excerpts of interviews reflecting on the importance of preserving wild landscapes and cultural resources

Carleton Bowekaty

Carleton Bowekaty: Zuni councilman and co-Chair of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition.

“Thinking about wilderness areas and making sure some areas are preserved; we’ve been doing that our entire existence…”

Interview date: 6-6-17

Winston Hurst

Winston Hurst: Renowned archaeologist who has been working for decades to catalog archaeological sites on the Colorado Plateau.

“Ideal situation: I would have the local communities and the local county commission and the local chambers of commerce and the pimps in the tourism industry… all recognize the fact that the family jewels are the land and the archaeological resources…”

“tragedy…we’ve allowed a situation to develop in which archaeology has become synonymous with environmentalism….”

Interview date 11-3-15.

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Josh Ewing: Executive Director of Friends of Cedar Mesa.

“Now I think in five years it may be very different…we just have to still be here and be  positive and have a landscape focused view in 5 years when things calm down…”

“I am increasingly convinced of the urgency.  Sites are being looted; a legislative solution is a lot better, but we need something now.” 

Interview date 12-13-16

Note:  Josh acted on his sense of urgency and coordinated with outdoor retailer Patagonia to carry out a Kickstarter campaign in December of 2017 raising money to fund an education center. 

Ken Sleight

Ken Sleight: River guide, conservationist, and Utahn who traversed the Colorado River systems in Utah from the 1950s-1980s. Sleight was the model for Seldom Seen Smith in Edward Abbey’s classic The Monkey Wrench Gang.

“National parks; all they do is put more stuff…you lost everything you want to protect…”

“You can’t have thousands of people going down and expect it to be preserved…are you destroying the very thing you want people to see…”

Interview date:  11-13-15.

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Jonathan Till: Curator of collections at the Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding Utah.

“What are the circumstances around the development of agriculture… the process of urbanization? [Those questions are] best addressed right here in the Southwest in general, but more specifically here in Four Corners...”

Interview date: 1-26-16.

Marcia Simonis

Marcia Simonis: Utah Site Steward Coordinator for Friends of Cedar Mesa.

“There’s two archaeologists in the Monticello field office.  My husband does education…There is that effort to try and build relationships with the community…”

“Project Archaeology… specifically have been asked to do field trips on Cedar Mesa…it instills a respect for other cultures…”

Interview date: 1-26-16