There is something about temperatures above 110° that catches your attention. Not in a good way. But we need to pay attention to these unpleasant messages. We really do.
Tucson had eight days running of 110 or above. Of course, Tucson is a couple degrees cooler than Phoenix, which is a few degrees below Yuma. Etc. So I didn’t experience the leading edge of the heat wave.
Sunday afternoon, as I was finishing the laundry, I noticed movement outside our double doors. A bobcat! It came very close as it crossed our brick patio. I froze, and observed its face as it strode by, mouth open and panting.
Last week I spotted a bird I’ve never seen in our yard before—an Abert’s Towhee. They like well-watered areas, which are now utterly parched. The water and seeds we offer probably attracted it.
At the same time, we are losing our “regulars.” The diligent Anna’s hummingbird mama I saw on her nest every morning was absent several days running. Finally, I checked her nest. I wish I hadn’t. The tiny abode cradled a mummified baby and an unhatched egg.
Not long ago, two Cooper’s hawks were noisy regulars, restoring their nest from previous years. They’ve moved on. A couple of weeks ago I promised a report on their anticipated babies. It won’t happen this year.
Two hours before sunset the other day, I looked out into our wash. I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. I scrambled inside, grabbed my binoculars, and zoomed in. It was a Great Horned owl. Its massive wings were arrayed like giant scoops. It’s hard to disperse body heat when the air is so hot. The magnificent bird, otherwise motionless, was panting.
A heat wave delivers a lot of information if we are observant.
We are in the early stages of the climate crisis. And it is already ugly.
There are productive responses.
Although the conservation efforts we pursue at Archaeology Southwest focus on cultural resources, maintaining intact landscapes also promotes natural healing processes. We’ll continue to share information on how we and many others are working to protect and restore public lands, as well as private lands.
There’s a lot to do, and it only gets harder as temperatures rise.
I’ll close with a link to a ∼30-minute film from the perspective of Greenland’s ice, given in the Kalaallisut language of West Greenland. The film is Utuqaq, by Iva Radivojević, and I learned of it through Emergence Magazine. The ice asks, “What do they [the visitors, scientists] want?” It is stunning, moving, deeply thought-provoking, and—forgive me, given its seriousness—momentarily cooling.
Take care, Friends,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
P.S. We really need your help if you want us to get the word out. Remember—it’s your word! And we really do want to share it. So, please submit news, events, video and podcast links, publication announcements, and other resources to this link for consideration. It makes it so much easier for us to bring you this news digest every week. Questions?
Banner image: Ruijie Yao
Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition Responds to Reports of Haaland’s Recommendations
[T]he Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition (the Coalition) would like to acknowledge Secretary Haaland’s deliberate and inclusive outreach to stakeholders, including making time to tour the various landscapes and hear from individuals on the ground in the State of Utah during her first month in office. We are thankful that Secretary Haaland concurs with the Coalition’s assertion that former President Trump’s attempt to remove and replace the original Bears Ears National Monument was unjustified. We also reassert that the Coalition, comprised of the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and Zuni Tribe has and will always advocate for the protection of the greater Bears Ears cultural landscape, which is an interconnected area of 1.9+ million acres under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management and United States Forest Service. Statement by the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition | Read More >>
Commentary: Americans and Utahns Support National Monuments
Sen. Mike Lee is attempting, yet again, to block presidents from creating or expanding national monuments. A Colorado College poll this year shows that 73% of Utahns support monuments, parks and refuges to protect historic sites or provide areas for recreation, and 74% of Utahns support restoring national monuments. Lee’s proposal is in direct opposition to the will of the people in Utah. Sarah Bauman in the Salt Lake Tribune | Read More >>
Commentary: Take Haaland’s Advice
Just erase the unwise and almost certainly illegal actions taken by the Trump administration to shrink each of those monuments and put them back the way they were. And then, in the case of Bears Ears, get busy doing the things that are supposed to go with monument status. Come up with the plans and the funding to protect the land and make its history and beauty available, carefully, to all. Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board | Read More >>
Beaudreau Confirmed as Deputy Secretary of the Interior
