Sometimes public involvement becomes the only source of protection for archeological and other cultural resources. Take, for instance, the case of New Mexico's Petroglyph National Monument.
Petroglyph NM was created in 1990 to preserve both urban greenspace and an invaluable collection of Puebloan rock images. Today, the park faces the threat of increased pollution and easier access for vandals and looters resulting from two highways that are planned to be routed through it.
Alarmed at the prospect of heavy construction blasting through a canyon covered with irreplaceable petroglyphs sacred to some twenty tribes, park employees and local Native groups raised objections to the plan. Citizen groups organized resistance to the project, with some success.
Nevertheless, the issue is far from settled. And like Albuquerque, other cities and towns face the same sorts of pressures: managing growth and transportation needs that may be at odds with the protection of natural and cultural resources.
Federal land management agencies remain committed to—and challenged by—the need to preserve the nation's cultural resources. Ultimately, however, it is up to all of us to preserve and protect our shared past.