Outdoor and Sensitive Site Ethics
As you join New Mexico Jeep Tours in experiencing the wonders of the Land of Enchantment, there are a few principles we would like to share with you in how we approach the land and all it has to offer.
Long before you and I entered this landscape, the Ancestral Puebloan people called these lands their home and left evidence of their history in the earth. We are privileged to visit some of these sacred sites on our tours. Any artifacts and pottery that we see must stay at the site and should not be disturbed. It is a federal crime to remove artifacts from or disturb a ruin site.
The Ancestral Puebloan people also left their mark on the land in the form of petroglyphs. These ancient pictures and symbols etched into stone must be respected. Please refrain from touching the petroglyphs, and never scratch the surface of the stone anywhere near the petroglyphs. These too, are sacred sites and need to be treated as such.
Some places we visit contain sensitive geological formations or objects such as the hoodoos in the picture above or petrified wood. In areas like these we try to leave the landscape and objects in as good of shape as we find them. That means we do not climb on, deface, or otherwise harm any of these formations or objects. In fact, we try to leave places in better shape than we find them by removing any litter or trash we see. If everyone respects these places, they will be around for years to come so that others, or maybe even you again, can come and enjoy them.
On one of our tours we visit the site where the giant Seismosaurus was discovered. The fossils that were recovered from the site are now on display in the Museum of Natural History in Albuquerque. Although all of the fossils were removed, there is the potential of seeing vertebrate fossils (fossils of animals that had a backbone) on any of our tours because we hike in areas in which very old earth has been pushed to the surface by the shifting of tectonic plates. Should we see any vertebrate fossils, we will not touch them and must leave them exactly where we find them. Each bone tells a story. And if we move or disturb them, their story is ruined. After the tour, NM Jeep Tours will inform the proper authorities as to the location of the fossils.
New Mexico Jeep tours is working in collaboration with local and federal authorities in order to protect all of the cultural and natural resources mentioned above and has committed to reporting any suspicious activity or evidence that sites are being disturbed.
We have a great respect and appreciation for the Land of Enchantment and consider it a privilege to be able to share it with you. We ask that you too respect the opportunity you have to enter this ancient land and that you give those who come after you the same opportunity you have by practicing sound outdoor and sensitive site ethics.