Legislation Calls For Casa Grande Ruins National Monument to Grow by 415 Acres

There's a move under way in Congress to increase the footprint of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Arizona by 415 acres. NPS photo.

Legislation has been introduced to Congress that would add 415 acres to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Arizona.

The measure, introduced by U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, would bring additional platform mounds, ball courts, and canals into the monument's boundaries.

“The small but very significant additions will enable the National Park Service to better protect and interpret these sites, by telling the rest of the story,” said Kevin Dahl, the National Park Conservation Association's Arizona Program Manager. “The massive Great House in the monument is impressive, but so are the remains of platform mounds, ball courts, canals, and agricultural fields that could now be included.”

Jerry Rogers, former National Park Service associate director for Cultural Resources, said the inclusion of these areas would provide important context for the spectacular ruins most visitors see at Casa Grande.

“The Great House at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is only the large and spectacular centerpiece of a surrounding ‘cultural ecosystem’ of building remains and archaeological deposits with which it is connected and interdependent," he said. "Years ago, it made sense to proclaim the great house a national monument to stop its ancient beams from being burned for camp fire wood and its adobe walls from being pulled down. Today, we are aware of its larger context and we know how important it is to preserve the adjacent cultural resources that help us understand the main building.”

Comments

An expansion of Casa Grande has been studied for several years now. Here's hoping Congress gets around to passing legislation this session.