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Kuckelman presented conclusions drawn from years of field research in the Four Corners area, including new evidence of why the Ancestral Pueblo Indians migrated from the Mesa Verde region in the late A.D. 1200s. Published in an article in American Antiquity, July 2010, her findings reveal that just before regional depopula- tion the Pueblo residents of the region abruptly shifted their use of the regional landscape from growing crops to hunting and gathering wild resources escalating violence both reflected and contributed to the strife sur- rounding this regional depopulation. The results of Kuckelman's research have been published in numerous professional journals and edited volumes. She has authored numerous volume length site reports, including online publications reporting findings from 18 years of excavation at Castle Rock, Yellow Jacket and Sand Canyon pueblos, and recently directed four years of excavations at Goodman Point Pueblo. Kuckelman's research interests during her 33-year career have included field methodology, violence and warfare, subsis- tence stress, environmental impacts on societal decision making, and regional depopulation. She earned a master's degree in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977.
New Lone Mesa State Park ("LMS Park"), 12,000 Acres in Southwest Colorado, to Take More than Ten
Years to Completely Open, Depending on Economy, Budget, Even Politics. (Summary, Cortez Journal, February 19, 2009)
The slow timetable is compatible with allowing the area's natural resources to remain protected through ex- tensive surveys and developmental planning. Located north of Dolores, taking Forest Road 514 to the bridge over Plateau Creek, LMS Park's land was purchased from three ranch owners. The Park's name comes from its geographical feature: the "lone" mesa that stretches across the property. With support from Dolores County Commissioners and state officials, Colorado State Parks finalized its purchase in 1999. Baseline sur- veys have been taken to map vegetation and wildlife communities to allow creation of a biological sensitivity map. After rating certain areas of the park as "high" or low" biological sensitivity, data were compiled into a larger document known as the "stewardship plan" for park managers, engineers and architects. A new plant species was discovered during cataloging rare plants in LMS Park in the summer of 2008. Two other new and rare species were located in the lower elevation ecology of the Park, where the Mancos shale houses a few successful species. One, the cushion bladderpod, was originally found in 2006 at both Lone Mesa and Miramonte Reservoir near Norwood. A mustard plant was also found at LMS Park. State Parks works proac- tively with the USFWS and the CDOW on state and federally listed species that might be located at the LMS Park. Bat and bird surveys were among the data collections. Breeding grounds for purple martin, rare in Colorado, were located in older aspen cavities. Mountain lions are spotted frequently and there have been sightings of lynx and bobcats. Black bears, deer and elk occur in abundance. The 12,000 acres serves as a refuge primarily to elk that migrate during the year. Hunting is the only public access currently allowed on the Park.
Tenth Anniversary of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument ("CANM")and National Landscape Conservation System. (Summary, Cortez Journal, July 13, 2010) CANM is recognized as containing the highest density of archaeological sites in the nation with more than 6,000 identified sites. The Anasazi Heritage Center is home to nearly 3.6 million artifacts. While protection discussions first began in 1894, prompted by a story in the Salt Lake Times, the area did not receive national monument status until May 2000 when Pres. Clinton utilized the Antiquities Act to make the designation. The movement that gave birth to the Antiquities Act was initiated by the discovery of sites in SW CO -- including Canyons of the Ancients. In the ten years since the CANM's establishment, volunteers have offered more than 130,000 hours and $4.7 million worth of time and resources to the monument. A department of the BLM, the National Landscape Conservation System ("LCS") includes more than 886 federally recognized areas and approximately 27 million acres of national monuments, national conservation areas, wilderness areas, wilder- ness study areas, wild and scenic rivers, and national scenic and historic trails, all in the western portion of the US. To celebrate American history, sites must be protected. In that spirit, the National LCS initiated a "season of service," to be carried out by volunteers throughout the nation over the next year. The first work project was completed in Canyons of the Ancients, where nearly 25 volunteers worked to remove barbed wire and remnants of private development. For more information, contact the Anasazi Heritage Center at 882-
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