Message #13:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject:    Threat to World-Class Petroglyph
		Site in New Mexico
Date: Tue Jan 13 20:37:51 1998


[ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] :

From:  JJ Brody

(Brian: FYI, as published in Awanu, Newsletter of the
Archaeogical Society of New Mexico, 12/30/97, vol 25 # 4)

Threat to World-Class Petroglyph Site in Northern
New Mexico (Compiled by Katherine Wells. For information
call her at (505) 852-2055.)

Major concentrations of petroglyphs and other cultural
resources on Black Mesa along the west bank of the Rio
Grande north of San Juan Pueblo are threatened by mining
activities. ASNM Rock Art Field Schools, with support from
SHPO, recorded several hundred acres of one very large
petroglyph site there (LA 111451 owned by Katherine Wells)
during 1993-94.  From October1996 to July, 1997, Espanola
Transit Mix (owned by Richard Cook) mined 34,000 tons of
riprap from Black Mesa under contract with the Bureau of
Reclamation (BOR) for a project at Cochiti Pueblo. Much of
the rock was taken from near a famous 12' long awanyu glyph.
Some glyphs have been destroyed and mining in this (and
another) area was done without archaeological clearances.
BOR claims no responsibility for clearances on private land
but since federal funds were involved, a local citizens group,
Vecinos del Rio, contests this citing an internal BOR document
in which their own regional archaeologist affirms agency
responsibility. The boulders are on steep hillsides and were
mined without a storm water runoff permit. Large amounts of
loose material carried from the mining area by heavy downpours
threaten to move or bury hundreds of glyphs in an adjacent
arroyo. Mined materials were first moved illegally along SR 582,
a narrow, rural road in violation of State Highway Department
load limit regulations. A weight variance later granted without
a hearing by way of the office of the Governor was ruled by the
Attorney General as improperly granted. Mining is now temporarily
halted, but SR 582 may be made a permanent commercial truck
road although it cannot be widened without radical engineering.
Heavy truck traffic will subject petroglyphs and other boulders
on the steep slopes above the road to vibration and displacement.
If you are concerned please contact Highway Secretary Pete Rahn
and point out that the archaeological importance of Black Mesa
makes the area incompatible with mining and heavy commercial
trucking. (NM Highway and Transportation Dept., PO Box 1149,
Santa Fe, NM 87504, (505) 827-5100.) Also, ask BOR Projects
Manager Garry Rowe to explain why no archaeological clearance
was done prior to riprap mining on contract #1425-96-CC-40-19950
even though federal funds were used on the contract. (Bureau
of Reclamation, Albuquerque Area Office, 505 Marquette NW,
Suite 1313, Abq. NM 87102, (505) 248-5357.)