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International Tourism at Places Such As Mesa Verde in Decline

Congress Takes Aim at Bears Ears

The President Lacks the Authority to Rescind National Monuments

The Antiquities Act Is Threatened

Fire Adds Richness to the Land

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The Bears Ears Report

Tribal Commission on Bears Ears Declares Revocation of Monument Status Would Be Tragic
Members of a newly formed tribal advisory commission for the Bears Ears National Monument reminded Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a letter Friday that his agency must partner with them, and warned him that rescinding or shrinking the monument would be “absolute tragedies.” Utah’s congressional delegation and state leaders including Gov. Gary Herbert have asked President Donald Trump to rescind or shrink the 1.35 million acre monument in southeastern Utah that was designated by former President Barack Obama in December. http://bit.ly/2noOtya – US News and World Report

Editorial: Will We Default upon Our Partnership with Native Americans Again?
I fear we are headed down an old and familiar path at Bears Ears. We promise Indian people that we will honor treaties, that we will recognize their rights to lands they have called home for millennia. We, the United States of America, make promises. Then, we break them. The Bears Ears National Monument proclamation isn’t a treaty, but the president’s words have the weight of law, granting new protections for a swath of public lands “profoundly sacred to many Native American tribes.” And now Utah’s office-holders are asking a new president to rescind the monument, to once again default on our legal agreements with Native nations. http://bit.ly/2noHjJX – Salt Lake Tribune

Monument Revocation on Shaky Legal Ground
Could the new Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah be overturned or decreased in size by the Trump administration? Utah legislators and the San Juan County Commission are urging President Donald Trump to undo the controversial monument. But at a legal forum put on by Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, lawyers said it was unlikely. And if an attempt was made to undo the 1.3 million-acre monument or reduce its size, environmentalists and Native American tribes said they would put up a fight to stop it. http://bit.ly/2noK1zf – Cortez Journal

Outdoor Outfitter Patagonia Creates Virtual Reality Experiences in Support of Bears Ears
For years, Patagonia worked to protect natural land across the United States. Since 2013, it’s mainly focused on Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and now, its latest initiative is a collection of interactive 360-degree films which highlight the cultural and recreational importance of this threatened region. This is Bears Ears National Monument is powered by Google’s 360 technology. While anyone has the ability to view it through a web browser, the website is best experienced through a smartphone using a virtual reality headset like Google Cardboard. Through ten short films, users are able to look around and feel immersed as they listen to stories from Native American tribal leaders and outdoor athletes. The experience ends with a call-to-action to the new Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, to stand up for public lands. http://bit.ly/2noNWw2 – Digital Trends

Reminder: Archaeology Café (Tempe): Inclusive Ideologies and Social Mechanisms
At our March 21 meeting, Bill Doelle and Jeff Clark will talk about Inclusive Ideologies and Social Mechanisms— Two Ancient Examples from along the Gila River, their latest research, preservation, and outreach initiative. We gather after 5:00 p.m., and presentations begin at 6:00 p.m. We meet at Macayo’s Depot Cantina, 300 S. Ash Ave., Tempe.  http://bit.ly/2n1GlTX – Archaeology Southwest

Article on New Mexico Government’s Chaco Memorial Vote Explores the Deeper Issues on the Chaco Landscape
Saturday night, freshman state Rep. Derrick Lente watched one of his first initiatives turn into a showdown on the House floor. Earlier in the session, Lente’s memorial to protect cultural and historical sites near Chaco Canyon received bipartisan support and passed through the House State Government, Indian and Veterans’ Affairs Committee unanimously. Something changed, though. By the time it reached the House floor, the Democrat’s memorial had triggered uncertainty and skepticism from Republicans. That’s because there was an elephant lurking in the room, said Lente, who is from the Pueblo of Sandia. “It’s the f-word,” he said in an interview afterward. “Fracking.” http://bit.ly/2noC0u1 – New Mexico Political Report

The Clovis Comet Theory Will Just Not Go Away
No one knows for certain why the Clovis people and iconic beasts — mastodon, mammoth and saber-toothed tiger — living some 12,800 years ago suddenly disappeared. However, a discovery of widespread platinum at archaeological sites across the United States by three University of South Carolina archaeologists has provided an important clue in solving this enduring mystery. The research findings are outlined in a new study in Scientific Reports, a publication of Nature. The study, authored by 10 researchers, builds on similar findings of platinum — an element associated with cosmic objects like asteroids or comets — found by Harvard University researchers in an ice-core from Greenland in 2013. http://bit.ly/2nHxULa – Science Daily

Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Jeremy Moss, M.A., Archaeologist and Chief, Resource Stewardship and Science, Pecos National Historic Park, National Park Service; Former Archaeologist, Chaco Culture, Tumacacori National Historic Parks, Canyonlands and Saguaro National Parks, and Glen Canyon Natural Recreation Area; Co-Author, ‘Patterning in Procurement of Obsidian in Chaco Canyon and Chaco-Era Communities’, in Journal of Archaeological Science who will give a lecture Obsidian Procurement and Trade at Chaco Canyon on April 3 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe as part of the Ancient Sites Ancient Stories II Lecture Series held to honor and acknowledge The Archaeological Conservancy. Admission is $15 at the door or by subscription. No reservations are necessary. Refreshments are served. Seating is limited. Contact Connie Eichstaedt at tel: 505 466-2775; email: southwest seminar@aol.com; website: http://southwestseminars.org

Thanks to Adrianne Rankin for contributing to this week’s newsletter.

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