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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Large Scale Scribblings Update

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Syafolee visits Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico, and since I was looking at a satellite view of Colonel Stapp's test track near Alamogordo, I thought I would take a look at the park and I found this. I'm not quite sure what it is. It might be ancient large scale drawings, or it might be random tracks made by rednecks in pickup trucks. I think it's a little too something for it be done by rednecks, which makes me think it is ancient.

Update: I got an explanation back this morning from Mike Medrano at the National Park Service.
    The feature you identified is a motorcycle dirt track that pre-dates the establishment of the Monument. Based on historic aerial photography, the track was started sometime between 1967 and 1973 and was in active use until the mid-to-late 1980s. Petroglyph National Monument was established on June 27th, 1990. The area is currently open for hikers, but not for vehicles or motorcycles.
    It is in the intention of the National Park Service to reclaim the landscape at some point. There is a drainage that runs through the track (the dark line in the photo on your blog) that represents some challenges for reclamation. Currently, there is no time table for when the reclamation may take place, but it is included in our long-term planning and compliance efforts.
It didn't even occur to me then that it was a motocross track, but it's obvious now. A few years of abandonment is not much different than a few millennia in the dessert.

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