Burning Down the (Pit) House
In 2015, volunteers joined me in building a half-scale model of a typical dwelling from the Early Agricultural period (2000 B.C.–A.D. 50) in the Tucson Basin. We built the model near our full-scale replica Hohokam pithouse at Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley, a public preserve where we do Hands-On experiential archaeology outreach as part of the ranch’s “Second Saturdays” events. We wondered how easy it was for such pithouses to burn. Was burning more likely deliberate or accidental? What happened as the structure burned, and how did that culminate in the patterns archaeologists find? http://bit.ly/2qISvT4 – Archaeology Southwest
Salt Lake Mayor Biskupski Rallies Public Voices for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments
As Mayor of Salt Lake City, I urge residents of Utah’s Capital City to join me in speaking to protect the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Southern Utah. These two natural treasures are under review by the U.S. Interior Department, and in jeopardy of being reduced in size or of having their monument status revoked entirely. Any federal decision to modify acreage or roll back protection of these incredible spaces will have negative and far-reaching impacts on Salt Lake City, as well as our entire state. http://bit.ly/2qJ1rbk – Salt Lake City Mayor’s Blog
The Battle over The Antiquities Act Continues
We’re in uncharted waters. A presidential administration just launched an overarching attack on more than 11 million acres of previously protected landscapes. The Trump administration’s new initiative to overturn national monuments designated over the past 20 years is unlike anything in American history. Never has a president launched such an overarching attack on the bedrock underpinnings of American conservation. Never. Literally. Let that sink in. In the 150 years since America first set aside national parks, no president has ever challenged America’s consensus around landscape conservation. Until now. http://bit.ly/2qJ0RKF – Durango Herald
Editorial: Damaging Our National Monuments Will Hurt Rural Economies
National parks and public lands and waters are a critical part of the nation’s economy. Rural and western communities rely on tourism and outdoor recreation — income created by visitors to the country’s most unique sites. Communities like mine in Cortez want more of this economic growth, not less. Visitors to cultural and historic sites spend $800 billion a year, creating a $2 billion payroll. Over 78 percent of tourists are these “heritage” tourists who stay longer and spend more. Locally, Mesa Verde National Park’s 550,000 annual visitors spend $55 million on local lodging, food, gas and souvenirs. http://noconow.co/2qIVMlu – Deborah Gangloff via the Coloradoan
Legal Scholars Cast Doubt on President’s Assertion of Having the Power to Alter or Cancel National Monuments
Nothing gives U.S. presidents the authority to abolish, shrink or otherwise weaken national monuments, four legal scholars have concluded in a new analysis. However timely and significant, the findings are likely to be ignored by President Donald Trump, who appears set on trying to rescind monument status on sites such as the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, or at least shrink them. If he does, the administration will almost certainly be challenged in court. http://bit.ly/2qISmiq – Huffington Post. Full research paper at http://bit.ly/2qJ48cP – Virginia Law Review Online
Absurdly Short Public Comment Period on Bears Ears Particularly Difficult for Native Communities
The public comment period for Bears Ears is open now and extends only until May 26, the Department of Interior announced May 5. The limited time is a hardship for people who live in remote areas without access to the internet, said Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), who is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Heinrich sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke calling on him to extend the public comment period and hold a public meeting of his review of the Bears Ears National Monument.
Editor’s Note: Only 5 Days Left for Public Comment on Bears Ears
Follow this link to make your voice heard. Your message will be even more powerful if you delete the provided script and tell the Department of the Interior what places like Bears Ears mean to you, your family, and your community. http://monumentsforall.org/ – Monuments for All
Six Toes at Chaco?
An ancient society had a foot fetish, particularly when it came to feet with six toes. The strange detail is just one of many scientists are uncovering as they investigate the people of Chaco Canyon in what is now New Mexico. There are many experts simultaneously digging into the canyon’s past to find out more about this long-gone civilization, which thrived 700 to 1,200 years ago, Science News reported. The research includes piecing together bone samples like puzzles to make whole skeletons that will tell stories about the society and examining both the complex building structures and artifacts the people left behind. http://bit.ly/2qJ6Tus – International Business Times.
New Guide for Preservation at National Parks in an Era of Climatic Change
Sitting along the banks of the Santa Cruz River, about 50 miles south of Tucson, the 200-year-old San Jose de Tumacácori mission holds rich tales of native cultures, European religious settlements and battles with Mother Nature. In recent years, heavier-than-usual rainfall eroded the mission’s adobe walls, threatening the monument and its link to southern Arizona history. Now a team of researchers that included a scientist from the University of Arizona has produced a strategic guide to help the National Park Service anticipate and respond to the effects of environmental changes on the mission and other cultural sites across the country. http://bit.ly/2rHEthE – U of A News
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Dr. Larry Benson, Visiting Scientist and Adjunct Curator of Anthropology Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado and former Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska; former Principal Investigator, Desert Research Institute; Retired Earth Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey and Researcher Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who will give a lecture The Source of Chaco Canyon Maize on May 29 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 by subscription or $15 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