Developers To Build Busy Road Through Petroglyph N.M.

Petroglyph National MonumentAs described by the National Park Service, Petroglyph National Monument is a "place of respect, awe and wonderment." I would have to agree. The monument protects an estimated 25,000 petroglyphs along a volcanic escarpment just outside the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Long before european explorers traveled through the area, this 17 mile section of exposed volcanic rock was a cross-roads for many different cultures living in the southwest. The petroglyphs are messages written in stone, repeating their stories generation upon generation to those who listen. This is a spiritual place.

When this area was given Park Service status, it was on the very outskirts of town. But now, as in so many areas around the United States, the city is booming. For years, housing developments have been built closer and closer to the boundaries of the park. Petroglyph has been fighting developers for years to protect the fragile nature of the park. More people living close to the park has meant more cars, and more noise. And now, a judge has allowed developers to build a major road (probably at least 4 lanes across) through the very heart of the escarpment. The new road will mean shorter commute times for those living on the other side of the park. But it also means the complete disruption of the spiritual nature of these rocks that has lasted for hundreds of years. I was sad when I read this news. I've got a friend who works in Petroglyph. If she has any more insights she can share, I'll post them here in the days to come.

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