NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 6PM: the GCAS is thrilled to announce this year's first general meeting IN PERSON at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley) near the junction of Highways 152 and 35! Start at 6PM with your own plates/utensils/beverage & a dish for yourself or to share. Brief general meeting at 6:45 PM. Skip social time if you like but our Featured Speaker, the WNMU Museum's new Director and archaeologist, Danielle Romero, makes her presentation on Elk Ridge Ceramics at 7PM sharp. Danielle, a ceramics specialist with years of investigating Mimbres and other sites, will make her topic most engaging. Read more about Danielle here. In order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience the GCAS follows CDC and New Mexico Department of Health guidelines for indoor gatherings including masking, distancing, and vaccinations. We recommend all attendees follow the same.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, June 5, 2022 - Park Service-guided visit to TJ Ruin at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Meet at the Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center parking lot no later than 10:50 am, tour to begin at 11:00 am. Drive north on Highway 15/Pinos Altos Rd for about 45 miles from US 180 in Silver City. Drive can take as much as 2 hours! Site is reached via a short hike to the top of a 100 ft bluff. Site is not shaded! Dogs are not allowed on the site and cannot be left in vehicles or tied up in the parking lot. NOTE: the area is currently experiencing heavy smoke impacts from the Black Fire. Check this website and the Park Service website at https://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm (Alerts) the day before/morning of the field trip to see current status of the field trip and area conditions. Remember, to protect vulnerable resources we offer our field trips to members only. Members’ invited guests are welcome, as long as they ride in that member’s vehicle.

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Upcoming Oil and Gas Lease Sale at Greater Chaco

Archaeology Southwest reports that on Thursday, March 28, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will sell certain oil and gas leases within the Greater Chaco Canyon area. They are asking concerned citizens to contact the BLM to protest this lease sale and will provide information on their website within the next several days explaining how to write an effective protest. In the meantime, some background:

At present, the BLM has deferred nine such oil and gas leases on parcels that fall within the 10-mile cultural protection zone around Chaco Canyon and one of its outlier sites. However, preservation archaeologists at Archaeology Southwest believe that this deferral may be only a temporary reprieve.

There are two primary concerns. Firstly, the BLM continues to conduct lease sales each quarter despite 91% of the Farmington BLM field office area having already been leased, and without the BLM having completed the required Resource Management Plan amendment and draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).  Secondly, according to the affected Native American Tribes and Pueblos the BLM has failed to consult with them in any meaningful way as federal law requires them to do. Archaeology Southwest recommends that all lease sales in the area be stopped, whether or not they encompass archaeological sites, and further proposes permanent protections for the Greater Chaco Landscape.

Please keep a close eye on Archaeology Southwest's website as information develops.

/s/ webmaster

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