ALBUQUERQUE — A state committee has approved a proposal from five American Indian tribes to give central New Mexico's Mount Taylor temporary protection as a cultural property at a contentious meeting.
The state Cultural Properties Review Committee voted 4-2 Saturday in Grants for an emergency listing of more than 422,000 acres surrounding the mountain's summit on the state Register of Cultural Properties.
The Navajo Nation, the Acoma, Laguna and Zuni pueblos, and the Hopi tribe of Arizona asked the state to approve the listing for a mountain they consider sacred to protect it from an anticipated uranium mining boom, according to the nomination report.
The listing lasts for a year, after which the committee is to determine if it should be listed permanently.
Opponents of the temporary listing say it will open the door to more government control of natural areas across the country.