Is Revocation of National Monuments Even Possible?
Utah’s congressional delegation, Gov. Gary Herbert, and Utah lawmakers have all-but-declared war on the new monument designation. Many have also voiced a desire to have Trump reverse the order once he takes office. That’s something no president has ever done. John Ruple, another professor at University of Utah said The Antiquities Act, which gives the president the power to designate national monuments, does not give the power to revoke those designations. http://bit.ly/2iSo8Uj – Utah Public Radio
Senate Backlash Aims to Restrict Presidential Powers under the Antiquities Act
Little more than a week after President Barack Obama’s designation of Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah, Republicans in the U.S. Senate are reintroducing a bill that aims to limit the executive powers granted in the 1906 Antiquities Act. The legislation, co-sponsored by Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, would have no impact on previous designations but would instead require state approval and congressional authorization before any new national monument site is selected on federal lands and waters. The bill did not pass in the 2016 session, and its revival is a response to Obama’s Dec. 28 designations of Bears Ears in Utah and Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada — decried by Republicans as acts of federal overreach. It coincides with appeals to President-elect Donald Trump to undo the declarations or reduce their sizes. http://bit.ly/2iSPmMt – Salt Lake Tribune
Editorial: Outdoor Sportsman on New National Monuments
Last winter, I was lucky enough to go south for a few days and hunt Gambel’s and scaled quail in the new Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks National Monument, near Las Cruces, N.M. I was lucky to have some of the toughest bird hunters in New Mexico to show me the country, and to tell me its stories—tales of the Butterfield Trail, more than 100 years of bloody Apache raids against Spanish and American invaders, elusive outlaws like Billy the Kid, echoes of relentless warfare, ancient traditions of the hunt, and brutal human endurance in a history-soaked, hyper-arid landscape. The Organs, the Robledos, and the Uvas soar jagged into a harsh white sky, and underfoot “lithic scatter”—the chips of rock from hunters and warriors making arrow and spear points—shares the sand with old pistols and .45-70 brass black with age. It is a place where a person needs to keep an eye on the canteen, the boot leather, and the gas gauge. http://bit.ly/2iSjKVe – Field and Stream
Editorial: William Doelle on Bears Ears Declaration
I join many tribal members, colleagues and friends in rejoicing in President Obama’s designation of Bears Ears National Monument. The stunning natural beauty of the region is a fitting complement to the extraordinary archaeological and historical riches that abound across its cultural landscape. I have been a southwestern archaeologist since 1972. I know I speak for many in my field when I say that the incredible preservation of archaeological sites and artifacts in this region is almost beyond imagining. http://bit.ly/2iSs1IZ – Arizona Daily Star
National Park Service Prepares for Climatic Change
Today, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) published their first-ever Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy, which aims to help cultural resource managers and scientists plan for, act on and communicate about the growing threat of climate change to national parks. Cultural heritage sites such as historic buildings, archaeological treasures and indigenous sacred sites are at risk throughout the country. Included on that list are iconic places like Yellowstone National Park, San Francisco’s Embarcadero Historic District and the National Mall in Washington D.C. According to NPS, the effects of climate change—such as increased temperatures, wildfires, flooding, and extreme weather events—are “fundamentally the greatest threat to the integrity of our national parks” and something they anticipate will have an impact on cultural resources in every park. http://bit.ly/2iROpnI – Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Trust for Historic Preservation via Common Dreams
Blogs Worth Reading: The Hopi Tribe Celebrates Bears Ears Designation
