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Department of the Interior Receives Overwhelming Public Support for Bears Ears

Burning Down the (Pit) House

How to Protect Our National Monuments

Bears Ears and Monument Reviews

The Antiquities Act Is Challenged

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International Tourism at Places Such As Mesa Verde in Decline

International Tourism at Places Such As Mesa Verde in Decline
It should go without saying that any U.S. travel ban will reduce incoming travel. That, after all, is the point. But when the Trump administration moved, so far unsuccessfully, to restrict travel from predominately Muslim nations it believed were terrorism risks, the reaction was swift: Potential visitors from many other nations canceled their trips. According to The Washington Post, an estimated 4.3 million fewer people will visit the United States this year, resulting in $7.4 billion in lost revenue. http://bit.ly/2ojiVen – Durango Herald

2016 Was a Banner Year for Heritage Tourism in Colorado Parks
The NPS states 7,457,422 visitors to national parks in Colorado in 2016 spent about $486 million in the state. The record visitation and spending supported 7,427 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the state’s economy of $722 million dollars. “From Rocky Mountain to Mesa Verde, the 12 national park units in Colorado attract visitors from within the state, across the country and around the world,” said NPS Intermountain Region Director Sue Masica in a release. “Whether they are out for a weekend, a school field trip, or a month-long vacation, visitors come to have a great experience and end up spending some money along the way. This new report also shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the Park Service – and a big factor in Colorado’s economy. That is a result we can all support.” http://bit.ly/2ojevUw – KKTV 11 News

Editorial: Public Lands Drive Economic Growth
As co-founder and managing principal of Beartooth Group, a Montana real estate investment firm that restores agricultural and sporting properties across the American West, I have seen firsthand how our national parks, forests, monuments and other public lands drive economic growth. That’s why I am a member of the Conservation for Economic Growth Coalition, a group of investors and entrepreneurs who believe that public access to these public lands lures entrepreneurs to Montana and helps employers here and across the West recruit and retain the talented, driven people we need to grow our companies and our economy. http://bit.ly/2oAdjYU – Santa Fe New Mexican

Enigmatic Chaco
The San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico can be a forbidding place. There are year-round rivers in the north, but in the central area, you don’t want to be on foot with no water and no friends from horizon to horizon. It was right here, however, that the Ancestral Puebloans built the Chaco Canyon complex, scores of masonry buildings with thousands of rooms — and not only did people flourish here for most of four centuries, but it was apparently a celebrated place of pilgrimage. http://bit.ly/2oj4arT – Santa Fe New Mexican

Nothing Enigmatic about Fracking and Ruin
Anticipating an onslaught of heavy equipment, drilling rigs, compressors, tanks, and pipelines, archaeologists fear their timeline for studying the landscape beyond Chaco Canyon will last only as long as the current slump in energy prices. They believe there is much to learn, even after more than a century of research. “We have a lot of facts but can’t agree on what Chaco was,” writes archaeologist Stephen H. Lekson in his book The Chaco Meridian: Centers of Political Power in the Ancient Southwest (1999, new edition 2015). Why did people devote 250 years to the construction of a dozen grand buildings, called great houses, in the canyon — one of them, Pueblo Bonito, the size of the Roman Coliseum when it was completed. Author’s Note: This article contains a misstatement: it asserts that “Chaco Meridian” (Lekson 1999) was not peer-reviewed. It was, indeed, peer-reviewed before its publication by a scholarly press. The reviewers were named and thanked in the Acknowledgements. http://bit.ly/2oiXauR – Santa Fe New Mexican

Phoenix “Coughs Up” Its Ancient Past
When archaeologists dig in the dirt in a downtown Phoenix development site, they know that chances are, they will find something. But they don’t always know exactly what the earth will yield. So it was when a team of archaeologists told the developers of a Fry’s Food Store and high-rise across the street from CityScape last week that they had unearthed the remnants of a half-dozen prehistoric homes. http://bit.ly/2oAaEP8 – Phoenix New Times

What’s Next for Bears Ears
When Barack Obama declared Bears Ears National Monument on December 28, 2016, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition was charged with developing a management plan in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. The Coalition saw President Obama’s decision to provide members with a major voice in shaping policies for the monument as “a tremendous step toward healing past injustices suffered by the Tribes.” Tribal leaders fully recognize both the opportunity presented by Obama’s action and the political challenges confronting them. Zuni Councilman and Coalition co-chair Carleton Bowekaty says the tribes are prepared to surmount what may be considerable obstacles to success. http://bit.ly/2oA9QJZ – Terrian.org

Orin Hatch Visits Bears Ears
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, toured San Juan County on Thursday and met with local residents over the controversial Bears Ears National Monument designation. “When President Obama designated the Bears Ears monument in December, he did so ignoring the voices of Utah leaders who were united in opposition, and even more importantly, ignoring the voices of the local Utahns most affected by this massive land grab,” Hatch said. http://bit.ly/2oj5oDn – Deseret News

