Message #226

Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 23:01:09
Subject: Arizona Highways Curse?

[ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] :

From: Robert Coody

Have you ever noticed that every spot in Arizona that
is advertised in Arizona Highways magazine gets trashed
in one way or another? Well, prepare yourself for a
biggie, check out the latest treasure story in the August
1998 issue. "Legend haunted Chavez Pass May Have Witnessed
the Massacre of a Wagon Train" by Leo Banks. In this story
is given the location of the ruins of Chavez Pass and how
to get there. Expect to see the end of another cultural
resource in Arizona!! I've already sent a letter to the
editor. This type of journalism must be stopped!!

Robert Coody

From: Peter Pilles Pilles_Peter/
Subject: Re: Arizona Highways Curse?

In fact, we HAVE received a report of recent pothunting
that we are in the process of checking out now. And, as
you note, whenever a place is mentioned in Arizona
Highways, whether it's an archaeological site or just a
"nice area" on the Forest, we ALWAYS see an increase in
visitation. It's a dilemma. Arizona Highways is charged
to write aricles that promote Arizona tourism, but now,
there are so many people in Arizona, that most of the
"nice" areas they promote simply can't take the
increased visitation without destroying their beauty.

From: Ann Howard

Bob--I agree that this is a problem and has been a
problem with this magazine for years....our office and
the Arizona Archaeology Advisory Commission (AAAC) are
trying to work with Arizona Highways (AH) on just this
problem; I'll talk about that a little more in detail
below. However, did you also notice that, after the
lead article "Sanctuary: A Tale of the Rim Country" in
the September 1998 issue of AH, the Editor has added a
note, albeit short, on archaeological site etiquette!
(Our office puts out a page-long [front and back]
synopsis on arch.'l site etiquette which the AAAC has
been lobbying with various publications to publish. 
Roger Lidman, the current Chair of the AAAC, and Jim
Britton, the Chair of the AAAC's Heritage Tourism Task
Force, have been successful in getting an abbreviated
version of SHPO's etiquette sheet into the Phoenix &
Valley of the Sun's Official Visitor's Guide (Winter/
Spring, 1997-1998), as well as into the Sept. issue of
AH.) So, this is real progress, having AH publish info.
for the public on how to be sensitive and protect sites
that they visit! 

Our office and the AAAC have met separately with the
Editors of AH in the recent past to discuss problems
with their stories; these problems have ranged from
providing site locational info./maps to the general
public, publishing stories in which the author(s) dig
and/or collect on arch.'l sites, running articles
telling people to go visit sites which are on permitted
Federal or tribal lands, not being sensitive to Native
American concerns regarding activities conducted on
arch.'l sites, etc. We are committed to continuing to
work with AH, as is the AAAC, to sensitize them to these
issues, and have offered our assistance in a variety of
ways, from reviewing actual stories involving/mentioning
archaeological sites, to offering to speak at their
annual "convention" of writers on the sensitivity of
cultural resources and educating them about the state and
federal laws protecting these resources.

Although AH has yet to take us up on any of these offers
of assistance, we are ready and willing and continue to
offer our expertise in these areas of concern. We HAVE
been somewhat successful, however, in getting them to
print in past articles in the last couple of years,
small blurbs mentioning that laws exist which prohibit
certain actions on archaeological sites. 

I think that one of the most important things that the
public can do to help educate and sensitize AH is to
write letters to them and voice these concerns. It would
be especially helpful if NON-archaeologists and Native
Americans could write letters of concern to the Editors. The
Editors indicated to us that, in the past, letter-writing
"campaigns" by concerned Arizona Site Stewards and
archaeologists have actually "turned off" the Editors, but
they indicated that they wanted to be very responsive to
Native American concerns/letters. So, in addition to
making your concerns known over the Internet in general,
please write letters or e-mail the AZ Highways Editor.

We will also take your concerns to the Editors ourselves,
so please copy us or e-mail us on any correspondence you
make directly to AH. Thanks for your help and concern!

Ann Howard, 
SHPO Public Archaeology Programs Manager