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Innovative Study of DNA of Domesticated Animals Used to Track Migrations from Mesa Verde

The Archaeological Backhoe Master and the Early Agricultural Period Footprints – 8/6/2017

New York Times Examines Three Threatened Monuments

The Pace of Vandalism at Our National Parks Continues to Grow – 7/24/17

Diné and Pueblo Youth Join to Fight Fracking of the Chaco Landscape

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The Pace of Vandalism at Our National Parks Continues to Grow – 7/24/17

The Pace of Vandalism at Our National Parks Continues to Grow
What can we do as a culture to cut down on incidences of graffiti at our national parks? That’s the question Mesa Verde National Park officials are asking after the park was the recent target of vandals. In a long message posted on their Facebook page, Mesa Verde National Park officials said they are seeing more and more evidence of graffiti, vandalization and intentional littering. In one such incident, someone rubbed names onto the sandstone using prehistoric charcoal which officials say the vandal dug up in an archeological site along the Petroglyph Point Trail. http://bit.ly/2tRyY0A – Denver 7 News

There Is Still Time to Register for the Pecos Conference (August 10-13, 2017, just outside Santa Fe on Rowe Mesa, N.M.)
Each August, archaeologists gather under open skies somewhere in the southwestern United States or northwestern Mexico.  They set up a large tent for shade, and then spend three or more days together discussing recent research, problems of the field, and the challenges of the profession. http://www.pecosconference.org/registration-for-attendees.html

The Archaeology of Burnt Corn Pueblo
Imagine you lived early in the 14th century, in what we now call New Mexico. Long before Europeans ever set foot here, you might have made your home among sparse pinyon pine and fragrant juniper, in a landscape cut by a maze of dusty arroyos. Imagine gathering corn, drying it on your rooftop and stockpiling it in a storeroom built from earth and timber. You would have relied on this harvest to survive lean times. What would make you burn the whole thing down? That’s the mystery facing archaeologists at the aptly named Burnt Corn Pueblo, south of Santa Fe. To the untrained eye, it doesn’t look like much: a few low mounds, some shards of stone and pottery, and chunks of charcoal scattered on the ground. But for James Snead, a professor at California State University, Northridge, the site holds clues about what life was like here more than 700 years ago. http://bit.ly/2tRWJpt – The Trust for Public Land

New Mexico State Students Get a Taste of Archaeology on the Gila National Forest
Fumiyasu Arakawa in the College of Arts and Sciences is the principal investigator for the department’s field-school program, which is a collaborative effort between NMSU and the Gila National Forest Service. “Students do a very traditional archaeological research that is excavation,” Arakawa said. “They dig about six to eight hours, then they have to process their discoveries.”  This processing includes washing the artifacts, then setting it out to dry. No preservative chemicals are applied to the discoveries because such chemicals might contaminate any evidence that could help archaeologists and anthropologists determine how old the discoveries are and how these objects were used. http://bit.ly/2tRAHTL – NMSU

Giving Elizabeth Campbell Her Due
A mural featuring two subtle smiles clings to the building of 29 Palms Realty. Hundreds drive past those curious gazes every day unaware of the significance of the duo on the design, William and Elizabeth Campbell. The life and work of Elizabeth Campbell has left an irrevocable legacy in Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms. Her work not only revolutionized and challenged archaeological methods of her time, her benevolence to community affairs and growing the town of Twentynine Palms is remembered to this day. http://bit.ly/2tS7jNf –  Hi-Desert Star

Outsourcing National Park Staff Is a Remarkably Poor Idea
The National Park Service is in some serious trouble. Despite National Parks being more popular than ever, the NPS faces a nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog due to not having the staff or the means to make the necessary repairs and upkeep.  Still, the Trump administration is looking to cut costs wherever it can, including a proposed 12 percent cut to the Department of Interior’s budget. How do you make up the backlog and cut costs? It’s been floated in Washington that contractors might be the answer. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke himself has said that he would be receptive to more contractors in an effort to save money. He told a lobbying group, “As the secretary, I don’t want to be in the business of running campgrounds.” http://mjm.ag/2tRzNqv – Men’s Journal

If Zinke Were an Anthropologist
When Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke declared Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho safe from a recommendation that it be downsized, he flashed his geology chops, which raises an intriguing question: Were his educational background in anthropology or ethnology, would Bears Ears National Monument in Utah be safe as well? It’s hard to summarily dispense with that question, or other questions about his decision-making, when it comes to suggesting to President Trump whether this monument should be kept intact, or that monument should be reduced in size, or if another should be abolished (something the president likely couldn’t do without congressional support). http://bit.ly/2tRImRU – National Parks Traveller

Editorial: Protect Our Parks from Commercial Interests
Last year, we celebrated the centennial of the National Park Service and the amazing places across our country our national parks protect. Having grown up in four great western national parks — Zion, Mesa Verde, Petrified Forest and Grand Teton and serving as a National Park Superintendent for 29 years, completing my career at Bryce Canyon National Park, I know firsthand that our country’s most extraordinary natural, cultural and historical landmarks are places that should be celebrated every day. Yet, as we encourage our friends and family to get outside and “find their park,” we also must ensure these places are protected and preserved for future generations to explore. That means not only protecting the parks themselves, but also insuring what happens outside a park does not harm it or the experience of its visitors. http://bit.ly/2tBXaJ9 – Fred Fagergren via the Salt Lake Tribune

Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Deserves National Monument Status
A study released Thursday points to hundreds of known prehistoric and historic sites and the likelihood of thousands more sites yet to be discovered in the Desert Peaks Complex of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The Desert Peaks encompass the Doña Ana Mountains, the Robledo Mountains, the Portrillo Mountains and the Sierra de las Uvas. http://bit.ly/2tRYVxn – Las Cruces Sun News

Arizona Needs the Economic Benefits Generated by All of the State’s National Monuments
The National Park System in Arizona each year draws 12 million visitors, who spend almost $1 billion and support more than 15,000 jobs, according to new fact sheets by Democratic Party members of the Joint Economic Committee in Congress. Public lands advocates hope that will be enough to keep four Arizona national monuments safe as they undergo a review ordered by the U.S. Department of the Interior. President Donald Trump has directed that the monuments’ boundaries conform to the smallest possible acreage necessary to protect the cultural and natural resources. Bryan Martyn, a former Arizona State Parks director and former Pinal County supervisor, says Arizona’s national monuments are crucial to rural economies. Public News Service – http://bit.ly/2usSJ2J

Moonwalker/Geologist Harrison Schmitt to Speak at the Anasazi Heritage Center
The Anasazi Heritage Center and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument hosts Dr. Jack Schmitt, who will present the lecture “Of Coyotes and Moon Landings” on Saturday, July 29. This presentation is part of the Four Corners Lecture Series and the Heritage Center’s Night with the Ancients Astronomy Program series. http://bit.ly/2tS6Wlz – Cortez Journal

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