Friends of Bandelier Web Newsletter May 2003


This year is the seventieth anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was vitally important to New Mexico during the depths of the Great Depression and dust bowl. It hired (and fed) young men and sent money home to their families. The CCC workers left a lasting legacy throughout the country, including the buildings and other works at Bandelier. The men of the CCC are in their eighties now and enjoying recognition for their hard work. Watch for CCC events throughout New Mexico. Try to make some of the events to appreciate their work and visit the CCC exhibit in the Visitor Center. Bandelier rangers will be giving CCC Historic District Tours on May 10, May 17, June 14, July 12, and August 9.

New programs include Dark Night stargazing evenings, tentatively scheduled for May 30, June 29, July 29, and August 27. An astronomy club will be in Bandelier with their telescopes and welcome viewers. New guided hikes include Tsankawi, Falls Trail, Frey Trail, and Tyuonyi Overlook hikes. Watch for the Pablita Velarde reception and the Enchanted by Bandelier art exhibit at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos August 8 – September 6. Call Bandelier at 505 672-3861 to


Each year, the Board of Trustees funds annual grants to Bandelier National Monument. This year we favored projects that enabled students to work in the park and worthy projects that would not be done without our funding. Here is our grant list for 2003.

Flagstones for native plant garden, $1,000. The rangers want to replace the bluegrass lawn in the patio behind the Visitor Center with flagstone and incorporate a garden of native plants into the design. A class from Pojoaque School will do the planting. The park will use only material native to Bandelier. Part of the plan is to reduce the watering requirements - they will try to incorporate water harvesting techniques like channeling rain water from the roofs (if we ever get any rain!!) to water the plants. In addition to an interpretive garden for native plants, the rangers need a gathering point for tours, etc. At present, tours congregate in front of the front doors and block entry by others. Half of the flagstones have already been purchased; our funds buy the other half.

Park-wide Newspaper, $1,500. For the third year, the rangers asked us to help fund the Bandelier newspaper. To save on expenses, they will print in two colors instead of full color. Watch for coming events listed in the papers; it looks like an exciting year. To get on the mailing list, write to Interpretation Division, Bandelier National Monument, HCR 1, STE 15, Los Alamos NM 87544.

Cultural Awareness Pueblo Crafts, $1,500. We haven’t funded the Pueblo Crafts since 2000, but are happy to resume helping with this wonderful program. Each weekend a craftsperson from a nearby pueblo demonstrates in the patio behind the Visitor Center and can sell a limited amount of the crafts. The program runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Backcountry SCA $2,500. This grant is a sad sign of the times. Bandelier's protection staff is seriously depleted because of the need for homeland security. Bandelier is required to rotate its protection staff to high profile parks like the Statue of Liberty and Yosemite to guard against terrorists. This external duty does not leave many protection people to patrol Bandelier. Our money pays a member of the Student Conservation Corps to stay in the backcountry to check camping permits, destroy fire rings, and generally keep an eye on things. If we don’t fund the position, there will be no one out there. The Friends have funded several SCA positions in the past. These are bright, hard-working college students or recent graduates. The National Park Service hires many of its new employees from its SCA pool.

Vanishing Treasures Photography Project, $3,500. For several years ranger Angelyn Rivera has worked to document and restore the cavates in Bandelier and at Tsankawi as part of the National Park Service Vanishing Treasures Project. Documentation is a big concern. This year Angelyn wants to photograph the entire cavate area from near the entrance road almost to Ceremonial Cave, a distance of approximately three miles. The only previous work is a set of site drawings by Kenneth Chapman from the 1910s. The plan is to take photos from the south rim of Frijoles Canyon.

We ran out of money here. (In fact, the photography project actually costs $4,500. We hope Angelyn can find the extra $1,000 from other Vanishing Treasures funds.) We couldn’t fund $2,000 to revamp the entrance to Tsankawi or buy replacement signs for its backcountry. Superintendent Steve Bone feels that the appearance of the Tsankawi entrance and many of the backcountry signs is not appropriate for a national park. We hope that the rangers can find other funds to make this high priority project happen. Also, we didn't have $1,500 for the butterfly project that we supported in the past. We hope entomologist Paula Kleintjes can still come. Butterflies are the ecological equivalent of canaries in the coal mine. If they don’t do well, other living things will soon suffer.