Jan 14

Important Update on the Palace of the Governors

From the National Trust for Historic Preservation –

The Palace of the Governors, one of Santa Fe’s most treasured, iconic, and recognizable places, has long opened its doors for the community, showcasing its rich history, cultural significance, and unique architectural beauty for locals and visitors alike. From local schoolchildren to lovers of art and history, the Palace has inspired you for decades. Now, it needs your help.

The jewel of Santa Fe’s historic plaza is threatened by the lack of budget for capital improvements to address the deterioration and deferred maintenance of the structure. Numerous much-needed repairs and improvements are currently not funded. Left unaddressed, these issues will create an uncertain future for the Palace. Now, more than ever, it’s essential that those who love the Palace join together to work toward a solution, ensuring its continued impact on future generations of New Mexicans.

We hope you’ll join invited speakers Governor Susana Martinez; Veronica Gonzales, Cultural Affairs Secretary; Barbara Pahl, National Trust for Historic Preservation Regional Vice President; and our local partners The New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, The Museum of New Mexico Foundation, Los Compadres del Palacio, and Historic Santa Fe for an important announcement on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in the main lobby of the New Mexico History Museum (113 Lincoln Ave).

May 02

Exhibit Opening: Preservation Month Posters Through The Years

The Historic Santa Fe Foundation invites you to the opening reception for “Preservation Month Posters Through The Years” on Friday, May 9, 2014, from 5 to 7 pm at El Zaguán, 545 Canyon Road. The exhibit celebrates 20 years of collaboration between the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division and the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance and will run throughout the month of May in celebration of Heritage Preservation Month.


Invitation to Opening Reception


Many thanks to NMHPA’s partners at the Historic Santa Fe Foundation for hosting this momentous event!



Check us out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NewMexicoHeritagePreservationAlliance 

May 02

2014 Heritage Preservation Month Calendar of Events

May is Heritage Preservation Month!

Each year, preservation partners all over New Mexico celebrate Heritage Preservation Month with tours, celebrations and special events. In collaboration with the Historic Preservation Division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance is proud to present the 2014 Heritage Preservation Month Calendar of Events!


2014 Heritage Preservation Month Calendar (corrected)

For more information, visit: http://www.nmhistoricpreservation.org/programs/preservation-month.html

Feb 20

La Bajada Mesa Mining Proposal Postponed until MARCH 20, 2014

UPDATE: Santa Fe County Development Review Committee hearing of La Bajada Mesa mining application postponed until MARCH 20, 2014. Buena Vista Estates, Inc. and Rockology, LLC have proposed creation of a 50-acre mining site on La Bajada Mesa, off I-25 and Waldo Canyon Road.

Read more here:

Santa Fe New Mexican, “County to Mull Proposal for La Bajada Basalt Mine” (February 2, 2014)

Rural Conservation Alliance:http://www.raintreecounty.com/SaveLaBajadaMesa.html


Feb 18

Fort Bayard National Historic Landmark For Sale

“A Western outpost made famous by the Buffalo Soldiers and the U.S. military’s campaign to capture Geronimo is up for sale, one of a number of landmarks nationwide facing the wrecking ball amid tight budgets and a shift in Washington about what history is worth saving.

Abandoned now, Fort Bayard has become a drain on New Mexico’s coffers and the state is desperate for ideas as historic preservation has lost funding under the Obama administration.

“It’s not good. We see this as a much larger comment on how we as a country want to tell our story and reflect our priorities,” said Beth Wiedower, a senior field officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

With most large-scale preservation efforts, it’s not hard for the cost to outweigh sentimentalism. It’s no different in southwestern New Mexico, where the community is split over whether some of Fort Bayard’s buildings need to be leveled to make way for fresh economic development.

“Some are pretty adamant about preserving the whole property and then there are others who ask why tax dollars are being spent to maintain it,” said state Rep. Rudy Martinez, D-Bayard. “Those are the questions coming up. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? We don’t know.” …”

Read the full article in the Albuquerque Journal: http://www.abqjournal.com/346485/news/nms-historic-fort-bayard-up-for-sale.html

Feb 18

Mount Taylor Traditional Cultural Property Designation Upheld

“The designation of over 400,000 acres on and around Mount Taylor as a traditional cultural property – affording more protection of archaeological, historic and culturally significant sites – was upheld Thursday in a long-awaited opinion by the state Supreme Court.

The listing by the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee over four years ago did not violate due process, the court said, reversing an earlier finding by a trial judge in Hobbs that the committee had failed to provide personal notice to affected property owners, including those with mineral rights.

The opinion by Justice Charles Daniels for a unanimous court affirmed the lower court on one of the more contentious issues – whether some 19,000 acres of the Cebolleta Land Grant should be included in the listing. The 34,000-acre land grant was established in 1800 by the Spanish crown.

The high court ruled that the Cebolleta grant is not state land as defined in the state Cultural Properties Act, the state counterpart to the National Historic Preservation Act. By affirming 5th District Judge William Shoobridge on that issue, the high court carved out the land grant area from the boundaries….”

Read the full article at Albuquerque Journal: http://www.abqjournal.com/349263/news/top-court-upholds-mt-taylor-designation.html

Feb 04

Chimayó Community Plan Nearing Completion

“Two years ago, some residents of the northern New Mexico community of Chimayó rose up in alarm when word leaked that the Catholic archdiocese was planning to build a retreat center on the grounds of a world-renowned pilgrimage site that was also a local spiritual treasure.

