Sunday, April 27, 2008

Restoring Chaco

Wind blows through broken walls. One other pair of footprints in the dust. A butterfly flits up and over the shattered stone edifice. Flowers bloom in the Kivas. A spider rubs its front legs together like a fly. After dissecting a plant to key it - I want to refold it again like origami.

Travelers walking to Chaco soon saw canyon walls becoming taller and taller as they passed by larger and larger pueblo buildings and sandstone cliffs etched with clan symbols and markings [billboard advertising?]. Eventually the narrow canyon opened up to reveal the sweeping sight of Fajada Butte and the great Chacoan buildings at the heart of their world...

What would it take to restore the Chaco River? Where once massive granaries stood overlooking productive fields and streams, today dust devils and desolation spoil the view. Wouldn't this be a cool if there were trails along the river? These riparian corridors could once again tie the landscape and its communities, both natural and human together and make it whole again.

Possible future directions:
  • expand Chaco Culture National HIstoric Park
  • problem: the park is just that, a historic park, with little biological relevancy. to take part in 21st century conservation reserve networks the park has to be expanded.
  • problem: resistance to U.s.A federal land grab on Navaho Nation tribal land.
  • plant trees, fence riparian area, conduct restoration
  • problem: traditional sheepherders will not want to loose access to rich summer forage (they might be recompensed with greater winter season forage and the lure of greater water then.
  • involve local communities
  • Grassroots?
  • "environmental justice" angle.
strange dreams, think not on
the genocides
but the 10 to the 10 unborn
that never worked skin over jawbones
or breathed dry air
in an empty desert
once full of life

when the perfect circle
Bright stars in a bright sky
A slight moon makes the
ground light, the black silouette of the
crumbling castle looms large
tonight, in NM
Mans footprint looms large
Dead trees; a dry wash.
In the desert you find only yourself.
and the sad, sleepy-eyed bear,
gaze forever from the flat cutout
some habitat preserved on paper.

Wonder on the whims of humans
who could extinct the grizzly, beaver, and wolf
but deign to adorn YOU with Life,
at least on paper.

NM: No FM or AM.
No cell reception until "over the hill"
-- 150 miles over the thousands foot continental divide.
Above green valleys hidden in the desert's yellow dust.

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