BLM Defers on Fracking Leases near Chaco Canyon
Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management deferred for the third time the sale of three oil and gas lease parcels and approximately 2,122 acres of federal mineral estate on Navajo allotment lands in the Greater Chaco region. A broad coalition of local and regional watchdog groups submitted comments opposing the lease sale for fracking near Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The comments focused in part on the agency’s woefully insufficient management plan for the region, which treats the Greater Chaco’s communities and landscapes as a sacrifice zone. BLM’s deferral of these leases, for the third time, illustrates the need for the agency to complete its ongoing resource management plan amendment before continuing to lease and authorize the development of any additional public lands for oil and gas. http://bit.ly/1LSSdPZ – Pagosa Daily Post
An Experiment in the Privatization of Public Lands Management Fails
It is no secret that some state legislators in the West want to boot federal land management agencies from their states. They argue that agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service cost too much and are too detached from local values, and that states could make money by running our vast open spaces like a privately owned business. The Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian think tank, is of that opinion and has developed models to replace federal agencies with private interests. What many people don’t know is that Congress implemented one of the Cato Institute’s ideas in 2000, on the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. For some critics of the federal government, this was the experiment in land management that would signal the end of the BLM and Forest Service in the West. The Cato experiment in New Mexico, however, failed, chewed up by the friction between monetizing the “services” that landscapes provide — recreation, timber, grass, wildlife — and fulfilling citizens’ expectations for public access and protecting natural resources. http://bit.ly/1MLKo9F – High Country News
Evidence for Bison in the Ancient Southwest: The Cave Creek Midden Project
A surprising find on a ranch in southeastern Arizona has some archaeologists re-thinking a vital period of history in this corner of the Southwest. In the desert upland just a few miles from both Mexico and New Mexico, researchers have uncovered a 3,000-year-old bison kill site, featuring hundreds of bones and bone fragments, along with dozens of cobblestones and flaked and ground stone tools. http://bit.ly/1pE8xcS – Western Digs
Editor’s Note – Did you know The Cave Creek Midden at Desperation Ranch is just one of dozens of ancient places in the Southwest currently being protected and preserved by Archaeology Southwest? Archaeology Southwest also sponsored documentation of the midden excavations in 3D using digital photogrammetry. See https://sketchfab.com/models/1f31039f55e44e11983d002d1bde80b6 – Archaeology Southwest via Sketchfab
Archaeology Café – Tucson: Collaborative Research with Native Communities
On April 5, 2016, Maren Hopkins (Anthropological Research LLC) will present “Collaborative Research with Native Communities.” Hopkins will share her work, which focuses on the relationship between Native American traditional cultural beliefs and practices and places on the landscape. We meet on the patio of Casa Vicente, 375 S. Stone Ave., Tucson. Presentations begin after 6:00 p.m. It is best to arrive before 5:30 p.m., as seating is open and unreserved, but limited. http://bit.ly/1WSqkbd – Archaeology Southwest
Video Link: The Friends of Cedar Mesa Provide Some Tips on Visiting Ancient Places with Care and Respect
Historic and prehistoric structures can be easily damaged. Please refrain from touching, leaning, standing or climbing on any structures, no matter how solid they look. https://vimeo.com/159289886 – Friends of Cedar Mesa via Vimeo
Utah’s Historic Preservation Conference Honors Preservation Efforts Across the State
Well-known Utah masonry expert John Lambert is the keynote speaker for the 2016 Utah Preservation Conference, Friday in Salt Lake City. Lambert, the owner of Salt Lake City’s Abstract Masonry Restoration, was the lead restoration consultant on Fallingwater, a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright atop a waterfall in the mountains of western Pennsylvania. One of the most revered and extraordinary houses of the 20th century, Fallingwater was built primarily of concrete and stone in 1936-37 amid harsh exposure conditions. The materials have deteriorated, and the restoration of the historic concrete and stone has proven exceptionally challenging, according to Kirk Huffaker, executive director of Utah Heritage Foundation. Lambert’s first-hand insights on the project should help attendees as they restore these same materials on Utah’s midcentury modern buildings. http://bit.ly/1VPqx0w – Salt Lake Tribune
