well as a stint as associate director of the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe, died this week in Dallas. He was 90. Southern Methodist University, where Wendorf had founded the Anthropology Department and spent four decades on the faculty, said he died following a long illness. http://bit.ly/1CIMS9j – Santa Fe New Mexican
House Natural Resources Chair Uses Colorful Language to Complain about the Definition of Antiquities in Creating New National Monuments
There is nothing that Obama did today that had anything to do with an antiquity,” Bishop said. “There are criteria for using the act. There is nothing Obama announced that had anything to do with the criteria.” When asked about the Native American artifacts at the Basin and Range National Monument site in Nevada, including cave paintings, he said “Ah, bull crap. That’s not an antiquity.” Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement in response. “The natural and cultural resources protected by these designations are, in fact, antiques; species and trees and rocks and cave paintings and beautiful landscapes are all quite old. We want them to remain antique, House Republicans want them to become extinct.” http://bit.ly/1RHH46C – Native News Online
Editorial Supports Use of Antiquities Act to Protect Places in Southern Utah
As a country, we have long understood the value of protecting our historical sites because they create invaluable opportunities for inquiry, reflection and insight and sometimes to simply experience wonder. Last week, President Barack Obama enriched us all by proclaiming Nevada’s Basin and Range — home to archaeological sites ranging from 9,000-year-old Clovis points to 19th-century settlement sites — as a national monument. http://bit.ly/1MjdmkL – Deseret News
Native American Efforts to Establish Bear Ears as a Sacred Site Also Aims to Protect Southern Utah
A coalition of 24 Native American tribes working to create a conservation area would be strong. Add the support of rock climbers, local Forest Service officials and conservation groups, and you’ve got the makings of an unusually powerful movement. That’s exactly what’s happening in southeastern Utah. A Navajo conservation group called Utah Diné Bikéyah has taken the lead on a campaign to protect a 1.9 million-acre area called Bears Ears, which includes world-class rock climbing, untrammeled wilderness and the ancestral lands of numerous southwestern Indian nations. http://bit.ly/1Dp4yBF – Indian Country Today
Utah’s Mighty 5 Campaign: When Heritage Tourism Backfires
On Memorial Day 2015, the Utah Highway Patrol closed the entrance to Arches National Park. The line of cars waiting to gain access was over a mile long, creating a traffic hazard as it backed out on to U.S. Highway 191. At the Devils Garden trailhead, 300 cars were wedged into 190 spaces, and on the road to Delicate Arch, the state of Utah’s unofficial symbol, parked cars lined both sides of the road for half a mile leading up to the parking area. The number of visits to Arches, which for a decade grew slowly and steadily, by about 2 to 3 percent per year, has jumped by nearly 20 percent since the Utah Office of Tourism launched its “Mighty 5” national parks marketing campaign in the spring of 2013. At the state’s four other national parks — Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef — thousands of tourists jam entrance stations, overwhelm visitor center staff and overrun the landscape itself in search of a place to park. http://bit.ly/1RHJTo4 – High Country News
Examining the Environmental Impacts of Spanish Colonization
Spanish settlement of the Middle Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico changed the way people lived, but a new paper in the journal “The Holocene” by UNM Assistant Professor of Anthropology Emily Jones, suggests the change did not come quickly. The Columbian Exchange and landscapes of the Middle Rio Grande Valley, AD 1300-1900 is an examination of the impact of Spanish colonization including what people were eating, and an indication of what animals and plants were abundant in the area. http://bit.ly/1gIDUi7 – University of New Mexico Newsroom
Could Kennewick Man Help to “Heal the Rift?”
Mistrust and rancor often mark relations between Native Americans and scientists who study the arrival and spread of the first humans into the New World. Researchers eager for data on the distant past can rankle tribes that demand respect for the bones of potential ancestors. But after almost a quarter century of accusations and legal battles, there are signs of a thaw in relations that could benefit both sides. The most dramatic example of this surprising rapprochement was the publication last month of a genetic study of an 8,500-year-old man called Oyt.pa.ma.na.tit.tite—the Ancient One—by Native Americans and Kennewick Man by scientists. The skeleton has been at the center of a bitter 19-year fight over whether to analyze the bones or rebury them. http://bit.ly/1OejFDF – National Geographic.
