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Bulletin 36—Mineral resources of Fort Defiance and Tohatchi quadrangles, Arizona and New Mexico

By J. E. Allen and R. Balk, 1954, 192 pp., 19 tables, 21 figs., 16 plates, 1 index.

In their vast reservation the size of West Virginia, some 70,000 Navajo people try to wrest a livelihood from the austere and arid, yet vividly beautiful, land. In any geographic classification, this region in northern AZ and NM would be considered submarginal for human occupation and advancement. Necessarily, innumerable human problems arise in such an environment, but most of them go back to that of increasing the productivity of the land and utilizing every resource to provide employment and a higher standard of living for these people in their own area.

In response to vigorous portrayal of this need, the congress in April 1950 passed Public Law 474, generally known as the Navajo–Hopi Rehabilitation Act. The act authorized appropriations of $88,570,000 to be expended over a period of 10 years. Of this amount $500,000 was set aside for surveys and studies of timber, coal, mineral, and other physical and human resources. The work, under the annual appropriations made thus far, is administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

In order to carry on the mineral survey, the BIA, under authorization from the Secretary of the Interior, in the late spring of 1952 negotiated contracts with the University of Arizona and with the Board of Regents of the NM Institute of Mining and Technology. In the latter contrast the state Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, a division of the Institute, was directed to make a thorough mineral resource study of a specified area of 483.6 mi2, now known as Fort Defiance and Tohatchi quadrangles, on the border of AZ and NM, and to provide a geologic map and published report.

The scientists and engineers of the state Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources have undertaken the tasks imposed by the contract with the energy and zeal that the spirit of the Act calls forth. They have worked with the Navajo people, as well as with the personnel of the BIA, and have had constantly in mind as their objective all possible assistance to the Navajo people. In line with the long-range viewpoint, as well as with immediate practical application, the state Bureau staff has endeavored to find and evaluate all possible mineral resources whether or not they may have current use or market. The carefully prepared geologic map and geologic descriptions and interpretations should serve as a guide to this area both now and in the future, no matter what turns the economy and the genius of the country may take. The authors have attempted to arrange the information in their report in such a way that parts needed by nonscientists can be understood by them, whereas the technical parts necessarily are written in the language of the scientists and engineers who may use them. No current standards of technical excellence have been sacrificed in this endeavor.

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