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Know the West

Petroglyphs and pavement collide

  A proposed road through Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque continues to be paved with controversy. The latest round features a standoff between Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Pueblo Indian leaders.

Domenici, who met recently with the Pueblos for the first time since proposing the bill in April, says the road would reduce traffic congestion around the monument, where the effects of Albuquerque's expansion are being felt (HCN, 1/20/97).

But the Indians say the road will destroy some of the park's 15,000 petroglyphs. "We want to be able to respect and preserve some of the sacredness (of the monument)," says Steve Juanico, the Pueblo Council's vice chairman.

The bill calls for an 8.5 acre cut in the Boca Negra section of the canyon for a four- to six-lane corridor. Citing the high cost of alternatives, Domenici says the bill is the only proposal which reflects the "interests of the monument and the community as a whole."

* Jamie Murray