From: Linda Martin The 1999 Pecos Conference will be held August 12-15th.

From: J. MIKE LAVERDE The El Paso Archaeological Society < > announces the Officers for the years 1999-2000: President - J. Mike Laverde; 1st VP - David Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.; 2nd VP - Harold Naylor; Secretary - Steve Wnorowski; Treasurer - Ken Purcell; Parliamentarian - Marguerite Davis

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BACKS SOUTHERN UTE SUIT AGAINST AMOCO 01/06/99 The Southern Ute Tribe's suit against Amoco Production Co. and non-Indian landowners over the ownership of a billion-dollar energy resource, coal bed methane, in southwestern Colorado has received federal government backing. Interior Solicitor John D. Leshy on Monday reversed a 1981 opinion that natural gas extracted from hard-rock coal is part of the noncoal mineral estate and not part of the coal estate, which largely belongs to the Southern Utes. ``The opinion did not take into account existing knowledge about the origins, structure and composition of coal or more importantly what Congress in 1909 and 1910 would have understood about those matters,'' federal attorneys wrote. The tribe filed a lawsuit in 1991 claiming that it owned coal bed methane which was being extracted by Amoco and other developers from mineral deposits on Southern Ute land. The tribe also sued the United States for not protecting the resources held in trust for the tribe. ``We're surprised and very pleased,'' tribal attorney Thomas Shipps said Tuesday. Those with rights to natural gas on the territory had been receiving revenues and royalties worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Amoco, 10 other oil and gas companies and several thousand non-Indian mineral owners with rights to natural gas, argued that coal bed methane was simply natural gas found in coal deposits. When the federal government issued patents to homesteaders in parts of the Southern Ute Reservation in the early 1900s, it gave them all the minerals except ``all coal,'' which Congress reserved for the federal government. Years later the federal government conveyed its coal in the San Juan Basin to the Southern Ute Tribe. The federal brief Monday said that Congress did not specifically convey coal bed methane to homesteaders but did manifest a general intent to reserve the federal government's entire economic interest in the coal deposits. In a brief to the Supreme Court, attorneys from the Interior and Justice department also said Monday they opposed Amoco's request for review of a July appellate court decision that favored the tribe. The decision by the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the tribe owns the natural gas extracted from some 200,000 acres of San Juan Basin coal beds underlying its reservation ``presents a more thorough and persuasive analysis,'' federal attorneys wrote. As to future development, ``Amoco's claims of `industry disruption and profound uncertainty and hardship' are exaggerated,'' the federal attorneys wrote. Although Amoco argues the case could affect more than 16 million acres of coal land in seven states, a small fraction of the land is likely to hold economically recoverable coal bed methane, federal attorneys said. The defendants expressed outrage at the federal government's decision. ``The government's new position ... contradicts almost 90 years of Department of Interior policies and regulations recognizing that coal and gas are distinct, definable substances,'' British Petroleum Amoco said in a press release. Amoco Production Co. filed a petition last month for a refund on $1.8 million in 1996 La Plata County property taxes _ a bid to avoid losing money if it is held liable to the Southern Utes for methane gas taken from coal owned by the tribe. Amoco filed a similar petition in 1997 on $1.95 million in 1995 taxes, bringing the total the company wants back if the courts ultimately decide the methane belongs to the tribe to $3.75 million. County commissioners last year deferred a decision on the first petition until May 10, 1999.