But rather than simply whine their protests over planned and past construction at El Santuario de Chimayó, local residents pulled together and went to work, designing a draft plan of what they want to see their community look like over the next 25 years. …”

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/346677/news/chimayoacute-has-a-vision-of-the-future.html

(Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

(Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)



Jan 29

New Mexico’s Night Skies Endangered by Rule Change

On January 23, 2014, members of the New Mexico Transportation Commission voted unanimously to allow electronic billboards along federal highways in the state. The following is an excerpt from a January 24, 2014, article in the New Mexican: “Dark skies advocates at the meeting were disappointed in the vote. Several urged the state not to allow the billboards. They said the glow from digital billboards is one more hit against New Mexico’s dark skies, which are a big attraction for tourists and a cultural treasure for residents.

“I am not surprised by the vote today, but I am disappointed,” said Peter Lipscomb, an amateur astronomer and longtime dark skies advocate. “The NMDOT’s history of careful safety practices with roadway lighting are put aside to allow another distraction for drivers along with texting and phone use.

“The presence of digital billboards along New Mexico roadways will further desensitize people to the natural nighttime environment,” he added. “Once we begin to accept a given level of brightness as OK, we perceive it as normal. Over time, we become so habituated that we can no longer function in darker places. As a result, the idea of more lighting or displays seems inconsequential.”

Even if the lights are hooded, the glow cast sideways from the electronic billboards damages visibility of the dark skies and the stars, Lipscomb and others said.

Margaret Lloyd of Scenic America, which is suing the Federal Highway Administration over the digital billboards, said the images distract drivers. “That’s their job. That’s what they are designed to do,” she said.”

Read more: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/transportation-commission-approves-electronic-signs-on-federal-highways/article_90c2016e-140c-50dc-a48c-e5b2505a451e.html

Oct 06

Call to Action: Sign the Petition to Stop Airing “Diggers”

Looting, theft and vandalism present some of the most constant and pressing threats to New Mexico’s and the nation’s cultural resources. Instead of educating the public and discouraging these disrespectful and damaging practices, the television show “Diggers” promotes them! Sign a petition today requesting that National Geographic Channel, Travel Channel and Spike TV pull their Digger Programming immediately.

“Would you want your ancestors’ graves, property, or your hometown blatantly struck by shouting diggers with metal detecting devices trying to loot their way across the landscape? Would you want your children to learn that this kind of activity is “okay”? Would you condone tearing the pages out of an important book? If not then please help stop the irresponsible programming that sets this precedent for destroying our heritage and history. This is not what real historians or archaeologists do.” To read more and sign the petition, click here.

For a compelling opinion on the topic by New Mexico preservationist Jerry Rogers, click here.

Sep 27

National Wilderness Month and Hispanic Heritage Month Converge in New Mexico

“Conservationists are as diverse as people of our state”

Albuquerque Journal Editorial by Michael Casaus / New Mexico State Director, The Wilderness Society
Editorial Autumn is upon us, the weather is cooling off and the smell of roasting green chile is in the air. This is an important time to reflect upon two aspects of our state that make us unique: our diverse wealth of public lands and our centuries of rich Hispanic heritage.

In our Land of Enchantment, it is significant that late September marks both the second half of National Wilderness Month and the first half of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Though many might not see the natural connection between these two, as a Hispanic American who has dedicated his career to conservation, I can tell you with certainty that the protection of wilderness and Hispanic heritage cannot be unlinked …

For too long, the conservation movement was seen as primarily an affluent Anglo issue. There was a perception that all Hispanics cared about was jobs and civil rights. And it was falsely assumed by people and groups not close to us that Hispanics did not care about conservation.

Thankfully, that assumption is changing  –  and here in New Mexico, with our rural values and close connection to the land, it’s changing faster than ever.

In the face of the continuing public debate over land and water conservation issues in New Mexico, Hispanics come down solidly in favor of conservation policies. A series of polls and opinion research conducted between 2008 and 2012 illustrated that not only do Hispanics value conservation, they also place issues such as the preservation of land and water resources as a top concern.

This Hispanic conservation ethic was never more evident than in the recent campaign to secure national monument status for the Rio Grande del Norte near Taos. The new 242,000-acre national monument was the result of years of work and collaboration across northern New Mexico. This was a multicultural and multiethnic effort that included Hispanics, Anglos, and Native Americans as critical partners in the coalition.

But, when you delve into the Hispanic support, you find broad backing from traditional communities, land grant heirs, acequia parciantes, ranchers and people at every level from community leaders to average Hispanic New Mexicans who care about where they live and want to see it protected….

With the success of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, and the recognition of the critical role that Hispanics played in it, we are entering a new era in the conservation movement. Hispanics in New Mexico have now taken their rightful place as leaders in not only the defense of our most special places and resources, but in the defense and continuation of the American legacy.

The Rio Grande del Norte isn’t just northern New Mexico’s, it belongs to the American people. Our public lands and cultural resources, no matter where they are, belong to all Americans …

The leadership role that Hispanics are playing in the protection of our land, water, and heritage is not unique to the Rio Grande del Norte, it is evident in conservation efforts throughout the state, and across the country.

In the north, Hispanic New Mexicans are playing a critical role to preserve the Valles Caldera and permanently protect Columbine Hondo, Rio San Antonio and Cerro de Yuta as federally designated Wilderness Areas.

In the south, where a concerted effort is underway to create a new national monument for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks near Las Cruces, Hispanic voices in support of this designation are being heard loud and clear. Just this spring the national League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy group in the United States, unanimously passed a resolution calling on President Obama to create an Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

So, as we celebrate both National Wilderness Month and Hispanic Heritage Month, we should take heed and remember that the values of conservation run deep in the Hispanic culture. And, as America matures and embraces our nation’s growing diversity, Americans should also start to embrace the reality that the conservation movement is just as diverse as our country.


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