January Decision May Seal the Fate of Nine Mile Canyon

Posted on: November 4th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will not release the Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) for the West Tavaputs Natural Gas Full Field Development Plan (WTP Plan) this week as we reported last Friday. Rather, BLM will likely issue the Final EIS sometime in January 2009.

The WTP Plan, a proposal by the Bill Barrett Corporation to construct over 800 natural gas wells on the WTP, could cause truck traffic in Nine Mile Canyon to increase by an additional 500 percent, which would in turn expose rock art panels in the canyon to potentially harmful amounts of dust, chemical dust suppressants and vehicle exhaust. Check back in with PreservationNation in January for additional information on the Final EIS and WTP Plan and ways in which you can express your concerns for this proposal to BLM.

– Ti Hays

Ti Hays is the Public Lands Counsel for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Notes from New Orleans: Vote on Charter Offers "Revolutionary" Changes

Posted on: November 3rd, 2008 by Walter Gallas

 

Along with the history-making national presidential ballot before us on November 4, here in New Orleans citizens have the opportunity to vote on an amendment to the City Charter which could alter the character of city planning and land-use in a revolutionary way. The voters in New Orleans are being asked whether they want their planning and zoning to be protected from City Hall wheeling and dealing -- locked in, as it were, and with the force of law so that developers and citizens will know up front that the rules are set and harder to undermine. The passage of this charter amendment would give new predictability to land use matters and help to avoid so many of the land use and development battles fought for decades in this town -- and with increasing ferocity in these times after Hurricane Katrina.

I have been reflecting recently about what it would have been like in the last three years in New Orleans if -- when Katrina hit -- we already had in place a true master plan for the city with accompanying zoning and which carried the force of law. Maybe we wouldn’t have had the messy fights about how and where public housing should be provided for our citizens. Maybe we wouldn’t have had to argue about whether historic preservation is an important tool for redevelopment. Maybe we wouldn’t have had to worry about which buildings will be demolished next, because we would have had a housing development plan in place. Maybe we wouldn’t have had to fight an ill-conceived plan to demolish historic housing to build hospitals. Maybe we would have had a real downtown development plan for our Central Business District.

Alas, we didn’t have the plan in place then -- and it will be another six to eight months before we see such a plan take final shape, but if the citizens of New Orleans pass this charter amendment on Tuesday, we will at least know that the city is finally headed in the right direction when it comes to planning in the future.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

 

New Jersey Historic Sites at Risk: It's a situation becoming all too common around the country. PreserveNJ discusses the risk that historic sites the Garden State are facing due to the current economic crisis. "We’re going to have to explore innovative ways of funding and managing these important historic places as the NJ state budget shrinks even more." [PreservNJ]

Time Tells on Tulsa: Some very cool photos and reflections from Vince Michael on his experiences at the National Preservation Conference. [Time Tells]

Linked Voids: BLDGBLOG ponders the "so-called birthmark of the World Trade Center," giant, cast-iron rings that were the last traces of the old Hudson and Manhattan RR which crossed underneath the World Trade Center site. "What was once a tunnel – an underground space of air – has been strangely inverted, transformed into an object, freed from its terrestrial context." [BLDGBLOG]

Dubai's Anara Tower Hopes to Gain LEED Silver: In what would surely be the most lavishly designed building to achieve such certification, the iconic Dubai Anara Tower--which has yet to begin construction-- is looking to get LEED Silver status. [Jetson Green]

Revitalization of Crotona Park East: The Bronx neighborhood which President Carter once called America's "worst slum," has come a long way since the 1970's. While some old problems still linger, Crotona Park East has been recently described as having a "suburb in the city" feel to it. [New York Times - Real Estate]

Ebola Island?: The National Trust has a lot of interest in Gulf Coast Recovery and the areas that have been affected by the devastating hurricanes over the past few years. This article may not have anything to do with preservation, but the idea of a national biological defense lab situated so closely to areas that have been ravished by recent storms is alarming. The building is supposedly built to withstand the most devastating of conditions, "says the lab's deputy director, 'The entire island can wash away and this is still going to be here.'" [Pruned]

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

"World's Longest Art Gallery" Again Under Imminent Threat

Posted on: October 31st, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

 

Truck traffic threatens prehistoric rock art in Nine Mile Canyon.

Earlier today, The Washington Post and The Salt Lake Tribune published stories outlining the Bureau of Land Management's December plans to sell oil and gas leases in areas of Utah known to contain some of the nation's most significant cultural and natural resources, including the Nine Mile Canyon region. Unfortunately, this decision represents the latest in a series of moves by BLM to expedite oil and gas leasing and development near Nine Mile Canyon, an area with the highest concentration of rock art sites in the United States that is often referred to as the "world's longest art gallery." In recent years, truck traffic associated with BLM-approved natural gas projects near the Canyon has caused harmful levels of dust and chemicals to settle on the rock art sites. Thus far, BLM has refused to study in detail alternative access routes that would avoid the need for natural gas trucks to use Nine Mile Canyon, even though a September 2008 study funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation shows that these alternative routes are feasible.

Additionally, we have also learned that BLM plans to issue the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the West Tavaputs Natural Gas Full Field Development Plan early next week (West Tavaputs Plateau is the area within Nine Mile Canyon where most natural gas extraction is now occurring). If the BLM's final EIS approves the energy companies' proposals, truck traffic in Nine Mile Canyon could increase by an additional 500 percent.

Once you have digested Tuesday's election results, check back in with PreservationNation for more information on the lease sale and Final EIS and learn about how you can let BLM know of your concerns for Nine Mile Canyon. In the meantime, here's a video shot back in April, showing the damage done to the canyon's prehistoric rock art by truck traffic.

-- Ti Hays & Virgil Mc Dill

Ti Hays is the Public Lands Counsel and Virgil McDill is the communications manager at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Video: Ambitious Initiatives, Visionary Leaders Protect Treasures

Posted on: October 30th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

The first in a series of videos highlighting the winners of the 2008 National Preservation Awards.

On October 23, Mark Michel and Jane Blaffer Owen received the prestigious Louise DuPont Crowninshield Award -- the national preservation movement's highest accolade -- from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Both have expertly combined vision, action and leadership to launch highly ambitious initiatives that protect some of the nation's most precious -- and fragile -- historic treasures.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.