Today Hopi Tribal Chairman Herman G. Honanie applauds President Obama’s designation of the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) under the Antiquities Act of 1906. This is a landmark decision culminating a broad collaborative effort between conservation groups, federal and state governments and five tribal groups including Hopi, Zuni,Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute and The Navajo Nation. For the Hopi Tribe, the Bears Ears represents a “cultural landscape” that contains pristine wilderness areas; canyons, mesas, deserts, forests, springs, streams and rivers. These lands provide much needed refuge for the flora, fauna and birds found here. All of which are inextricably connected to the longevity of Hopi history and ancestors in this region. This history includes the earliest inhabitants, the Archaic and Ancestral Puebloan cultures. http://bit.ly/2iSnztv – Lyle Banlenquah via Angles & Momentum
Blogs Worth Reading: Craig Childs on the Power of Hope
I joined a film crew several years ago in Chilean Patagonia where we put together a flick opposing dams along the turquoise rivers of the Aysén region. At the time, stopping the advance of some of the biggest investors in the world seemed impossible. But soon more films were made, protests ignited across the country to save its wildest rivers, and a $10 billion mega-dam project was halted. I can’t claim more than a bit part, a grain of sand, but somehow all of the grains add up. Three years ago I was involved in another film project in Utah, pushing a nascent national monument in hopes that President Obama would sweep it into existence in his last days in office. I met with a small crew of two filmmakers and a traveling companion in a convoluted sandstone desert. In winter and spring, we backpacked through knee-deep snow, slept in caves, and climbed into sculpted, echoing canyons. Our intention was to show a landscape in need of preservation, a place up for tar sands development. We approached it from the ground, from a very human perspective, seeing it with our eyes, feeling it with our fingertips, cameras following as we went. http://bit.ly/2iSpaje – The Last Word On Nothing
Video Link: Native Nations Celebrate Bears Ears Proclamation
A celebration today in favor of the Bears Ears National Monument. Several hundred Native American’s gathered in monument valley to praise President Obama for his declaration. Many of the speakers were amazed that he listened to their request. http://bit.ly/2iRWA3u – Good4Utah.Com
Native American Engagement Crucial for a Fair Monument Designation Process
One of the great fallacies associated with the outdoors is that diverse peoples are not present in or connected to it. If people are sincere in wanting to see us there, they need only look. Even if regarding our history in the most colonial sense — picking the country’s cotton or fruit, building its railroads, or even stewarding its ancient spirit — we have had a highly visible presence outside. What white America mostly means when it declares the absence of certain communities from the outdoors is that we tend not to be engaged in a manner consistent with mainstream recreational behavior: We usually are not the geared-up seekers of solitude in the wilderness who have banded together in longstanding green organizations to protect the right of that pursuit, as well as the state of the planet that suits us best. http://bit.ly/2iS41aL – High Country News
Farming Company Blocks County Road that Provides Public Access to Comb Ridge
The new owner of land outside Bluff has blocked a route the public commonly uses to get to Utah’s Comb Ridge — an area long popular with nearby residents that just became part of a new national monument. Lyman Family Farm LLC acquired the 391-acre parcel along U.S. Highway 163 in October, and soon padlocked a gate intersecting a county road that crosses into but quickly exits the property. The new owner also posted a “No trespassing” sign. No one disputes the right of Lyman Family Farm, a company started by Utah air-ambulance executive Joe Hunt, to restrict access to its land. But blocking the county road, which accesses public land, is stirring controversy. http://bit.ly/2iS3O7v – Salt Lake Tribune
New Mexico’s Lincoln County Begins Process for Preservation Planning for Fort Stanton
During their stated meeting on December 22, 2016, the Lincoln County Commission voted unanimously to submit an application for a state administered Certified Local Government Program grant. The $20,000 grant would support the first phase in the creation of a professionally drafted Historic Preservation Plan for the Fort Stanton State Historic Site.
