January 2007

In 2005, the Friends of Bandelier received a memorial donation for Barbara Hemberger. The donors, Lynne and Mikkel Johnson, requested that the donation be used for backcountry trails because Barbara and Phil loved to hike in Bandelier. We contacted Chief of Resource Management John Mack. John was able to buy supplies for new signs. In 2006, handsome new signs were springing up all through the Wilderness.

Lee Sullivan is a legendary hiker in Los Alamos. Now in her 80s, Lee enjoys taking friends on easy hikes in Bandelier. In 2006, Lee contacted the Friends, saying that the fires and prescribed burns had burned up all the logs along the trails that people used to rest on, especially on Burnt Mesa, which is an ideal hike for older people. We took Chief of Resource Management John Mack and Archaeologist Rory Gauthier out to assess the need. A few months later, benches appeared. In between times, the Friends had funded a Student Conservation Associate (SCA) to do some fire effects monitoring for the park. John told us SCAs, including "ours," put up the benches.

In this end-of-year webletter, we want to give a quick update on how our 2006 grants fared. Unfortunately, we can’t give any predictions for Bandelier’s 2007 requests to the Friends. As you know, Congress has not passed the national budget for fiscal year 2007 (starting in October 2006). Federal agencies, including Bandelier, are operating under continuing resolutions. The rangers can’t make decisions until they have their own budget. A high priority for Bandelier is remodeling the Visitor Center. The rangers have worked hard on plans for new exhibits and are ready when financing is in hand and the Park Service gives the go-ahead. Realizing how tight money is for federal agencies, Superintendent Darlene Koontz is exploring several additional sources.

Grants: One of our 2006 grants was for acquisition of modern puebloan works for the new exhibit hall and Bandelier’s permanent collection. Chief of Interpretation Lynne Dominy’s primary objective is to show continuity with and differences between modern pieces and works in the collection, some dating back to 1150. Lynne contacted affiliated pueblos to find appropriate artisans. We have contracted for the following works: a storyteller set by Ada Suina of Cochiti; a traditional embroidered white manta by Isabel Gonzales of San Ildefonso; an atlatl, 10 arrow shaft bases, 3 arrow shafts with points, and an arrow bag by Ulyssess Reid from Zia; a traditional Zuñi olla by Noreen Simplicio of Zuñi, and a copy of the Zuñi migration mural by Geddy Epaloose of Zuñi. Prehistorically, the Zuñi were a wide-ranging tribe and have maintained traditional ties to a number of national parks throughout the Southwest, including Bandelier. Lynne asks that the first four pieces be done by May 2007, with the mural by July 2007. We have already purchased beautiful white moccasins by Gary Roybal from Santa Clara, which are stored in Bandelier’s climate controlled archives..

Our largest grant to Bandelier in 2006 was funding for restoration and conservation of Bandelier's collection of works by New Mexico artist Pablita Velarde. Pablita worked at Bandelier under the depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) that tried to support artists of all kinds during those dark days. All the paintings that required work have now been beautifully conserved and framed. They are currently at the New Mexico Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, which is preparing a retrospective exhibit of Pablita's work. The exhibit will open February 18, 2007. The Friends are funding some of the publicity and are sponsoring dancers and cultural demonstrations at the opening ceremonies. We sincerely hope that you will save the date and attend the opening.

EIS: Some of our long-time members may remember that we funded preliminary experiments to restore the piñon-juniper (p-j) woodland. The p-j is severely overgrown with junipers and is now littered with the skeletons of piñons killed by bark beetles. A heavy tree canopy prevents light from reaching the ground, so grasses, shrubs, wildflowers (even weeds) can’t grow. The lack of ground cover promotes erosion that threatens the integrity of the ruins. The Park Service later funded treatment of a small watershed on the mesa south of Frijoles Canyon. Now the rangers are releasing their Environmental Impact Statement that details options for more widespread treatment of the p-j. The EIS is a rather large document—over 200 pages. It is posted on Bandelier’s website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov) and the park offers it on disk by request. Deadline for comments is March 19, 2007

Friends Board: I’m delighted to report that the board has elected four new members. Mary Burchill is a long-time summer employee at Bandelier and at other parks , Mary works primarily in archives and libraries. She is author of Lady of the Canyon: Evelyn Cecil Frey. Craig Martin coordinated volunteer activities for restoration efforts after the Cerro Grande Fire of 2000 and is now Open Space Coordinator for Los Alamos County. Brad Vierra is archaeologist and coordinator of Cultural Affairs at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Lee Warren has volunteered at the front desk at Bandelier since his retirement as an assistant attorney general and as a water law attorney in the State Engineer’s Office.

A Sad (but nice) Farewell: Ranger Holly Baker, Lynne Dominy’s assistant, left in January for a new job at Zion. It is exhausting for the rest of us just to listen to all of Lynne’s wonderful ideas; Holly had to actually work on them. It is a blow for us, but we are all delighted that she gets a promotion and will be an interpreter—her first love. Holly designed the 90th Anniversary Pendleton Blanket and did the initial negotiations with Pendleton. She and I were Comrades-in-Arms throughout the sales and with much of the Friends’ other business with the park. Our thanks and very best wishes go to Holly.

Calendar: Some of you may be interested in a handsome 2007 Bandelier calendar. It is available locally and from the web site http://www.canyonechographics.com. I’m not aware of any other calendar ever devoted to Bandelier. It could become a collector’s item!

Good wishes to you all, dear Friends, for the New Year.

Dorothy Hoard, President, Board of Trustees.