March 2002

First, I'm sorry to announce the resignation of Sherry Bishop from the Board of Trustees. Sherry and husband John are ardent admirers of Bandelier. In fact, they were married there. Sherry is dedicated to helping the environment in tangible ways. She is owner of Bandelier Designs, which specializes in fine stationery and other paper made from recycled stock. She donated many reams to the Friends over the years for our newsletters. Sherry has many interests and we know she will continue to be active in local organizations. The Board joins me in wishing her the best in all her endeavors.

Each spring the Board of Trustees meets for our annual granting session. As usual, the park had more requests than we can fund. Here are the grants for 2002 .

Park-wide Newspaper $2,938. For the second year, Superintendent Vasquez put the park-wide newspaper at the top of his priority list for grants from the Friends. Our liaison, Chief of Interpretation Lynne Dominy, felt the newspapers in 2001 were successful in conveying the message that Bandelier is more than just a pretty canyon. The Los Alamos Lodgers' Tax is funding an additional $1,500. We promised funds for printing costs for 5,000 copies for spring and autumn editions. Each of you should be getting copies of the paper.

Archaeology $6,000. Once again, we granted archaeologist Rory Gauthier $6,000 to continue his surface survey of archaeological and historic sites in the monument. This year he has targeted the mesas between lower Alamo and Capulin canyons. This is the most remote region of the park; Rory needs to survey the entire area before he has to pull his crews from the field because he can't afford to go back. Our funds give him an extra two weeks. Rory has received an impressive three year grant to speed up his efforts. He has proclaimed that he intends to do a 100% survey before he retires. The survey now stands at 64% complete, and there is a lot of rough country left. Fortunately, Rory is young! A 100% survey has been a goal of the Friends since our inception in 1987.

Critical Resource Brochures $1,600. Bandelier is facing two critical but controversial issues. Superintendent Vasquez feels it is vital that the park put its case before the public. He has asked for funding for 2,000 copies each of two brochures. The first brochure deals with fire ecology and management---certainly a delicate topic here following the Cerro Grande Fire of 2000. The second brochure concerns wilderness management, a controversial subject with national ramifications.

Pueblo Outreach $4,000. This is rather a sad situation. Lynne commented that local Pueblo leaders have voiced a strong concern that many of their elders and children have never visited Bandelier and do not feel welcome there. Superintendent Vasquez requested $1,000 to provide special tours for students and elders from local pueblos. This is a pilot program that we all fervently hope will succeed. The remaining $3,000 will be used to sponsor a student from the pueblos for the summer as a member of the cavate preservation crew. This work is part of the Vanishing Treasures Program, funded by the National Park Service. Preservation Ranger Angelyn Rivera augmented those funds with an Architectural Conservation Grant from the J. Paul Getty Trust for $73,000. The workers document, stabilize, and replaster the shallow caves. We ran out of money in the middle of the Pueblo Outreach requests. But the board felt so strongly about their value that we are trying to find matching funds to help with the costs. We hope for help from the LANL Foundation, which funds education and outreach opportunities in north-central New Mexico.

Lynne also briefed us on initiatives at Bandelier for the coming year. Highlights:

>The National Park Service plans a year-long celebration commemorating the 70 anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Bandelier has the largest collection of CCC work in the National Park System. Watch for special events showing off their wonderful collection.

>Lynne showed us mockups of new interpretive panels; 44 will be placed around Frijoles Canyon and vicinity this spring. It will be a great time to revisit the park if you haven't been there for a while.

>To help in recruiting future rangers, Bandelier is initiating a "shadow" program where a 12th grade student follows a ranger throughout the business day to get an idea of all the things that go on in a national park. It is a high school credit program; the student rotates through the departments at the park.

>Bandelier was awarded a grant for $400,000 to completely remodel the museum in the Visitor Center - another future good reason to visit if you haven't been lately.

>The proposed Learning Center has cleared all bureaucratic hurdles, but funding is stalled in Washington due to National Security priorities. Before a learning center can be set up, rangers have to move administrative offices out of the old lodge. Lynne said they are expecting a federal building in Los Alamos that would house offices of the National Park and Forest Services, Valles Caldera Trust, and the post office. By this time, board members recalled that an afternoon with Lynne is certainly not dull!!

Thank you, First State Bank for reproducing our newsletter. Thank you LANB for continuing faithful support .

November 2002 will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the day the Friends went public. To our charter members through the new member just I logged in, the Board says thank you very, very much for being Friends.

Dorothy Hoard, President, Board of Trustees.