Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Stewardship of the Land

The Greater Chaco Landscape is now under unprecedented assault by the oil and gas industry, with the enthusiastic support of the Trump administration and Acting Interior Secretary Bernhardt. There are already more than 20,000 oil and gas wells in the region, and the drilling is quickly encroaching closer and closer to Chaco Canyon.

Throughout the government shutdown in January, former oil lobbyist Bernhardt stayed on the job as Acting Secretary, working hard to push forward plans for leasing. During the shutdown, 800 employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) were authorized to stay at work to process oil and gas drilling leases. Meanwhile 85% of the rest of the staff at the Department of the Interior (DOI) were furloughed.
Existing drilling wells close to Chaco Canyon, and the proposed 10 mile protection zone (in blue).
In early February 2019, the BLM announced plans to sell more leases in late March (March 28) for oil and gas extraction, quite a number of which were within a 10-mile radius of the park. Then, a few days later, BLM announced that it was withdrawing the lease sales for sites within 10 miles of Chaco Canyon.  Archaeologist Paul Reed of the non-profit cultural resources group Archaeology Southwest says, “I think this is probably a temporary victory, and the parcels will come up again in a future lease sale.”

Land parcels that are still up for lease outside the informal 10-mile buffer zone, but are within the Greater Chaco Landscape, contain many important Chacoan Sacred Sites.

be strong, be safe, Carlan 

Friday, February 1, 2019

HWY83 Unspoiled, Unbroken, Dead North
The current issue of Harley-Davidson HOG® Magazine features the HWY83 story I rode, photographed, and wrote last summer.  With the Polar Vortex across the country causing some mighty cold conditions, thought the story might warm you up a bit.  Even my bike is sitting in my heated studio with the battery tender keeping things warm today.  Here is a link to the pdf copy of the full story.  HWY 83.  

Keep warm.  Hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I did creating it!

Thought for the day:

I love being on the road.  It keeps me present. Because I'm not allowing my brain to get into any sort of pattern, where I start worrying about things that don't matter.  If I'm in a new place every day, I have to be alert, I'm forced to be in the present moment so I can take what comes.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Monday, January 7, 2019

Chaco Outliers
 After Chaco Canyon monument was established in 1907, subsequent exploration led to the discovery of outlying sites, some as far as 100 miles from Chaco Canyon.  These sites, spread out over 30,000 square miles, were the remnants of a network of outlying communities, all linked to Chaco Canyon and the other sites by an extensive system of prehistoric roads.  In the late 1920's, the monument was expanded to include additional sites that were part of Chaco Canyon.
In the 1950's and 1960's, increased energy and mineral exploration and development in the region led to the discovery of a number of additional Chacoan outliers.  In 1980, Congress passed Public Law 96 550.  Title V of that Act renamed the monument to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, enlarging the site by approximately 13,000 acres to a size of approximately 33,990 acres.
The legislation also created a system of Chaco Culture Archeological Protection Sites, consisting of 33 outlying sites totaling approximately 8,800 acres.  Unlike Chaco Culture National Historical Park, these sites are not administered as units of the National Park System.  Instead, they are managed primarily by the Bureau of Land Management.
Large deposits of uranium, natural gas, oil and coal are believed to lie beneath the San Juan basin. Energy exploration and development are permitted on and adjacent to the archeological protection sites as long as such exploration and development does not endanger the cultural values of the sites. The Bureau of Land Management is the Federal Agency responsible for the proposed leasing of an additional 4,000 oil and gas wells adjacent to many of these sacred sites.

To learn and see more visit Question of Power

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Great North Road
The Chacoans built elaborate road systems covering over 1,500 miles.  Most of the roads connected to Chaco Canyon.  The Great North Road leads from Chaco Canyon to Kutz Canyon.  To the Puebloans a road is a type of altar, a channel for the life's breath, and to travel the straight road to the center place is to strive for equilibrium.

