OREGON A deal that could enable the Grand Ronde tribe to manage nearly 11,000 acres of public forest near its reservation is the first of its kind in the nation, federal officials say. It signals not only the growing stature of the once-terminated Western Oregon tribe, but also the rising influence of Native American tribes nationwide over how public lands and resources are managed. Prodded by federal court decisions and executive orders issued by President Clinton and governors such as Oregon's John Kitzhaber, federal and state agencies have been more willing to work with tribes as governmental entities with legitimate interests. The trend is here to stay.


HISTORIC PRESERVATION ADDS NEW TWIST TO BALLPARK DEBATE 06/14/99 SAN DIEGO (AP) Opponents of a proposed downtown San Diego Padres ballpark received ammunition from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The city's downtown warehouse district was listed No. 10 on the trust's list of America's 11 most endangered historic places. The district includes the location of a $411 million new Padres ballpark approved by voters in November and scheduled to open in 2002. Monday's designation by the trust will help a campaign to have the ballpark project moved or to at least save additional turn-of-the-century buildings within a 26-block ballpark development district, local preservationists said. In addition to the 42,500-seat stadium, the district is to include new hotels, housing, office space and stores near San Diego Bay and the city's convention center. "The National Trust is giving credibility to the fact that what we have here is worth preserving," said Louise Torio, member of a San Diego group called the Save Our Heritage Organization. City and Padres officials say the trust designation will have no affect on the ballpark development, which is undergoing the required environmental review. They oppose a proposal from one preservation group to move the ballpark site two blocks east. The stadium's development director, Greg Shannon, dismissed the significance of the trust's designation of the area as historic and said the plan calls for refurbishing several old buildings and including them in the project. "This is just one organization based in Washington D.C. that avoided a two-year public process of where the ballpark ought to go, weighing in at the last minute because they haven't checked the facts and don't understand the project," Shannon said.

ARIZONA Known in Navajo as "Ch'o'li," the landmark east of Bloomfield was described by medicineman Norris Nez as "the most important of our sacred mountains." In recognition of that fact, the Bureau of Land Management designated it as an "area of critical environmental concern" in 1998. Under a 50-year-old lease, Farmington-based Burlington Resources is seeking permission from the BLM to sink a natural gas well about 800 feet from the base of the mountain. The BLM's request for input from Navajo chapters went largely unanswered, so BLM archaeologist James Copeland asked the medicinemen for their opinions at their regular June meeting. Navajos revere the site as the place where their deity Changing Woman was found and as the birthplace of the divine Hero Twins. Several of the medicinemen at Saturday's meeting said they make annual pilgrimages to the mountain to pray, make offerings and collect herbs used in ceremonies. The planned drilling amounted to "desecration," they said. The non-profit Din' Medicineman's Association can be contacted at P.O. Box 1376, Window Rock, Ariz. 86515.

COLORADO If plans to restore the line are successful, a steam-powered Denver & Rio Grande Railway "tourist train" will begin hauling passengers and freight on Memorial Day, 2002. Although Native Americans lived in the San Luis Valley for thousands of years, the area was first "settled" by Hispanic pioneers from New Mexico in the 1850s. In 1878, settlement by Anglos literally exploded after the Denver & Rio Grande Railway narrow-gauge line was built from La Veta over the Sangre de Cristo mountains to Alamosa under the direction of General William J. Palmer, a Civil War hero. For more information contact Donald Shank at the Denver & Rio Grande Railway Historical Foundation at 970-259-9498 in Durango.


AUTHOR FINANCING ANOTHER SEARCH FOR THE AIMABLE 06/14/99 VICTORIA, Texas (AP) Though their mission is sponsored by a fiction author, it's a fact that divers hope to turn up La Salle's flagship in their latest search of Matagorda Bay. Five Houston divers are joining noted South Carolina diver Ralph Wilbanks, hired by novelist Clive Cussler, to look for what they hope is the Aimable, famed French explorer Rene Robert de Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle's 180-ton ship that sank in 1665. The National Underwater Marine Agency, a non-profit group founded by Cussler in 1979, plans to work for the rest of June on the search. The Texas Historical Commission is cooperating with the effort. Cussler's organization has searched since 1997 for the Amiable, which carried all the provisions La Salle needed for his unsuccessful exploration of the New World. It was one of four ships La Salle used for his expedition. One was raided by pirates, two sank and disgruntled settlers took the fourth back to France. La Salle eventually was killed by his own men, and the French settlement in Texas was destroyed by Indian attacks. Wayne Gronquist, president of the marine agency, is optimistic that wreckage discovered off the coast near Port O'Connor indeed is the Aimable. "The most promising shipwreck lies under 12 to 15 feet of sand. The wreckage is scattered at different depths, contains both wood and iron artifacts and has the right magnetic signature," Gronquist said. Divers are fighting strong currents and poor visibility, he added. Identification of any artifacts recovered could take months. Aerial magnetic maps have identified six possible shipwrecks, five of which are thought to have historical value. It's not certain which one is the Aimable, or if any of them is. "Although all remain unidentified, their discovery marks the first time than numerous historic shipwrecks have been located by airplane," Gronquist told The Victoria Advocate. Cussler, an Arizonan whose varied adventure novels have sold more than 70 million copies, finances hunts for sunken ships as a hobby.

MEXICO Archeologists are fighting for a chance to study a site they say could provide clues to the fate of a famed ancient culture along the Gulf of Mexico. The Mandinga Swamp Promotion and Construction company had started draining the swamp and parceling it to create a luxury housing project with a marina when the government's National Anthropology and History Institute discovered the plan in November.

CYBERIA,business/30db1070.615,.html The most interesting aspect of the Parade article was its inclusion of William Rathje to no enlightening effect. His 1992 book, Rubbish, has never been much embraced by environmentalists. While the article did feature Rathje, it used him to discuss only the archaeology of garbage rather than focus on his insights into what he considers the best solutions. By using Rathje to titillate rather than inform, the article ignored the most useful advice in his book, which was to understand that "we do not necessarily know the things we think we know." Plant imprints and pollen found on the Shroud of Turin support the premise that it originated in the Holy Land. The botanists did not address the issue of the age of the linen cloth, enshrined since 1578 in a cathedral in Turin, Italy. In 1988, scientists tested scraps of the shroud and concluded it dated back to between 1260 and 1390.,2107,60489-96330-687182-0,00.html Some chimpanzees greedily slurp ants off a stick as if it were a wriggling lollipop, while others daintily pluck them, one by one. Some chimps mop their brows with leaves; others demurely raise their arms while companions groom them. Some researchers now agree that the variety of behavior exhibited by mankind's closest relative can be summed up in a single word: culture. It is the first time scientists have concluded that a species other than humans has a culture, or a way of life based on customs that are learned and shared rather than genetically programmed. "The evidence is overwhelming that chimpanzees have a remarkable ability to invent new customs and technologies, and they pass these on socially," said primatologist Frans de Waal of Emory University. According to a report in the June 17 issue of Nature, chimpanzees can easily recognize faces of their brethren presented in digitized photographs.