New Management Agreement Expected For Petroglyph National Monument

May 25, 2013

The cooperative management agreement governing the Petroglyph national Monument lapsed last Thursday, leaving management of much of the historic site in a state of limbo.  But according to the city of Albuquerque, a new agreement is in the works and can be expected as early as next week.

The petroglyph national monument is jointly managed by the national park service, and the city of Albuquerque, who owns 2/3rds of the property.

So far, negotiations between the two entities have happened largely behind closed doors.

Daniel Patterson, a spokesman for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, says the process should have been conducted in a more public manner, because the city owned portion of the site has been severely mismanaged, leaving the much of the monument vulnerable to vandalism and other permanent damage.

"The concerns that PEER and our public employee clients have are based on ongoing damage that has been happening at the monument that could and should be remedied through a stronger management agreement that would let park service rangers enforce on the entire monument."

But Dr. Matt Schmader, the superintendent of the city’s Open Space division says, the new agreement was an internal management document and doesn’t require public input. And he insists, the city takes management of the historic site very seriously.

"You know we do as much patrol as we can with staffing levels. And we have not seen any real increase at all in the amount of vandalism. Both agencies have been doing a responsible and professional job in managing the monument."

According to Schmader, the new agreement should be signed and ready by next Wednesday.