May 2009

Please recall that Superintendent Brad Traver resigned his position, citing health concerns of his wife. Jason Lott, previously superintendent at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Arizona, is now the new superintendent of Bandelier. Here is Jason's resumé.

During his tenure at Casa Grande Ruins, Lott was responsible for helping establish the park's friends group, implementing the annual Native American Music Fest and creating a new division for Resources Management. He also planned and prepared for expansion of the monument's visitor center, upgraded park infrastructure in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and instituted an international, park-to-park relationship with Pacquime in Casas Grandes, Mexico for joint research and consultation in ruins preservation. Lott also has been an active member of the Central Incident Command Team and the Vanishing Treasures Leadership Committee.

Prior to his assignment at Casa Grande Ruins, Lott served as the Program Manager for Resources Management at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Johnson City, TX. In that role, he was named the 2005 recipient of the "NPS Director's Award for Natural Resource Management in a Small Park." He also recently completed 20 years of service with the Army National Guard, where he commanded the 1086th Transportation Company in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq during 2003.

"I am very excited to have been given the opportunity to serve at Bandelier," Lott said. "It's a very special place with unique cultural resources, dynamic natural resources, wilderness, camping, trails, active partners and an involved gateway community. What a wonderful place for a career and for my family." Lott holds a master's degree in history from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA with an emphasis in cultural resource management. Lott, his wife Wendy - also a graduate of Northwestern State - and their two children plan to make their home in Los Alamos.

In light of the revolving door of superintendents since the Cerro Grande fire of 2000, everyone hopes that Jason will stay a while. Someone pointed out that he has two young children. Los Alamos has a good school system; maybe he will stay while they are in school here.

New Grants for 2009: the Board of the Friends once again agreed to support the cultural demonstration program: Pueblo dancers ($1,200) on the three summer holidays--Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day, and also four Pueblo bread baking sessions ($600). These are always great fun and a mad scramble for bread as it comes out of Bandelier's horno. We hope some of you will be able to enjoy these events.

As in the past, we will fund the summer printing of Bandelier's newspaper, the Tuff Times ($1200). The paper goes automatically to all households in Los Alamos. We mail the paper to all out-of-town members except those who specifically decline. The paper also will be available on Bandelier's website--where the photos look a whole lot better. We get a number of nice comments about the Tuff Times, but I must emphasize that the Bandelier Rangers (especially Sally King) produce the paper.

Chief of Interpretation Lynne Dominy also requests that we fund printing the first run of Bandelier's Stewardship booklets ($1200). For 1000 or so Boy Scouts coming to the park in June, the rangers need 50 leader booklets, which Bandelier will retain, and 1000 personal booklets to carry the scouts thru the month. Following this first-time need, the rangers will post the booklet online and have future copies printed at the Government Printing Shop.

These grants total only $4,200 but with all the other projects going on, Bandelier ran out of rangers to do much more. We expect to use our balance for matching funds when the opportunity arises. I haven't heard how the Centennial Matching Grant program for the Park Service is currently faring in Congress, what with all the other business going on.

We received two generous donations from the Delle Foundation specifically targeted to trail work in Bandelier. Chief of Maintenance Lisa Ermelling has agreed to use these funds to restore the trail in Frijoles Canyon that suffered flood damage in 2006. Work will start in autumn.

In any event, Superintendent Jason has figuratively rather jumped into a boiling cauldron of activities; he and the rangers will be busy. Bandelier received stimulus money for the extensive remodel of the Visitor Center, for rehabilitatation of Juniper Campground, to improve heating and cooling in the administration building, and for trail maintenance. All the money must be spent before September 2010 to help stimulate the economy. In addition, the pinyon-juniper restoration continues in the backcountry and the park has some prescribed burning scheduled for 2009.

But if you get the chance, do come to Bandelier to relax. It is as enchanting as ever.