Annual Report for 2008
We are delighted to announce
that the National Park Service awarded Bandelier matching funds for their two
Centennial Challenge Grant proposals.
It turned out to be a brutal and rather sad competition.
The Bush Administration asked Congress
for $100 million to be matched dollar for dollar by the private sector.
The National Park Service (NPS) rather
quickly gathered non-federal guarantees in excess of $200 million to benefit
its unit parks, leaving the Park Service to select only $100 million-worth of
proposals. But, Congress only
allocated $25 million. This left
the NPS with the painful chore of choosing only one-quarter of the accepted
proposals. Bandelier was one of
very few to get two awards, and the only park in New Mexico to get any
Centennial Grant at all. One grant, Modeling Sustainability at Bandelier, will develop a five-year plan and educational
materials for energy efficient efforts dealing with 1930s facilities in a deep
canyon. The other grant,
Identifying Non-Traditional Park Visitor Needs at Bandelier,
funds minority focus groups to determine ways to make
parks more relevant for minority citizens, in BandelierŐs case, Hispanics and
Native Americans. New Mexico State
Parks Department is also a partner in this project. We expect these two
projects to occupy the rangers for the remainder of the year.
We have already transferred the
FriendsŐ matching funds of $27,500 for sustainability and $12,500 for the focus
groups to the park.
Chief of Interpretation Lynne
Dominy and I went to the Centennial Inaugural Ceremony in Washington DC.
Several congressmen from both parties
spoke; they were very proud of getting the funding at all.
Each one commented that the American
public wants Congress to do something bipartisan and positive, and national parks
always fits that category.
Congress has now passed a bill guaranteeing $30 million (not $100
million) in matching funds until 2016.
Considering the state of the economy, that is actually rather a generous
Bandelier still has the
cliff-hanger request before Congress for $3.75 million for remodeling the
Visitor Center to update their interpretive exhibits.
The request is in the PresidentŐs budget as #17 of 17 in NPS
line-item construction requests for fiscal year 2009, which starts in October. Last
year, the park purchased crafts for new exhibits, some of which we funded.
Even without a remodeled Visitor Center
(very badly needed), the craft items are a valuable edition to BandelierŐs
collections, documenting Pueblo crafts at this point in time.
As part of refurbishing, the rangers
already installed new exhibit panels in front of the Visitor Center and on the
In 1994, the Friends provided
matching funds for a pilot study called piñon-juniper restoration,
which was actually in its second year at the
received funding to do a larger scale watershed study.
In 2007, after many years of research
on erosion, the rangers issued the Environmental Impact Statement to apply the
restoration techniques throughout the parkŐs piñon-juniper woodland.
At last, in 2008, work has begun!
This last winter, Chief of Resource
Management, John Mack, treated the easy parts along the entrance road and State
Road 4 and has now moved into the backcountry.
I call the treatment Ňslash and trash,Ó and would normally
be horrified, except that it works so well.
Actually, the roadside treatment does not look too bad.
(Los Alamos National Laboratory is
using the technique also.)
visitors probably will not even notice.
We will check on vegetation recovery and let you know how it progresses;
good success really depends on the rains.
In other news of the FriendsŐ
2007 assistance to Bandelier, the Pablita Velarde exhibit went so well that the
Museum of Indian Arts and Culture kept the paintings hanging for an extra
in the Frijoles Canyon hornos were great fun and holiday Pueblo dances were
These programs are
very important to Bandelier managers as part of on-going cultural demonstrations
that encourage surrounding Pueblos to maintain their affinities with
We are also funding Los
Alamos High School web-whiz Colin MacArthur to find ways to make the Park
ServiceŐs klutzy (technical term) web site more user-friendly and descriptive
of BandelierŐs many and diverse activities.
As usual, Bandelier always gets more than our moneyŐs worth
from these young people.
This annual report is rather
late, but we did not really have much to say until we knew the outcome of the
We hope you
find BandelierŐs adventures adventuresome enough to say tuned.
Our very best wishes and thanks
to you all, dear Friends, for 2008.
Dorothy Hoard, President, Board of Trustees