Colorado, Arizona firms hired to perform work

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FARMINGTON — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $50 million contract to three companies to address cultural resource work for reclamation projects in the region.

The contract was awarded to Alpine Archaeological Consultants Inc. of Montrose, Colorado; Woods Canyon Archaeological Consultants Inc. of Cortez, Colorado; and Statistical Research Inc. of Tucson, Arizona, according to a May 11 press release from the bureau.

The companies will work with the bureau and other entities to identify, document and evaluate cultural sites located in project sites in northern New Mexico, western Colorado and the Upper Colorado region, the release states.

Work includes archaeological testing and data recovery, ethnohistorical and anthropological research, development and support for geographic information systems, storm water pollution prevention, and erosion mitigation, the release states.

The project list includes the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, a water infrastructure project consisting of 280 miles of pipeline, pumping plants and two water treatment plants.

After its completion at the end of 2024, it will deliver water from the San Juan River to chapters on the Navajo Nation, the city of Gallup and the southwest portion of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.

The reclamation bureau awarded a $62 million contract in September 2017 to install 28 miles of pipeline from Twin Lakes to Naschitti starting this year.

Ernie Rheaume, environment and planning group chief for the bureau's Western Colorado Area Office, said Friday the three companies will coordinate with the Navajo Nation Heritage and Historic Preservation Department for archaeological work along the planned route for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project.

The companies have personnel who have previously collaborated with the Navajo Nation's department and with similar departments in other tribal governments, he said.

These types of collaboration help maintain the bureau's relationship with tribes, Rheaume added.

The contractors also will coordinate activities with archaeologists in the Western Colorado Area Office to conduct field inspections and other work, according to the press release.

"This important contract ensures that reclamation will continue to meet our cultural resource compliance obligations while maintaining our ability to manage, develop and protect water and related infrastructure," Upper Colorado Regional Director Brent Rhees said in the release.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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