Energy Development Projects Threaten Historic Sites

Earlier this month, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its [annual list of most endangered historic places]( Most of these places are suffering from lack of funds and attention, and one "place" is actually a group of places -- "sites imperiled by state actions," i.e. cuts for preservation funding.

But four out of eleven of these places are threatened by energy development. Wind and solar developments are encroaching on [Bear Butte](, a sacred area in South Dakota for Lakota and other tribes. Oil and gas extraction sites are ruining the landscape around [New Mexico's Chacoan sites]( Longwall mining could cause a historic house in Pennsylvania to collapse. And erosion is eating away at Dauphin Island, Alabama, where Ft. Gaines, an important Civil War fortress, is sited.

The conservation about conservation and energy development is often cast as a decision between nature and jobs or progress. But it's really a conversation about resources with a less quantifiable value -- not just nature, but also history -- and resources that we can more easily put a price on.