Governors of the four corners states plan to greet each other with a handshake June 19 at the Four Corners Monument, then attend a conference in western Colorado.
The handshakes at the shared border of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico will be a dramatic gesture to kick off a special tribute to prehistoric inhabitants of the region, the Anasazi Indians.The Four-Corners tribute to the Anasazi June 19-21 at the Anasazi Heritage Center near Dolores, Colo., is the first national event planned by the federal Bureau of Land Management as part of a new Adventures in the Past program.
The tribute, to acknowledge and foster private and public partnerships with the Indians and focus on preservation and interpretation of the Anasazi heritage, is co-sponsored by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation.
The BLM's Anasazi Heritage Center is approximately 110 miles from Moab.
The public is invited to the free program and tours.
Activities will include living-history demonstrations of skills and arts of the Anasazi, exhibits on prehistoric cultural resources, interpretive tours to archaeological sites, and Native American dancing.
A special opening ceremony followed by a Four Corners Governors Conference is scheduled for Tuesday, June 19. Moab District BLM archaeologist Bruce Louthan, one of the organizers, said the focus of the conference will be development of strategies to promote and market Indian cultural resources for economic development in a manner compatible with goals of preservation and quality interpretive experiences for visitors.
"Other than the obvious places - Mesa Verde (National Park) - other agencies have sites, and what we're looking at is marketing that in a cooperative manner so the development potential can be realized for the local economy," said Louthan. "And we're looking at raising public consciousness and involvement so these sites can be preserved.