The Biden administration put Tommy Beaudreau forward for deputy Interior secretary in a bid to offer Democrats and Republicans a consensus pick for the No. 2 job at the federal agency. Today, the gambit paid off. Beaudreau was confirmed in a 88-9 vote, with eight Republicans joining Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats, in opposition. Emma Dumain at E&E News | Read More >>
Read John Wallin’s (Conservation Lands Foundation) statement applauding Beaudreau’s confirmation >>
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Reopens
IPCC, though humble in size from the outside, is a destination that surprises first-time guests with an open-air central courtyard adorned with murals by some of the pueblo world’s greatest artists. In fact there are over 22 murals throughout the center. There you can see weekly dances by groups from various pueblos and other Southwestern tribes. Jonathan Sims in The Paper (Albuquerque) | Read More >>
Acoma Blue Corn Grows Again at Acoma
“Each color of corn represents a cardinal direction for us: yellow to the north, blue to the west, red to the south, and white to the east. Those ears of corn literally represent our place in the world.” … Last year, [Aaron] Lowden was the only person in his community to grow blue corn (yaak’a goy-sh’k in the Acoma language), which symbolically represents much more than just a cardinal direction for this Southwestern population. Prior to that, no one had grown Acoma blue corn on Acoma land for years—maybe even decades. Elena Valeriote at KCET (public media) | Read More >>
Mesa Verde News
Mesa Verde National Park Superintendent Cliff Spencer gave an update about park changes, projects, increased visitation and his upcoming retirement during a Zoom presentation Wednesday with the Rotary Club of Durango. There are several road projects this summer, he said. The Cliff Palace tours and loop road are temporarily closed to allow for road construction. The road is being improved, overlooks are being upgraded to accommodate the disabled and a new shade structure will go in at Balcony House. Once complete, the road will reopen and the Cliff Palace tours will resume. Jim Mimiaga in The Journal | Read More >>
Preservation Archaeology Resources for Educators
Break down barriers, inspire better conversations, and strengthen the future of Preservation Archaeology when you connect your students to our various resources for educators. Become a Preservation Archaeology Education Partner by exploring and sharing our free and low-cost resources for educators. Archaeology Southwest | Learn More >>
REMINDER: June 24 Webinar: Do You Want to Write for SAPIENS?
Editor-in-chief Chip Colwell will explain the ins-and-outs of writing for the magazine and its peer publications. Learn who is behind the SAPIENS editorial team, how to propose and craft an article, and why writing for the public matters. Whether you’re an anthropologist who has successfully published popular pieces or a graduate student looking to publish for the first time, this webinar will provide you some key tools. SAPIENS | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
July 1 Webinar: Western Pawneeland
With Carlton Gover. When people think of Colorado Indigenous Nations, the Ute, Pueblo, Arapaho, Navajo, and Apache usually come to mind. However, rarely does the public realize that the Pawnee have a deep relationship to the Rocky Mountain Front Range and Western plains that spans over hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The Pawnee have oral traditions that date back to the Ice-Age which potentially describes the Ice-Free Corridor, names for Colorado Front Range locations that hold sacred significance and hunting camp sites along the Western extents of the Platte and Republican Rivers. This presentation will cover the recorded oral traditions which tie the Pawnee to Colorado and Wyoming, the archaeological evidence for the extent of Pawneeland in the West, and the Euro-American accounts of Pawnees west of their core homeland in Central Nebraska and Kansas. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Position Announcement: NPS Tribal Liaison, Glen Canyon and Rainbow Bridge
This position serves as the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument Tribal Liaison for American Indian tribes associated with the two park units. The tribal liaison provides authoritative advice to the superintendent and park management team on tribal issues, and serves as the park’s technical expert on law, policy and guidance pertaining to tribal consultation and the government-to-government (G2G) relationship. The variety of issues for which the incumbent is responsible is broad, including providing advice to the park on government-to-government consultation with tribes on park management issues, advising the park superintendent in consultative and working relationships with 6+ tribes on issues pertaining to Indian Law and policy, planning and development issues, concessions contracts, compliance, resource use and access, special use permits, exhibit and interpretive programs, boundary disputes, and dispute resolution. National Park Service | Learn More >>
See you next week!