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ARCHAELOGY

Heritage Days

Presentations, crafts fair, farmers market in Rodeo September

by KIM VACARIU

A new report on more than 100 centuries worth of archeolological and environmental changes in the Chihuahuan Desert, plus an overview of the latest elegant trogon population changes in the Chiricahua Mountains and a unique mapping tour of one of the world’s only “crystal-lined” caves are among many outstanding presentations on the agenda at this September’s annual Chiricahua-Peloncillo Heritage Days celebration in Rodeo

A kick-off keynote address on Friday evening, Sept. 11 by life-long trogon researcher and author, Rick Taylor. He will update wildlife enthusiasts about the fast-changing viability of habitat for one of the most revered bird species in the Chiricahua Mountains region. The keynote presentation follows a community reception at the Chiricahua Event Center in Rodeo, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event is free to all.

A full day of expert presentations by scientists, private land managers, archaeologists, conservationists and historians will follow on Saturday, Sept. 12, including a first look at the latest carbon dating of undersized bison bones found

during the recent excavation at the 11,300-year-old Cave Creek Midden Site near Portal – bones that may represent a prehistoric species never before catalogued in the border lands.

Saturday’s agenda will also feature a first-of-its-kind look at the unique geological features of Cave Creek Canyon’s “Crystal Cave,” one of only a small handful of caves in the entire world with similar large quantities of quartz crystals embedded in the walls, including descriptions and new maps of areas in the cave that have rarely, if ever, been visited.

Presentations throughout the day on Saturday will also include a look at the future viability of the San Simon Aquifer, detailed status reports on the health and ecological importance of bootheel-area bats, mountain lions and coyotes, an historical view of the close connection between Apaches and their horses, and a hands-on description of how one local private land manager has restored damaged rangelands — all contributing to a diverse Heritage Days agenda.

Also included Saturday are an on-site farmers market/crafts fair, open at 10 a.m.; an on-site “Taking Flight”-themed workshop for kids, 9:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and a cash-only buffet lunch. On Sunday, activities include three professionally guided Field Day excursions, including a wildflower/history walk to Ash Spring, guided tour of the historic Paradise, Arizona townsite and a Cave Creek Geologic History tour.

Annual Heritage Days events draw a broad local attendance, but visitors from across southeast Arizona and southwest New Mexico interested in learning about the animals, landscapes, history and culture of the region attend as well. This year’s presentations will continue to showcase the co-dependence that wildlife, wild lands, cultural heritage, local history and private lands all have in preserving true community health.



For more information, including full agenda, photos and Field-Day tour sign-ups, contact Kim Vacariu at 520-558-0165 or kim@wildlands-network.org. Heritage Days is spon-sored by Friends of Cave Creek Canyon www.friendsofcavecreek-canyon.com and Wildlands Net-work www.wildlandsnetwork.org.

 





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