1.         Taos Pueblo (United States of America) (C 492rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1992

Criteria  (iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/492/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/492/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Proposed extension of the Taos Airport

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/492/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1996

The Committee at its nineteenth session discussed the potential impact of the extension of the Taos Airport on the World Heritage site of Taos Pueblo. Committee recommended to the authorities of the United States that an impartial professional review of the area defined by the Federal Aviation Administration for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be carried out in cooperation with ICOMOS and IUCN, and that a report be submitted to the twentieth session of the World Heritage Committee. The Committee also invited the State Party to consider the possible extension of the World Heritage site to include the culturally valuable areas related to the Taos Pueblo under the cultural landscape criteria.

A preliminary monitoring report dated May 1996 was received from the United States National Park Service. This report indicates that no agreement has been reached as of yet between the Federal Aviation Administration, the Taos Pueblo and the National Park Service on the definition of the geographic area of potential impacts and on the contents of the Environmental Impact Statement. As to the recommendations made by the Committee, the report indicates that these will have to move forward in full consultation with the Pueblo, which is self-governing, and that the recommendation regarding the possible extension of the World Heritage site will require a minimum of a year for consideration.

Action Required

The Bureau took note of the information provided by the United States National Park Service in response to the World Heritage Committee's recommendation regarding the Environmental Impact Statement that is to be undertaken in relation to the proposed extension of the Taos airport and the possible extension of the Taos Pueblo World Heritage site. It requested the authorities to keep the Committee informed of any progress made in these matters.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1996

The Bureau at its twentieth session in June 1996, recalled that the situation regarding the proposed airport extension in the vicinity of the Taos Pueblo site had been discussed by the Committee and the Bureau over the last several years.

The Bureau was informed that a preliminary monitoring report from the United States National Park Service indicated that no agreement had been reached as of yet between the Federal Aviation Administration, the Taos Pueblo and the National Park Service on the definition of the geographic area of potential impacts and on the contents of the Environmental Impact Statement. As to the recommendations made by the Committee at its nineteenth session regarding the involvement of ICOMOS and IUCN in the definition of the Impact Statement area, as well as a possible extension of the site, the report indicated that these will have to move forward in full consultation with the Pueblo, which is self-governing.

The Bureau took note of the information provided by the United States National Park Service in response to the World Heritage Committee's recommendation regarding the Environmental Impact Statement that is to be undertaken in relation to the proposed extension of the Taos airport. It requested that the authorities keep the Committee informed of any progress made in these matters.

To date, no further information has been received from the Government of the United States of America.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:

"The Bureau notes that no further information has been received from the Government of the United States regarding the Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed airport extension and the possible extension of the World Heritage site. The Bureau reiterates its request that the Committee be kept informed of any progress made in these matters."

Decision Adopted: 20 BUR IV.7

The Bureau recalled that the situation regarding the proposed airport extension in the vicinity of the Taos Pueblo site had been discussed by the Committee and the Bureau over the last several years.

The Bureau was informed that a preliminary monitoring report from the United States National Park Service indicated that no agreement had been reached as of yet between the Federal Aviation Administration, the Taos Pueblo and the National Park Service on the definition of the geographic area of potential impacts and on the contents of the Environmental Impact Statement. As to the recommendations made by the Committee at its nineteenth session regarding the involvement of ICOMOS and IUCN in the definition of the Impact Statement area, as well as a possible extension of the site, the report indicated that these will have to move forward in full consultation with the Pueblo, which is self-governing.

The Bureau took note of the information provided by the United States National Park Service in response to the World Heritage Committee's recommendation regarding the Environmental Impact Statement that is to be undertaken in relation to the proposed extension of the Taos airport. It requested the authorities to keep the Committee informed of any progress made in these matters.

Decision Adopted: 20 COM VII.D.56/50

VII.56 Taos Pueblo (United states of America)

The Bureau, at its twentieth session, was informed that a preliminary monitoring report from the United States National Park Service indicated that no agreement had been reached as yet between the Federal Aviation Administration, the Taos Pueblo and the National Park Service on the definition of the geographic area of potential impacts and on the contents of the Environmental Impact Statement. As to the recommendations made by the Committee at its nineteenth session regarding the involvement of ICOMOS and IUCN in the definition of the Impact Statement area, as well as a possible extension of the site, the report indicated that these will have to move forward in full consultation with the Pueblo, which is self-governing.

The Committee noted that no further information had been received from the Government of the United States regarding the Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed airport extension and the possible extension of the World Heritage site.

The Delegate of the United States informed the Committee that it regretted the delay in this matter. She visited the site only recently at the invitation of the Governor of the Pueblo and the War Chief who detailed the potential and existing aeroplane flight patterns over the Pueblo lands. The major concern of the Pueblo is that the future overflights might infringe upon the privacy and sanctimony of their religious ceremonies which are an integral part of their culture. Furthermore, she informed the Committee that she toured the airport and met with the airport manager who informed her that a cross runway is essential to air safety. In addition, because there is no airport tower and therefore no communication with incoming pilots, the airport cannot advise incoming flights of routes that do not cross Pueblo lands. The Department of the Interior had raised and will continue to raise the issue with the Federal Aviation Authority. At present there are no funds available to build the cross runway.

In a related matter, the Delegate informed that in November 1996 the President of the United States had signed into law a bill that transfers from federal ownership to the Taos Peublo a piece of land they consider sacred land. The Committee took note of this information.