Bandelier National Monument is initiating a planning effort to improve resource protection and visitor understanding of the unique Tsankawi Unit.
The resulting decisions will provide guidance and direction for managing visitor safety, accessibility and resource protection for the next 10 years.
“We invite everyone who is interested in the future of Tsankawi to participate in the 30-day scoping period,” said Park Superintendent Jason Lott in a news release. “We are hoping for lots of public input on how best to manage the cultural and natural resources there.”
The public is invited to attend an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m., May 9 at Fuller Lodge, 2132 Central Ave.
This meeting will provide an opportunity for members of the public to meet and speak with park staff, learn more about the project and provide comments.
The Tsankawi Unit is an 826-acre area that is geographically separate from the main portion of Bandelier National Monument.
Tsankawi is home to more than 150 Ancestral Pueblo sites, including cavates, masonry pueblos, and petroglyphs. It has current critical importance to the heritage, beliefs, customs, practices and history of nearby San Ildefonso Pueblo.
San Ildefonso is home to the direct descendants of the people who inhabited the Tsankawi area, which is still a key part of their present-day cultural traditions and values.
Although approximately 60 percent of the main part of the monument was burned in the Las Conchas Fire last June, the Tsankawi Unit was not directly impacted.
As a result, 2011 visitation at Tsankawi increased by 68 percent over 2010 figures, a trend that is expected to continue.
The parking area, Tsankawi Loop Trail and visitor facilities are the only developed parts of the Tsankawi Unit. Currently, visitor access is located on the east side of N.M. 4.
The parking area is within the highway right-of-way and is not owned or maintained by the National Park Service.
Heavy traffic makes access challenging, particularly during morning and evening rush hour.
The purpose of this project and the unit management plan is to develop alternatives for improved site access, facilities and visitor experience for the entire site.
To post comments online, visit the project website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/Tsankawi or send written comments by mail to Bandelier National Monument, 15 Entrance Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544 attn: Tsankawi UMP Public Scoping.