New House Rule to Ease Federal Land Transfers Utilizes Rather Strange Logic
The change was approved Tuesday 233 to 190 as part of a broader collection of rules which will govern how the House will operate during the 115th Congress ranging from budget guidelines to ethics standards. The lands transfer provision didn’t figure in the debate. Previously, when Congress wanted to transfer public lands managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or other federal agency, the Congressional Budget Office, Congress’ research arm, calculated the cost to the U.S. Treasury by computing what revenues the lands provide over 10 years, such as grazing fees or oil and gas royalties. Under House rules, before a bill approving a transfer could be adopted, budget cuts would have to be made in other federal programs equal to the value of that land. The rules change eliminates that budgetary barrier to land transfer bills. http://bit.ly/2iRPIDf – High Country News
Preservation Efforts a Labor of Love at Taliesin West
Encountering Fred Prozzillo’s delicate demeanor and quiet style might not give the impression of a man enthralled in a labor of love. In a conference room tucked away at Scottsdale City Hall, Mr. Prozzillo sat in the back corner ready for an opportunity to explain to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission the scope of renovation plans to unfold at what he referred to as Frank Lloyd Wright’s “laboratory.” http://bit.ly/2iS19e6 – Scottsdale Independent
Historic District Designation for Cortez Remains Uncertain
After months of waiting, the Cortez Historic Preservation Board wants to move forward on establishing a historic district on Montezuma Avenue. At the board’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, vice chairwoman Linda Towle said it was time to start working on the Montezuma project again, after it was stalled last summer in anticipation of possible changes to the Cortez land-use code. The avenue is lined with some of the oldest houses in Cortez, and designating part of it as an official historic district has been a dream of Towle’s for more than a year. The board started raising support for the district last summer, but stopped after city attorney Mike Green questioned the wording of the current land use code for historic districts at a city council workshop in July. http://bit.ly/2iS3rKg – The Cortez Journal
Visitation Up Dramatically at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
The trend is positive at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, which experienced its second consecutive year of notable growth in visitor numbers. The Ruins reported a 2016 visitor total of 77,912, an increase of 4.2 percent over the total of 74,766 reported in 2015, which experienced an even steeper increase over the 63,698 the previous year. These numbers include those who paid for admission and the best estimate of how many people attended free events or drove through the parking lot without entering the visitor center. http://bit.ly/2iSiL7v – Casa Grande Daily Dispatch
Auction to Benefit Old Pueblo Archaeology – Tucson
Tickets are now available for the January 21, 6 p.m. “Art for Archaeology” auction of Southwestern arts and crafts to benefit the nonprofit Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s education and research programs. This gala event at Tucson’s JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort (3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.) features opportunities to indulge in delicious hors d’oeuvres and bid on over 200 beautiful Southwestern ethnic arts, crafts, and western U.S.-themed art items donated by famous artists. Tickets are $75 each or 2 for $125 before 3 p.m. January 11, or $80 at the door if there are still openings. 520-798-1201 or email@example.com.
Tour Opportunity – Guevavi and Calabazas
Tumacacori National Historical Park is again offering tours to the historic mission sites of Guevavi and Calabazas. These fragile ruins, protected within the national park, are normally closed to the public and can be visited only as part of these special, r eserved tours. These tours will take place on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, January through March 2017, beginning at 9am and returning to Tumacacori at 1pm. The cost for the tour is $25 per person. Reservations are required. To make a reservation, visit the National Park Service reservation website at www.recreation.gov. For more information, call the Tumacacori visitor center at 520-377-5060 or visit their website at http://nps.gov/tuma.
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
The Santa Fe Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America will present, on Tuesday, January 19, a lecture by Paul F. Reed, of Archaeology Southwest. The topic will be “Life and Ritual at the Edge of the Lava: The Las Ventanas Community.” The Las Ventanas community lies about 110 km south of Pueblo Bonito, near the southern limits of Chacoan influence. Significantly, this great house community exhibits a well-developed ritual landscape that emerged over at least 100 years of occupation. The program will explore the dramatic ritual landscape of the community. The lecture will begin at 7:30 pm in the back room of the Pecos Trail Cafe.
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Dr. Sean Gregory Dolan, Archaeologist, Environmental Compliance and Protection, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Co-Author, The Source Provenance of an Obsidian Eden Point from New Mexico; and Black Rocks in the Borderlands: Obsidian Procurement in the North American Southwest and Mexican Northwest (Dissertation) who will give a lecture “Tewa Pueblo Field-houses: Archaeological Discoveries in Los Alamos” on January 16 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe as part of the Ancient Sites Ancient Stories Lecture Series. Admission is by subscription or $12 at the door. No reservations are necessary. Refreshments are served. Seating is limited. Contact Connie Eichstaedt 505 466-2775; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://southwestseminars.org