Friday, March 5, 2010

A Sad Day

Here's a sad story: The state of Arizona is closing state parks because of their budget crunch. This includes Homol'ovi Ruins State Park, in Winslow. The park covers 7,000 square acres, and seven ancestral pueblos. There is real concern about what will happen to those cultural resources, now that the park staff is no longer there to protect them.

Thinking about the big picture, this is a disaster for Arizona, and for archaeology. The state is highly dependent on tourism. They've been selling tourists on Arizona's deep (pre)history, and the tourism helps sell Arizona residents on site stewardship. And yet, the state park's budget was cut by 61%, and the majority of the state parks will be closing.

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