GBASPA Working Group

Shawn Kelley and group from Santa Clara Pueblo at San Cristobal (Photo courtesy of Scott Jaquith)After the federal passage of the Galisteo Basin Archaeological Protection Act in 2004, a group of interested people has met to provide input and support for efforts to protect and preserve archaeological sites in the Galisteo Basin and related areas. This group has met monthly ever since then, and continues to meet. The group includes tribal representatives, area residents, professional archaeologists, representatives of state and county agencies involved with Galisteo archaeological sites, and representatives of the Taos field office and the State office of the Bureau of Land Management. The Taos BLM Field office is the federal agency currently administering the Galisteo area and funds provided for the act.

This diverse group serves a number of functions. Tribal input is a critical facet of the Galisteo Basin Archaeological Sites Protection Act. Area residents provide knowledge of land ownership and can monitor plans for development that could affect either sites on the protection list or other related resources. With the diversity of sites and areal spread, various archaeologists have the most intimate knowledge of particular sites and theoretical issues. This interfacing of knowledge of the sites and landscape provides the BLM with information relevant to promoting preservation of the sites.

Group members have also been active in advocating for governmental support and legislation for the promotion of site preservation. Among the topics discussed by the group through its considerable length of existence have been site boundaries, damage to sites, budget proposals, organizational plans for the group, reviews of management plans and reports, overview concepts such as landscape protection, and tribal concerns. The group regularly visits sites that are either on the protection list or are potential additions to it to monitor current conditions and to consider proposals to add to the protection list.