By Demis Foster, NM Wild Santa Fe Director Albuquerque Journal, Letter to the Editor April 17, 2012
THERE IS a reason that Chaco Canyon is honored as a World Heritage site. It is one of the unique, culturally significant landscapes in the world. It is also still considered a sacred site by virtually all of the pueblos as well as the Navajos.
In Leslie Linthicum’s recent article, “Tightening Down on Chaco Visits,” she points out that in the park’s new management plan they would require visitors to watch an orientation video before entering the park loop.
This is called “education.” I believe educating the public is a good thing and I am happy to be inconvenienced for a few minutes if it means people will understand just how fragile this environment really is.
Linthicum states that Chaco is currently “free to unencumbered rambling.” This is not the case. You can’t “hike over hill and dale” wherever you please in the park. There are already restrictions in place to stay on established trails and out of sensitive areas. And there is good reason for this. Even the most well-intentioned appreciator of Chaco can create damage to fragile areas by tromping through ancient ruins “unencumbered.”
Once-ancient walls have been carved, painted or walked on over and over. The integrity of that structure is compromised and will never be as it once was. I applaud the Park Service for having the foresight and vision to look toward the future as they revise their management plan because Chaco is worth it. We have a responsibility to future generations.
SHIPROCK — A public scoping meeting presented at the Shiprock Chapter house today by local officials of the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs to address oil and gas development drew
Future of Chaco in question as oil and gas close in
Published November 7, 2014
By Anne Constable for The Santa Fe New Mexican Saturday, October 25, 2014
A thousand years ago, Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico was the center of a thriving culture. Massive multistory buildings called great houses rose against a dramatic high desert landscape of mountains and
CHACO CANYON – The roads radiating out from Chaco Canyon stretch out across mesa tops toward distant mountains. These roads, which average 30 feet wide, were highways of foot travel for people who had neither the wheel nor