December 2004

Here is a quick update for the end of 2004. The Board also takes this opportunity to wish you all a happy holiday season and a GOOD New Year. For those of you who haven't been to Bandelier lately, the big event this summer was paving the entrance road. It was quite an undertaking. First, crews had to stabilize and protect all the historic Civilian Conservation Corps structures along the road. Then they had to take up the old pavement and install new asphalt. Although it is the only vehicular access into the park, the road had to be closed to all traffic every afternoon to get the work done. Repaving work did stop during the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Bandelier's busiest week of the year!


We check in with Bandelier at the end of every season to how our grant projects fared. Here is the 2004 tally:

Student for Park Flight Program, $800. Wildlife specialist ranger Stephen Fettig hosted Ruby Zambrano Munoz from Panama to do research investigating autumn bird migrations through the Jemez Mountains. Ruby's educational programs were a great hit in Los Alamos. A parade of school classes and miscellaneous visitors traveled up into Bandelier's mountains to view her mist nets and help collect data. She also gave presentations at the schools. Our $800 matching grant supplemented other funds supporting Ruby's six-week stay at the park.

Cultural Demonstration Dancers, $800. As part of the Cultural Demonstration Program, Bandelier hosted three programs by dancers from local pueblos. The Oak Canyon Dancers from Jemez Pueblo performed on Memorial Day, the Tewa Dancers from San Juan Pueblo on Fourth-of-July weekend, and the Herrera Dancers from Cochiti Pueblo on Labor Day Sunday. Our funds paid the honoraria for two of the groups. In addition to providing a memorable experience for visitors, the rangers hope the programs will strengthen ties between the Pueblos and Bandelier.

Wilderness Commemoration, $437. This year marked the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964. With over 28,000 acres of wilderness, Bandelier had cause to celebrate. Ecologist Craig Allen, Archaeologist Rory Gauthier, and I gave a tour that wandered around in the wilds looking at small ruins and some of the eagle trapping pits. It was a sparkling day and the customers, mostly from Santa Fe, seemed to enjoy it. Craig also hosted an evening program, where he showed protection ranger Dale Coker's beautiful slides of the wilderness. Our money paid rental of facilities for the presentation and for commemorative auto stickers. Be sure to pick up a sticker when next you visit the park.

Conservation of bone flute, $750. Bettina Raphael of Santa Fe did a wonderful job restoring the bone flute that a visitor had found partly buried in Frijoles Canyon. An article and photos appear in the winter edition of the Tuff Times. Board members expected to see the flute at our end-of-year meeting, but the meeting was snowed out.

Water Fountain and Jug Filler Faucet, $3,000. We've provided the money for a new frost-proof fountain and jug filler faucet to be installed near the Visitor Center. Chief of Maintenance, Vito Spinale, bought the parts, but, because winter came early and cold, he can't install the fountain until weather permits.

Work was disrupted by the road repairs this summer. Not all our grant money was spent. The money stays in our account, available for 2005. The projects on hold are: (1) replacement of obsolete and non standard signs and removal of inappropriate fencing, (2) replacement lighting to protect the night sky, and (3) assembling a traveling show for developing partners for Bandelier.


With payment of all our 2004 bills, we topped $207,700 in grants to Bandelier. In 17 years, that isn't much per year, but it does show what dogged persistence can accomplish.

This autumn, we granted $5,000 to help fund a School of American Research book based on archaeological research and surveys at Bandelier. The book's title is The Peopling of Bandelier: New Approaches to the Archaeology of the Pajarito Plateau. Bob Powers is chief editor; he was project leader for the archaeological survey at Bandelier in 1988-1992. Bob reports that he expects the book to be out in time for the March 31 Society for American Archaeology meeting in Salt Lake City. He expects it to appear in bookstores in April and is scheduling book tours now. Like many another true scientist, Bob may not be the best judge of the popular appeal of a book on his specialty. But, by happenstance, I met the text editor. She is delighted with the text and assured me that the book is quite readable and tells a fascinating story.


Throughout our 17 years, we have been so proud of our low operating costs, mostly just postage, paper, and website hosting. Alas, those days are over. We operate under a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Park Service. In our latest 5-year renewal, NPS demanded that we get liability insurance to protect the US government in case we are sued. NPS is not discriminating against the Friends of Bandelier; this is now a standard clause in all MOAs. NPS usually demands coverage for $2 million, but Superintendent Darlene Koontz and Contracts Administrator Barbara Romero convinced their solicitor that $500,000 ought to be adequate for the Friends since we have no paid employees and no real property, only a bank account containing funds that we try to disperse to the park quickly. There is a small, but finite, possibility we could be sued were something to go wrong on a tour or other event we occasionally sponsor. We hope that our membership understands and will stick with us. At least you will know that your government is safe from the Friends.

Best wishes for the holidays and thanks again to you, dear Friends, for your continued faithful support.

Dorothy Hoard, President, Board of Trustees

THANK YOU Los Alamos National Bank and First State Bank for your continuing generous support.