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Bureau of Land Management
For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 1, 2006
Contact:
Hanson Stuart
(505) 438-7514

100 Years of Historic Preservation to be Celebrated
During the 2006 Antiquities Act Centennial

June 8, 1906 – One hundred years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt signed “An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities,” a landmark piece of legislation that for the first time protected the vast expanse of cultural resources on America’s Public Lands.

Federal land management agencies and the preservation community are celebrating the inestimable benefits from this Act, which now include a body of laws protecting cultural, historical and paleontological resources, including sites as diverse as ghost towns, Indian settlements and internationally significant fossil quarries.

The centennial will highlight these special places and special resources. And it comes with a message: the public can both enjoy and help protect these treasures. America’s public lands tell the story of our recent and distant past—from age-old fossil beds to the villages of ancient Native American cultures and homes of pioneer settlers.

The Bureau of Land Management is the steward for the largest body of cultural resources in the nation. It’s estimated that the vast and often remote expanses of public lands in the West contain more than 4 million archeological sites alone. There is much yet to be discovered and their protection is up to every visitor.

Please join us as we share this critical message. Below is a link to more information on the Antiquities Act and BLM’s heritage resources programs. Included are FAQs and a variety of fact sheets on the Act, cultural, paleontological and historical resources on public lands, visitor ethics and much more:

www.blm.gov/heritage/adventures/media.html

BLM Information Contacts – Antiquities Act Centennial

Public Affairs Representatives BLM Program Contacts
Montana Greg Albright, 406-896-5260   Cultural: Richard Brook 202-452-0326
Wyoming Cindy Wertz, 307-775-6014  

Recreation: Angie West

505-842-3444
Colorado Denise Adamic, 303-239-3671   Education: Carolyn Cohen 202-785-6583
New Mexico Hans Stuart, 505-438-7510        and/or Derrick Baldwin 970-882-5628
         
Idaho Shelley Davis-Brunner, 208-373-4020   AZ-Cultural: Gary Stumpf 602-417-9236
Utah Adrienne Babbitt, 801-539-4061   CO-Cultural: Dan Haas 303-239-3647
  Lola Bird, 801-539-4033   NM-Cultural: Steve Fosberg 505-438-7415
Arizona Deborah Stevens, 602-417-9215   UT-Cultural: Garth Portillo 801-539-4276
  Diane Drobka, 928-348-4403   Anasazi Heritage Ctr. (CO): LouAnn Jacobson 970-882-5616
California John Dearing, 916-978-4622      
Oregon Maya Fuller, 503-808-6437      
Nevada JoLynn Worley, 775-861-6515      
Alaska Doug Stockdale, 907-474-2264      
Eastern States Peggy Riek, 703-440-1716      

Places to Visit/Story Ideas (a short list … call BLM state contacts for more!)

Lowry Pueblo, Colorado: By AD 600, the first farmers in southwestern Colorado were building stone villages, now called pueblos. One of the largest villages was Lowry Pueblo, a fascinating archaeological site located within the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Once home to about 100 people, the 1,000-year-old settlement was constructed by farmers who also hunted small game, made elaborately decorated pottery, and wove cotton obtained by trade. Today’s visitors can travel back in time to get a sense of what it might have been like to live at Lowry Pueblo in AD 1125. For more information, contact LouAnn Jacobson, BLM, Anasazi Heritage Center, 27501 Highway 84, Dolores, CO 81323; email: LouAnn_Jacobson@blm.gov; telephone: (970) 882-5626.

Empire Ranch, Arizona: The historic Empire Ranch is the centerpiece of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, 45 miles southeast of Tucson. The main ranch house, constructed mostly of adobe, includes 22 rooms and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. By 1906 the ranch, one of the largest in Arizona, covered almost a million acres and grazed about 40,000 head of cattle. Citizens concerned about the preservation of Tucson’s watershed and the natural resources of the area worked with the government to arrange a land exchange through BLM to acquire the heart of the Empire, nearly 50,000 acres, in 1988. For more information about this important piece of Arizona history, contact Lorraine Buck, BLM, Tucson Field Office, 12661 East Broadway, Tucson, AZ 85748; email: Lorraine_Buck@blm.gov; telephone: (520) 258-7240.