Science, Technology, and Archaeology on Tap for the Verde Valley National Monuments
To the National Park Service, this year’s SciTech means learning about Sonoran Mud Turtles, silent stones and archaeology. On Saturday, April 2, the National Park Service will host three Verde Valley SciTech events at the Verde Valley’s national monuments. http://bit.ly/1pSTBsa – Camp Verde Bugle
Travelogue – Mesa Verde
Long before Columbus was a twinkle in his father’s eye, Americans were tucking elaborate apartment complexes into the shallow caves of the Southwest region. Villages hung suspended on the lower lips of vast cliff faces in Mesa Verde and other sites in the Four Corners region. Many of the Anasazi cliff villages are accessible only by steep ladders or even ropes. While archaeologists believe they were built in highly inconvenient and dangerous places for the sake of defense, I have a different theory. I think either it was the ancient people’s way of helping natural selection weed out the klutzes or there was a dominant gene for real estate sales superstars. http://bit.ly/1qagB5C – The Oaklahoman
Did You Know Mesa Verde National Park Is Offering Special Touring Opportunities?
For those interested in participating in some of the special programs at Mesa Verde this year, there is some great news. Reservations are now being accepted! You can find information and make reservations for programs such as the Balcony House Sunrise Tour, Twilight Photography Tour, the Wetherill Mesa Bike & Hike Adventure, as well as Oak Tree House, Spring House, Mug House, and Yucca House hiking tours at www.recreation.gov. Once there, just search for Mesa Verde National Park.
Lecture Opportunity: Cave Creek
Desert Foothills Chapter – The Arizona Archaeological Society Desert Foothills Chapter presents on April 13th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at no charge, Hugh Grinnell. The Explorations and Discoveries of George Bird Grinnell, The Father of Glacier National Park is the story of the great West that George Bird Grinnell first encountered in 1870 as a 21-year old man that disappeared before his eyes in a very short amount of time. Nobody was quicker to sense the desecration or was more eloquent in crusading against the poachers, hide hunters, and a disengaged U.S. Congress than George Bird Grinnell, the “Father of American Conservation.” Grinnell founded the first Audubon Society to save non-game birds from extinction due to feather collections used in ladies hats, cofounded the Boone and Crockett Club with Teddy Roosevelt an important friend, and led the effort to establish Glacier National Park as well as lobbying for other parks. The meeting is held in the community building (Maitland Hall) at The Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (near the Dairy Queen). http://bit.ly/1aYMEY2 -Desert Foothills Chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society
Lecture Opportunity – Grand Junction
Larry Cesspooch, a Ute Spiritual Leader, will be speaking at City Hall auditorium April 5 at 7:00 p.m. He will show a short video and talk about rock art, Ute history and culture. Open to the public, donations will be accepted. Sponsored by the Grand Junction chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society.
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Archaeologist Dr. Kurt Anschuetz, , who will present A Contested Landscape: Tewa, Keres, Tano and Spanish Homelands of Las Bocas Canyon, on April 4 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe. Admission is by subscription or $12 at the door. No reservations are necessary. Refreshments are served. Seating is limited. Contact Connie Eichstaedt, tel. 505 466-2775; email: southwest email@example.com; http://bit.ly/YhJddr – Southwest Seminars
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
On April 5, 2016, at 5:30 p.m., Dr. Katherine Schwab (Fairfield University) will present Classical Hairstyles: Identity, Society, and Fashion. Using the skill of modern hairdressers and her own archaeological training, Schwab resurrects ancient hairstyles to discover their technique as well as their meaning in Classical societies. The presentation is hosted by the Tucson chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. It will take place on the University of Arizona Campus, Haury Building, Room 216, 1009 E. South Campus Drive. http://bit.ly/1RGQTNW – Arizona.edu
Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl for contributing to this week’s newsletter.