Another great half hour video from Idaho public TV, "SKY ISLAND" follows nicely on to an earlier NM video entitled,"Remembered Earth". Strikingly filmed in digital, this is an introduction to the ancient Pajarito Plateau, and the specular volcanic Valles Caldera, in north central NM. If you're a fan of Native American author N. Scott Momaday, this is a must see. His stirring narration alone makes this work excellent. But tune in to see and learn about this wondrous region. Home to one of the finest National Monuments - Bandelier - this rugged region is a maze of pine/juniper canyons that slope from the highest remnant of an ancient volcano over 11K feet, down to the Rio Grande River which runs the length of the state. These canyons are geologic marvels: ancient sedimentary sandstone formations with a "frosting" of volcanic lava and ash. Riparian paradise: elk, deer, bear. And home to the truly native inhabitants of the southwest: Ancient Puebloans that link modern day Pueblo tribes with the hunter gatherers that transitioned to become one the most productive farming based societies - usually called the Anasazis of nearby Chaco Canyon. When drought felled Chaco, people returned to their upland roots in the elevations of the Pajarito.
An ominous footnote: the Forest Service's use of "controlled burns" to reduce the fire hazards of the plateau are mentioned briefly in the video. Tragically the huge Las Conchas fire exploded through this entire area this year (2011) and decimated this pristine place.
Learn about your country - as PBS says: "This belongs to you..."
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