MOUNT GRAHAM POWER LINE FOR TELESCOPES SOUGHT BY UNIVERSITY 01/06/99 01:26AM The Mount Graham telescope controversy centered first on an endangered red squirrel, then on what some Indians considered desecration of sacred land. Now, the University of Arizona wants to construct a 23-mile power line up the mountain for the Mount Graham International Observatory, and foes are up in arms again. The power line will fragment the mountain further and will scar the landscape, said Dr. Robin Silver, a Phoenix physician and a leader of the Mount Graham Coalition, an association of environmentalists opposed to the telescope project. Silver also speculated that it might be vulnerable to sabotage and said he wondered whether university police eventually would be patrolling the 23-mile maintenance corridor through which the power line would run. The $80 million Large Binocular Telescope, being built now, is the observatory's centerpiece. The telescope will feature twin mirrors each more than 27 feet in diameter, making it among the largest, most powerful optical instrument in the world. The LBT is expected to begin operating with its first mirror in mid-2001. Two smaller telescopes _ the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope and the Max Planck Institute's Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope _ have been fully operational on the 10,400-foot mountaintop for years, with power provided by diesel generators. The university has asked the U.S. Forest Service to approve its plans and issue a construction permit. Building a power line up the mountain about 120 miles northeast of Tucson is expected to take about a year. A power line extending from current lines that serve the state prison at Fort Grant would be more efficient, cleaner and safer than trucking diesel fuel up the mountain, said Buddy Powell, associate director of the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory. ``It costs about 30 cents a kilowatt hour to generate on the mountain, but we can buy it at home for about 6 or 7 cents an hour,'' Powell said Tuesday. ``We can charge ourselves the same and retire the debt for this cost very quickly.'' All but about the first three miles of the power line would be underground. Construction would cost $8 million, Powell said. The 25-kilovolt line would be buried 3 to 4 feet deep within a 500-foot-wide corridor authorized in the Arizona Wilderness Act of 1984 and later legislation approved by Congress. At least 11 miles will be buried in Arizona Department of Transportation right-of-way along Arizona 366, or Swift Trail, the winding road that goes to the mountain's heights. That will minimize any ecological impact, Powell said. For more than a decade, the telescope project was engulfed in controversy, litigation and congressional legislation. Opponents such as Silver have contended that the observatory's site in old-growth conifer forest would jeopardize existence of an endangered subspecies of red squirrel. The squirrels are unique to the mountain, a biologically diverse ``sky island'' home to other endangered and threatened species, including Mexican spotted owls. Some members of the San Carlos Apache tribe also say the telescopes desecrate the mountaintop that they consider a sacred religious site. Opponents also accused the University of Arizona of twice resorting to congressional clout to circumvent the Endangered Species Act _ in authorizing the observatory and then in getting work resumed after a two-year halt ordered by a federal appeals court. The Forest Service will review the documents requesting approval for the power line and, assuming compliance with its regulations, a permit will be issued, said Carrie Templin, a spokeswoman in its Safford office. ``The Forest Service does whatever the university says,'' said Silver, who also is a member of the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity. ``I find it ironic that the university still asks for permission when it's not necessary.'' The LBT is a joint project with Italy's Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, Tucson-based Research Corp., Ohio State University and a German consortium that includes the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, the Max Planck Institute for Space Physics in Munich and the Astrophysical Institute of Potsdam.

INDIAN POTTER TERESITA NARANJO DIES AT 79 01/05/99 08:45PM Pueblo Indian potter Teresita Naranjo, famous for hand-incised Santa Clara pots with classic black-gloss glazes, has died following a long illness. She was 79. Mrs. Naranjo, who died Saturday at the pueblo north of Santa Fe, had been a lifelong Santa Clara resident. She recalled her childhood introduction to pottery in an October interview with the Los Alamos Monitor. She said she first learned to work with the clay as a 7-year-old at her grandmother's knee. Her mother also had been a potter. ``I was told that you don't play with the clay,'' she said. ``You must learn to respect it because it is life. My mother was right. It was very important. That's the way I supported my family.'' Her husband, Joe, died in 1950 when she was in her 20s, leaving her as a single mother with four small children to raise. Her survivors include a son, Victor Naranjo of Santa Clara; daughters Stella Chavarria of Santa Clara, Georgia Dowdy of Santa Clara, Mildred Moore of Lynnwood, Wash.; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Like their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Mrs. Naranjo's daughters are also all potters. Excavations in the late 1940s at Bat Cave, New Mexico, produced rich deposits of small, primitive-looking corn cobs. A piece of associated charcoal gave a date of before 6000 B.P. (years before present), far earlier than anyone expected. Bat Cave became a gateway in the northward spread of corn, beans, and squash. New excavations at Bat Cave in the 1980s, however, proved that its corn was no older than 3120 B.P.