April 04, 2015

A mammoth national monument coming to Central Texas?

Pun fully intended on the header.

Waco Tribune photo/Rod Aydelotte
Dava Butler, education coordinator at the
Waco Mammoth Site, gives a tour on April 1.
Waco civic leaders and the management of the Waco Mammoth Site have, for several sessions, tried to go the Congressional approval route to get the site taken into the National Park Service system. But, as noted by me here, those have all failed, in large part because Waco's current US Congresscritter, Bill Flores, has played games with authorization bills and fiscal language in them.

So, as also noted at that link, Waco leaders got tired of that game and went the Presidential route, asking President Barack Obama to declare it a national monument under the Antiquities Act.

And, on Monday, we may move one step closer to that.

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis will be on site on Monday. He will first inspect the site itself to determine its suitability, then attend a public meeting to gauge support levels.

Both should be in hand:

“To have a show of support for the national monument designation would be wonderful,” said Tommye Lou Davis, a Baylor University vice president involved in the effort. “We know the support is there. We know the community for a long time has been with us on the treasure that the mammoth site is for the community and Texas.”
So, onward and upward?

The funding portion of support is already there, after all:
The city of Waco and the Waco Mammoth Foundation, which together spent $4 million developing the site as an educational attraction, have been seeking the status for more than a decade.
As is the eligibility side:
The National Park Service in 2007 declared that the site met all standards for inclusion into the federal park system. 
The city and the foundation have developed the 100-acre site at 6220 Steinbeck Bend Drive to National Park Service standard, building a visitors center and climate-controlled pavilion to house the bones of mammoths and other Ice Age animals. Baylor University scientists have identified 24 mammoths at the site, dating back as much as 65,000 years ago.
For people in Central Texas, the public meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 6 at the Mayborn Museum's SBC Theater. 

I support it both as being deserving and as a way to put a thumb in Flores' eye.

No comments: