Message #177:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: NMAC legislative alert
Date: Fri, 09 May 1997 07:25:28 -0700

From:	Wolky Toll 

The NMAC executive committee recently mailed this to the membership and we
would like to further distribute it.  

New Mexico Archaeological Council Legislative Alert May 8, 1997

Senator Pete Domenici and Representatives Steve Schiff and Joe Skeen have
introduced bills that would allow a six-lane freeway-type road to pass
through Petroglyph National Monument.  The bill proposes to withdraw 8.5
acres from the park to provide a corridor for Paseo del Norte.  The
extension is opposed by the Friends of the Albuquerque Petroglyphs, the
National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Historic Santa Fe Foundation,
and the Sierra Club, to name a few.  NMAC has been asked to join in
opposing the extension and contact our representatives and Secretary
Babbitt as soon as possible.

Such a withdrawal is a bad idea for a number of reasons.

It would set a bad precedent for impacting National Parks and Monuments any
time a municipality does not anticipate growth and plan accordingly.  Under
current law, National Park Service property is protected from construction
that does not serve a direct park purpose.  Since the extension at
Petroglyph Monument serves no park purpose, legislation must be introduced.
If successful, this will chip away at the protection for ALL parks and
make it easier the next time.

The expressway would irreparably harm the resources of the Monument and the
visitor experience.  It would create a major barrier across the monument as
well as noise, traffic, and visual intrusion.

National Parks and Monuments are for the benefit of the entire public.
Allowing the roadway will benefit only a few by cutting down on the commute
time, at the expense of those who use the Monument for its intended purpose.

The area is sacred to several Pueblo groups.

If Paseo de Norte is extended, it will promote even more uncontrolled
growth.  Albuquerque's Westside Plan recommends against extending
infrastructure to the far west end of Paseo for eight years.  The extension
would drain funds for other more needed infrastructure projects and promote
growth in that are
a requiring even more roads.  Uncontrolled growth will diminish the
open-space values implicit in creating the Monument as well as impacting
the cultural resources it seeks to protect.

There are cost-effect alternatives.  A national transportation planning
expert (Robert Morris) has developed a plan that would alleviate congestion
by simply adding turn lanes and through lanes at key intersections and by
widening existing west side arterials.

New Mexico residents, please write, E-mail, or call Senator Bingaman urging
him not to support the bill, and let Senator Domenici know that you do not
like his bill.  We have had a disturbing report that Domenici claims to
have heard nothing negative.  Write to Secretary Babbitt asking him to
continue to prevent intrusion like Paseo, and to the bill's sponsors
stating your objections.  For those living outside New Mexico, contact your
representatives, as this issue has the potential to open the door to
development in all Parks and Monuments.

    Senator Jeff Bingaman
    Washington, D.C. 20510

    Secretary Bruce Babbitt
    1849 C Street, NW
    Washington, D.C. 20240