been hectic for all of us this spring and summer, so it took some
time to arrange our annual granting meeting (and for me to get out
this newsletter). The rangers at Bandelier were already committed to
a full load of summer work, so Bandelier's request list was not so
long this year; we can actually afford all of it. Even so, the board
feels that these are good grants that will benefit the park. First,
some news. We have a new board member, Brian Scott of Los Alamos.
Brian is interested in matching grants, one of our best strategies
for helping Bandelier. We are fortunate in having so many young
people with fresh outlooks on our board-Laura, Sarah, Diane, and now
Brian. So, welcome, Brian.
2004 Requests for Funding, $11,350
of Signs and Removal of Fencing, $2,000. The park is
cluttered with signs, many obsolete, many unreadable, some unsightly,
most nonstandard. Superintendent Darlene Koontz set up a task force
to inventory park-wide signs and recommend their removal/
relocation/replacement where needed. In addition, the park has some
inappropriate fencing that needs to be removed. Our funds will be
used for supplies to make traditional park service wooden signs for
installation only where appropriate.
Fountain and Jug Filler Faucet, $3,000. The present water
faucet by the visitor center leaks, is unsightly, not winter proof,
and must be turned off seasonally. Our funds will be used to purchase
a new, frost-proof fountain and jug filler faucet. As part of the
upgrade, the fountain will be handicapped-accessible. Chief of
Maintenance, Vito Spinale, will install the faucet and fountain in a
new location and put flagstone around the base, making it more
attractive and easier to use.
Sky Lighting, $2,000. Superintendent Koontz set up a task
force to inventory lighting in the park and recommend ways to restore
and protect the superb night sky resource in Frijoles Canyon. The
goal is to shield and direct the light downward and replace current
bulbs with more efficient one. Our funds will be used to buy the
hardware. Crews will start in the canyon and work up to the mesa top.
(Now, if only Los Alamos National Laboratory would do the same, we
could have a real night sky!)
for Park Flight Program, $800. Wildlife specialist Stephen
Fettig has arranged for a student from Costa Rica to do research and
educational programs on birds of Bandelier. This is a matching grant
that supplements other funds supporting her six-week stay at the
Demonstration Dancers, $800. As part of the Cultural
Demonstration Program, Bandelier is hosting three programs of dancers
from local pueblos. The first program on Memorial Day Sunday was very
successful. Dancers from San Juan Pueblo performed on the
Fourth-of-July Sunday. Chief of Interpretation Lynne Dominy hopes to
get dancers from Cochiti or San Ildefonso for Labor Day Sunday. Our
funds will pay the honoraria for two groups.
Commemoration, $1,000. This year is the 40th anniversary
of the Wilderness Act of 1964. Lynne plans to celebrate with events
in the autumn during Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta week, one of the
busiest times of year at the park. Our money will pay for auto
stickers, handouts, etc, explaining the significance of the act.
of Bone Flute, $750. Lynne and Curator Gary Roybal are
conducting an assessment of Bandelier's collection of archaeological,
historic, and contemporary holdings. They found a number of items
that need conservation soon, and are asking various groups for help
with funding. Our $750 will pay for the conservation of a bone flute
found at Tyuonyi and for a special case in which to store it.
Development, $1,000. Superintendent Koontz is convinced of
the value of developing partnerships for mutual benefit. She is
especially interested in approaching the local pueblos. She requested
funds to put together a traveling show she can take with her on
visits to potential partners.
payment of all our 2003 bills, we topped $197,000 in total grants to
Bandelier. In 16 years, that isn't much per year. However, we have
generated several hundred thousand dollars in matching or follow-up
funding for Bandelier from the National Park Service, National Park
Foundation, and several private foundations. Bandelier's base funding
this year is almost $2,438,000. However, 88% of that total covers
personnel expenses. Only $292,600 is left for essentials such as
garbage collection, utility bills, upkeep, etc. Fee Demonstration
funds (part of the money you pay at the entrance station) and grants
provide the money that makes Bandelier a special place.
briefed us on a $1.6 million visitor center renovation project making
its way through the planning and approval process. Of that, $400,000
of Fee Demonstration funding will be set aside for new exhibits.
Rangers will move the present bookstore to what is now the theatre,
leaving the current bookstore space entirely for visitor contact. A
new room will be added to accommodate the theatre. The park also
needs an updated video for visitors at an astonishing estimated cost
already a busy summer at the park. Workers are renovating Juniper
Campground and replacing roofs on historic buildings in Frijoles
Canyon. Sadly, two rangers specializing in graffiti removal must
continually restore cavate ruins after vandalism. On the main
entrance road, rangers are installing a concrete strip to protect the
historic stone gutters built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation
Corps from damage during repaving. Road paving itself is delayed
because no contractor responded to the first Requests for Bids. The
second request resulted in only one over-budget bid.
are also busy planning for the future. The NPS requires that all
parks submit updated Fire Management Plans by December 2004. One
challenge for Bandelier is reintroduction of fire as a resource
management tool. Ruins and artifacts continue to erode in Bandelier's
pinyon-juniper ecosystem. Bandelier has experimented with and is
proposing to do more precedent-setting erosion control in these areas
by means of mechanical slashing of pinyon and juniper vegetation. The
bark beetle infestation has complicated the plans. Bandelier is
drafting an Environmental Assessment to consider opening for public
use all the Cerro Unit (across State Road 4 from the cross country
times, we think. Best hopes to Bandelier for successful completion of
YOU Los Alamos National Bank and First State Bank for your continuing
wishes and thanks Dorothy Hoard, President, Board of Trustees.