BLM Expands Canyons of the Ancients Holdings
by Watch Staff
Jul 28, 2011 | 1113 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DOLORES – The Bureau of Land Management has expanded the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, with its Friday, July 22 purchase of 1,855 acres south of McElmo Creek.  The property was owned by Corey Veach, and about 20 percent of the parcel has been inventoried for cultural resources with significant results.

“The cultural resources located on this parcel will receive increased management and protection under federal historic preservation laws,” said Marietta Eaton, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Manager.  “The inclusion of these cultural resources in the Monument will ensure long-term preservation of additional components of the prehistoric landscape of this region.”

The prehistoric occupation of the area began around 10,500 B.C., with later intensive use by ancestral Puebloans, Utes, Navajos, and Euro-Americans.

Archaeological sites recorded in the area represent the full spectrum of prehistoric human occupation, ranging short-term hunting camps to large habitation complexes that include public architecture, agricultural features, and rock art.

“The degree of physical preservation at some of the recorded sites is exceptional and will contribute a great deal to our long-term understanding of how humans have used this corner of Colorado and the Southwest,” said Vince MacMillan, BLM Archeologist for the Monument.

Acquisition of the parcel also creates a more contiguous landscape and supports the Monument management goals.  The BLM staff will complete a Land Health Assessment on the parcel in the BLM’s Mail Trail (formerly East McElmo) grazing allotment to help facilitate improvements in rangeland health conditions.

A portion of the parcel is also federally leased, and known minerals include crude oil, natural gas and carbon dioxide gas.  There are 11 oil exploration/production sites on the parcel, and one is currently producing oil, according to the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Division.

The area provides sweeping scenic vistas in an isolated setting, and is accessible to the public. For more information, contact Heather Musclow, BLM Natural Resource Specialist, at 970-882-5632 or hmusclow@blm.gov.
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