The Pueblitos of Dinétah, Northwestern New Mexico: In 1912, stories told by Hispanic sheepherders of "pueblitos"-- stone fortresses hidden among cliffs and boulder fields -- drew curious visitors to the Dinétah region of northwest New Mexico. They were built by Navajos who had moved into New Mexico's canyonlands between 1500 and 1700, fleeing the Spanish soldiers who were capturing Navajos and sending them south to work the silver mines in Zacatecas. Some were built to shelter farm families during raids, others shielded religious leaders and the elderly, still others served as lookouts and signaling sites. Each reflects a time when frontiers were crossed, alliances made and broken, the worlds of Pueblo, Navajo, Spanish, and Ute met, and the Southwest was changed forever. For more information about these fascinating sites, contact James Copeland, Bureau of Land Management, Farmington Field Office, 1235 La Plata Highway, Suite A, Farmington, NM 87401; email: Jim_Copeland@blm.gov; telephone: (505) 599-6335.

Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite, Wyoming: The largest dinosaur tracksite in Wyoming is one of only a few worldwide from the Middle Jurassic Period (160 million to 180 million years old). The tracks were made at the shoreline of an ocean by two-legged dinosaurs around 167 million years ago. Until these tracks were discovered in 1997 most scientists thought the entire Bighorn Basin, and most of Wyoming, was covered by an ancient ocean. Scientists thought that only sea-dwelling creatures could have lived in this area, yet the dinosaur tracks were clearly made just at the shoreline, not in deep ocean water, and there must have been large areas of dry land to support not only dinosaurs but other animals and plants. One thousand tracks have been located so far, all formed by two-legged dinosaurs. Some, and perhaps all, of the tracks appear to have been made by meat-eating dinosaurs weighing between 15-400 pounds. The tracksite is located on U.S. Highway 14, approximately 10 miles east of Greybull, Wyoming. For more information about this site, contact Bill Hill, Bureau of Land Management, Worland Field Office, 101 South 23rd, PO Box 119, Worland, WY 82401-0119; email: Bill_Hill@blm.gov; telephone (307) 347-5291.

Intaglios of the Lower Colorado River: Mysterious figures of animals, people and geometric designs loom out of the desert pavement along the Colorado River in southwestern Arizona and southeastern California. Called intaglios, the figures are made by scraping away the dark surface gravels to expose lighter-colored soil underneath. Some of the figures are so large they can only be seen in their entirety from the air. The deserts of the American Southwest and the Sierra Pinacate of Sonora, Mexico, are the only locations in North America where such intaglios occur. Intaglios are also found in Peru (the famous Nazca lines), New Caledonia and Australia. The Yuman-speaking Indian tribes who live along the Colorado River are the most likely creators of the intaglios, but no one knows for sure who made them. Know one knows how old the figures are, either, because there is no way to date them. They could be several hundred or several thousand years old. Why the figures were made is also a mystery. Some may have played a role in healing ceremonies and dances, and some may represent tribal origin stories or creation stories. Their elusiveness makes them all the more enigmatic, fascinating, and awe-inspiring. For more information about these intaglios, contact Sandra Arnold, Bureau of Land Management, Yuma Field Office, 2555 East Gila Ridge Road, Yuma, AZ 85365; email: Sandra_Arnold@blm.gov; telephone: (928) 317-3239.

The Comb Ridge Survey-Scientific Discovery in Southeastern Utah: In 2005, the BLM and the University of Colorado embarked on an effort to help discover and preserve one of the most outstanding archeological areas of the Four Corners area, Comb Ridge. This landscape holds vast traces of ancient Puebloan cultures, including the homes, tools, and pottery of these people. However, these remains have been impacted by trampling of hikers, off-road vehicle recreation, and surface artifact collecting. The impacts of artifact diggers and collectors have also been particularly severe, leaving most of the sites scrambled and stripped of many of the key artifacts that would reveal their age and function. The Comb Ridge Survey is an unprecedented effort to document the remaining surface artifacts and work with the community to help protect these places by stabilizing sites at risk and helping visitors understand what they can do to help prevent damage. Contact: Adrienne Babbitt, Bureau of Land Management, Utah State Office, (801) 539-4061 Adrienne_Babbitt@blm.gov or Shelley Smith (801) 539-4053.