Biography of a Notorious Looter
On a late morning in August 2014, a scorcher in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Dr. Jonathan Bourne and a few of  his hiking buddies plied the switchbacks of California’s Glacier Divide, having just bolted past two alpine lakes, not even stopping for as much as a sip. The group was competing in the annual Sierra Challenge, a 10-day quest to tag 10 of the most remote peaks in the Sierra. It took 58-year-old Bourne, an anesthesiologist in nearby Mammoth Lakes, only a few hours to reach a 12,900-foot summit, ahead of everyone but one. For much of his adult life, Bourne had fashioned himself as something of an amateur archaeologist. His obsession with collecting began in 1991, around the time that two hikers in the Alps found a frozen mummy that turned out to be 5,000 years old. Wouldn’t it be great, Bourne asked his companions, if we found a prehistoric man here in the Sierra’s melting glaciers? http://mjm.ag/2ozItju – Men’s Journal

The Clovis Comet Hypothesis and Graham Hancock’s Pseudoscience
Ancient stone carvings confirm that a comet struck the Earth around 11,000BC, a devastating event which wiped out woolly mammoths and sparked the rise of civilizations. Experts at the University of Edinburgh analysed mysterious symbols carved onto stone pillars at Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey, to find out if they could be linked to constellations. http://bit.ly/2ozZ9as – The Telegraph

Opening National Parks to Oil Drilling Is on the National Agenda
It’s no secret that oil and gas companies are on the hunt for new places to drill. But the quest for more fossil fuels could heat up in places you might not expect: our national parks. With President Donald Trump’s executive order on energy, federal agencies are now reviewing all rules that inhibit domestic energy production. And that includes regulations around drilling in national parks that, if overturned, could give oil and gas companies easier access to leases on federal lands they’ve long coveted. http://bit.ly/2oA5YIZ – Vox

A Clarification on Last Week’s Article on Recapture Canyon
After more than a decade of analysis, the Bureau of Land Management on Monday decided to not re-open Recapture Canyon to motorized users, although it did agree to establish 6.8 miles of routes on the rim of the archaeologically rich canyon just east of Blanding. The decision, which rejects San Juan County’s right-of-way application, allows only non-motorized travel on the canyon bottom and its benches along Recapture Creek — the scene of a 2014 protest group ride that landed San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman in jail for 10 days. http://bit.ly/2oAli8m – Salt Lake Tribune  Editor’s note: A tip of the hat to Troy Scotter who recognized that the previous article was misleading.

Canyon of the Ancients Kicks off Night Skies Program
Stargazing expert Jennifer Frost is on a mission to make sure the public does not miss out on the wonders of the night sky. The new interpretive park ranger for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument will host a free star-viewing program at 8 p.m. April 25 at the Anasazi Heritage Center. It is the first of several star-gazing events at the museum as part of the Four Corners Lecture Series and is part of an effort by the monument to gain designation as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. http://bit.ly/2oA98wj – Durango Herald

Archaeology Café (Tucson): An Evening with Teresita Majewski
For our May 2 café, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Teresita Majewski (Vice President, Statistical research, Inc.) for an evening of conversation about historical archaeology and cultural resource management. We meet on the patio of Casa Vicente, 375 S. Stone Ave., Tucson. Enter through the restaurant. Discussion begins after 6:00 p.m. It is best to arrive before 5:30 p.m., as seating is open and unreserved, but limited.

Lecture Opportunity – Cortez
As part of the Four Corners Lecture Series, the Hisatsinom Chapter of the Colorado Archaeology Society is pleased to present Dr. Lewis Borck on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Sunflower Theater, 8 E. Main St., Cortez, CO to discuss “Dissent in Deep History: Social Movements and Intentional ‘Collapse’ in the Ancient U.S. Southwest.” With a focus on the Hohokam, Lewis counters the traditional explanations of cultural change by looking at other ways to examine horizontal reorganization. Contact Kari Schleher at 505-269-4475 with questions.

Lecture Opportunity – Price UT
On Monday, May 8, at 7:00 p.m., the Prehistoric Museum welcomes archaeologist and writer R. E. Burrillo, who will present “The Archaeology of Bears Ears.” The museum is located at 155 E Main St, Price, Utah 84501. For more information, contact Shai Reiswig, 435-613-5755, Shai.Reiswig@usu.edu

Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Theresa Pasqual (Acoma) Archaeologist and Former Director, Historic Preservation Office, Acoma Pueblo; Advisor, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Independent Consultant on Tribal resource management and sacred site protection who will give a lecture “Resistance to Resilience: Protecting Sacred Places in Turbulent Times” on May 1 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe as part of the Ancient Sites Ancient Stories II Lecture Series held annually to honor and acknowledge The Archaeological Conservancy. Admission is by subscription or $15 at the door. No reservations are necessary. Refreshments are served. Seating is limited. Contact Connie Eichstaedt tel: 505 466-2775; email: southwestseminar@aol.com; website: http://bit.ly/YhJddr

Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Dr. Miriam Kolar, Music Archaeologist and Archaeoacoustician and Weatherhead Resident Scholar, School for Advanced Research; Author, Archaeological Psychoacoustics at Chavin de Huantar, Peru and Sensing Sonically at Andean Formative Chavin de Huantar who will give a lecture on April 24 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe as part of the Ancient Sites Ancient Stories II lecture series held to honor The Archaeological Conservancy. She is a pioneer of Cultural Acoustics studies of sound and social interaction and her work in experiential archaeology in the Andes will be the basis for her talk, “Archaeoacoustics Research at Chavin de Huantar Peru.” Admission is by subscription or $15 at the door. Refreshments are served. No reservation is necessary. Seating is limited. Contact Connie Eichstaedt tel: 505 466-2775; email: southwest seminar@aol.com; website: http://bit.ly/YhJddr

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