Editorial in Los Alamos Monitor Questions the Need to Open Back Country Trails at Bandelier
The park manager at Bandelier National Monument is planning to re-open portions of a trail that was closed in the 1950s in order to protect archaeological sites. The reasons for this new trail project are ostensibly stated as a safety concern due to the possibility of flash floods in the canyon floor and to provide visitors with additional archeological remains to explore. No one can fault the National Park Service for wanting to develop trails that provide reasonable access to our public lands. This is something we all want in our parks. However, any new developments or changes need to be done thoughtfully and carefully to ensure that our actions do not destroy the very treasures we are trying to preserve. http://bit.ly/1Oekyw1 – Los Alamos Monitor
Yucca House and Snider’s Well – Audio Interview with Fred Blackburn
Yucca House was a great village of the Ancestral Puebloans and is one of the largest archaeological sites in southwest Colorado. KSJD’s Tom Yoder talks with archaeology expedition historian and author Fred Blackburn about a feature at the site named Snider’s Well that was documented in excavations in the late 1800s, the history of the land ownership and investigations there, and what he hopes to learn from his research. http://bit.ly/1KeGXbC – KSJD.org
Tucson’s Long-Neglected Marist College Building Could Be Restored and Preserved
A 100-year-old former Catholic school downtown might one day become an affordable-housing complex with a community center for seniors. The Marist College, which sits behind St. Augustine Cathedral on South Stone Avenue, has been in a state of disrepair for more than a decade. But officials with the Diocese of Tucson hope it can be saved with a combination of federal tax credit and grants for senior housing and historic preservation. http://bit.ly/1IcwNee – Arizona Daily Star
Nevada Peace Camp Surveyed
It was visited by scientists and celebrities, from Carl Sagan to Martin Sheen. It was the year-round home of less famous activists for decades. And it was nearly lost, until archaeologists helped document the unique history that it enshrined. For more than 50 years, protesters occupied a makeshift campsite outside the gates of the former Nevada Test Site, now known as the Nevada National Security Site, to protest the U.S. government’s development and testing of nuclear weapons there. http://bit.ly/1MADFzV – Western Digs
Serpent Mound Vandal May Be Assigned Research Paper as Part of His Restitution
A 19-year-old man, accused of taking a joy ride over an ancient Native American earthwork at Serpent Mound State Memorial, has confessed to the crime and agreed to pay $3,790 to repair his damage, according to Adams County authorities and park officials. Daniel Coleman Dargavell is accused of jumping the curb in the parking lot in the middle of the night over the Fourth of July weekend and attempting to drive a large white pickup over a 2,000-year-old Adena Indian burial mound. http://bit.ly/1KdAQ7x – MSN News
Lecture Opportunity – Cortez
Kathleen Fine-Dare, Ph.D., will present NAGPRA+25: Where Do We Stand? Where Are We Going? at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 23, at the Sunflower Theatre, 8 E. Main, Cortez. The program is part of the Four Corners Lecture Series and is sponsored by the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and the Mesa Verde Foundation.
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars presents Voices from the Past, a lecture series honoring and acknowledging the work of Archaeology Southwest. On July 20, 2015, at 6:00 p.m., Dr. Jeffery Clark will present From Hohokam to Salado: The Kayenta Diaspora in the Southwest. Clark’s lecture is the third of five examining migration in the past, as revealed by the work of Archaeology Southwest, its partners, and other scholars. http://www.
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars presents Voices from the Past, a lecture series honoring and acknowledging the work of Archaeology Southwest. On July 27, 2015, at 6:00 p.m., Dr. John Ware will present Rio Grande Migrations: The Debate Continues. Ware’s lecture is the fourth of five examining migration in the past, as revealed by the work of Archaeology Southwest, its partners, and other scholars. https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/event/rio-grande-migrations/
Lecture Opportunity — Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
The Jumanos, Tiwas, & Tompiros of the Salinas District; An Anthropological Celebration. On July 25, 2015 from 10 AM to 12:30 PM, the following presentations will be given at the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument (102 S. Ripley, Mountainair, NM): Who Were the Salinas Pueblo Jumanos and Atziguis? Maria de Agreda’s Seventeenth-Century Apparitions to the Jumano and the Tejas, A Pre-Revolt Monopoly: The Extended Romero Family, Trade, and the Jumano Revolt, The Salinas Pueblos in Historical Perspective: Intercultural Networks Linking New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and the Southern Great Plains, and The Jumano Apache Nation 2015 & Reunion with the Lady in Blue in Agreda, Spain, 2015. These presentations, given by well-known scholars and researchers, are generously supported by the New Mexico Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanties. Tours will be offered at all the sites following the presentations. Phone number for the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is (505) 847-2585.
Thanks to Cherie Freeman and Adrianne Rankin for contributions to this week’s newsletter.