Approaching Kutz Canyon the North Road becomes a narrow corridor crossing a private commercial fracking fluid soil recovery farm.  The North Road is criss-crossed with bulldozed roads for fracking soil trucks.  Surrounded by the fracking fluid soil recovery fields Arena Alto Great House is several hundred yards from Kutz Canyon adjacent to the North Road.  This sacred site's great kiva was recently bulldozed by road construction.

The North Road is more tha a guide or corridor linking Chacoan Great Houses and features.  It is a map to a lifeway, it holds the stories of the Chaco civilization. 

 Click here to view the North Road at Kutz Canyon. 

be strong, be safe, Carlan



Thursday, December 6, 2018

Soaring Like Eagles
Pierre's Chacoan Outlier
In the Native American culture eagles are honored with great care and shown the deepest respect. They represent honesty, truth, majesty, strength, courage, wisdom, power and freedom.  

The view from above has always held a special feeling for me.  Freedom of flight.  No longer constrained to your feet.  Spent quite a bit of time over the years making photographs from helicopters and fixed wing planes.  Remember every moment of it.  Loved every moment of it.  This past August received my FAA Remote Pilots License.  Certified to soar like eagles.  Working on the soaring.  

The Greater Chaco Landscape Project incorporates an aerial perspective.  Documenting sacred sites that are effected by the industrialization of the surrounding landscape.  Work which represents honesty, truth, strength, and wisdom.  Work which carries the deepest respect.  With over 10,000 new oil and gas leases proposed for the Greater Chaco Landscape, there is much work to be done.  Help become a part of this important work.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bison Advise
Riding across the Standing Rock Reservation last June working on a story for Harley-Davidson came across some good advise.  Felt the need to share it again.

Cherish wide-open spaces
Stand your ground
Have a tough hide
Keep moving on
Have a strong spirit
Let the chips fall where they may
Roam wild and free 

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Greater Chaco Landscape Workshop
 April 9 - 13, 2019

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, located in northwest New Mexico, is arguably the most significant ancient cultural site in the United States.  Between AD 600 and 1260 Chaco Canyon was a major hub for the Ancient Pueblo People.  The canyon contains the remnants of great houses, kivas, roads, gridded gardens and irrigation systems built by a people who were proficient in astronomy, architecture, agriculture and the arts.   This workshop presents a rare opportunity to explore and photograph Chaco Canyon’s great architectural and cultural heritage.  You’ll walk on ancient roads and through buildings placed and designed by the cycles of the moon and sun, and by the Chacoan’s amazing innate grasp of engineering parallel to today’s technology.
The workshop will also focus on the breathtaking surrounding areas known as the Greater Chaco Landscape.  This includes Angel Peak Badlands and Ah-Shi-Sle-Pha, two areas known for its unusual geological landforms found only in the Four Corners Region of New Mexico.  While photographing some of Mother Earth’s finest work you’ll also learn how the Chacoans built roads and outliers (smaller inhabited villages) throughout these areas, all of which are linked directly to Chaco Canyon. 
This four-day workshop is directed to the photographer seeking a unique off the beaten path experience.  Please note there will be a fair amount of walking in open desert landscape.  Weather in April averages 60 to 70 degrees during the day with evenings as low as 30 degrees. The workshop will be based out of the historic Casa Blanca Inn in Farmington, New Mexico, about a three and half hour drive from either Santa Fe or Albuquerque.

The workshop is limited to 8 participants.  Your tax-deductible donation of $1850.00 includes honorariums, most meals, water, light beverages and snacks.  Lodging and transportation are not included.  For your convenience we have set aside rooms at the Casa Blanca Inn.   To register for the workshop please click HERE.


I've spent the last sixteen years photographing and documenting Chaco Canyon, its artifacts, and its outlying sacred sites.  As you explore the area with me, you'll understand why I'm so passionate about preserving Chaco Canyon's legacy for future generations to come.  Your tax-deductible workshop donation allows us to continue to produce this necessary and timely work.  To learn more please visit Question of Power.

be strong, be safe, Carlan