Saturday, January 4, 2020

Two Weeks, Two Wheels, and Two Lanes
For the past five years I have been criss-crossing the US, north to south, and east to west, on the old two lane US Highways.  Making photographs, meeting folks along the way, collecting stories.  All on two wheels. On editorial assignments for Harley-Davidson HOG® magazine.  Many of you have followed this blog and have been side by side with me on these incredible journeys.  Thank you all for that special companionship.

This past July I rode, photographed, slept, and ate across America on US Highway 2 dubbed the Great Northern.  Began the journey in St. Ignace, Michigan.  Crossed Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, ending just north of Seattle, Washington.  Just over 2800 miles.

The concept for the story was going Bronson-style "lightening up" as Nancy calls it.  Just the basics: photo gear, cell phone, paper maps, and a duffel with a few essentials.  For two weeks I never turned on the TV.  Sparing myself from everything that appears to be wrong.  By the time I reached Seattle, my spirit had been gratefully renewed with everything that is perfectly right.
My trusty companion on the ride was Ol' Sport.  Simple, basic, lightening up.  Ol' Sport and me - what a ride we had - a couple of buddies traveling down that ribbon of highway that connects us all together.

The published story is in the current issue of Hog® magazine. I was excited to see they used one of my images on the cover as well.   If you would like to read the story click here for a pdf copy.

"Wow! What a Ride".

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Congressional Bill Includes Protection for Greater Chaco
Congress took action last week to protect Chaco Culture National Historical Park from oil and gas drilling.  The appropriations bill ensures that there will be no more leasing on federal lands within ten miles of the park, pending needed studies and consultation with tribal communities.  The ten-mile zone around the park is particularly important, as it includes more than a dozen Chacoan great house communities, ancient roads, and thousands of other significant cultural resources.  Thank you, Senator Udall, Congressman Luj├án, and the entire New Mexico congressional delegation for securing these important protections.

Thank all of you for your support to help make this happen.  A good note to end the year on.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Clock is Ticking
The clock is ticking. It has been almost exactly six months since Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt agreed to halt oil and gas lease sales within a ten-mile buffer zone surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park for one year. That means we are halfway to the end of Interior’s temporary ban on new developments near the park, and the fate of the Greater Chaco Landscape remains in limbo. Chaco is like no other place on earth. It is a living cultural landscape with significant architecture, pictographs and petroglyphs, and other resources that are reminders of the economic, agricultural, and ceremonial hub. – By Paul Reed, Archaeology Southwest

Please take a moment to follow the link to learn more.  The Greater Chaco Landscape connects the people of the American Southwest to our shared heritage, and it must be granted official federal protections before it is lost forever.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Guadalupe Outlier - Greater Chaco Landscape
Over twenty years ago I was wandering around out in the Greater Chaco Landscape of New Mexico.  Nancy and I were living in Seattle.  A conversation with a friend had led to me making a trip to New Mexico and spending some time in his family's cabin near Cuba, NM.  Driving north from Albuquerque Cabezon loomed large on the horizon.  Over the next week I explored dirt roads leading out into a stunning landscape.  Stopping often to make photographs, it was a photographer's holiday.  Meeting a local rancher, he asked "are you looking for the old Indian ruins"?  He pointed me in the direction along the mesas by the river.  I found Guadalupe.

Much has changed over those twenty years.  The site was discovered in the early 1970's.  Located on BLM land it is the responsibility of the BLM for the stewardship of this sacred site.  Nancy and I have returned numerous times to this very special place.  We have seen many changes.  Most not for the better.  Once a location found as it was when the Ancestral Chacoans left, today the BLM has desecrated the site with metal roofs placed on sacred kivas, cemented walls, and the removal of most of the signs of the Pueblo People.  

Last week I flew the site to document and record the site conditions.  My heart was saddened by what I saw.  

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Friday, November 29, 2019

America's 11 Most Endangered Places 
On May 30, 2019, the National Trust announced its annual list of 11 most endangered places.  America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places is a list of places in the United States that the National Trust for Historic Preservation considers the most endangered. It aims to inspire Americans to preserve examples of cultural heritage that could be "relegated to the dustbins of history" without intervention.

At the top of the list is Ancestral and Sacred Sites of Southeast Utah.  This includes Bears Ears, Combs Ridge, and Hovenweep.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has offered almost 19 million acres of public land for oil and gas leasing—an area larger than the entire state of West Virginia.  All this is being done at the same time the administration is revising the management plans for more than 24 million acres of public land and proposing to slash conservation protections by 80%.

Help us as we strive to document and preserve cultural, sacred sites, and endangered landscape in the Southwest.  To learn how you can help visit Question of Power.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Friday, October 25, 2019

112,000 Acres of Public Lands Leased by the BLM 
Since the beginning of 2018 the BLM has leased 112,000 acres of Public Lands in Southeast Utah. This is all part of the Greater Chaco Landscape.  In many cases as little as 2% of the recently leased land has been surveyed for cultural and sacred sites. There are 1700 known sacred sites in three recent lease sales.  The Trump administration immediately targeted this region for development by reducing the size of Bears Ears National Monument by nearly 85% and leaving that previously protected landscape open to mineral, oil and gas development.

Last week I spent time in part of the Bears Ears previously protected landscape, an area called Valley of the Gods. Standing under a brilliant blue sky surrounded by red sandstone mesas, buttes, and towers, all remnants of an ancient landscape, it was a time and place to renew my soul.  Difficult to imagine the long term effects of opening up this and the surrounding landscape for oil and gas industrialization now that protection for the areas has been removed.

Follow this link to experience the beauty of Valley of the Gods.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

BLM Fire Sale of Public Lands
Conservation and tribal groups are criticizing the Bureau of Land Management for its latest oil and gas lease sale of more than 70,000 acres of public land in Utah. The sale, which occurred this week, brought in around $1.63 million, according to the BLM, more than half of which came from 32,027 acres in San Juan County. The sale is the third since March 2018 to include land between Bears Ears and Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, much of which conservation groups say should not be leased. “This area has more archaeological sites than any other area open to oil and gas drilling in the United States,” said Josh Ewing, director of Bluff-based conservation group Friends of Cedar Mesa.

The All Pueblo Council of Governors; San Juan County Commission; the Navajo Utah Commission; the Town of Bluff and the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) were among those that sent letters to the BLM and Utah Governor Herbert, asking them to stop the leases near Hovenweep National Monument from advancing.

be strong, be safe, Carlan