UPDATED COVERAGE HERE, ORIGINAL STORY BELOW:
Ah, yes... the Legend of the Lost Stupa...
I have been hearing about this one for years, so I decided to do some research.
Apparently, during the 1980s, Harold Cohen and Ariane Emery set out to build a stupa and temple on their land, which was located near the visitor's center at Petrogylph National Monument. They got as far as the stupa, which was consecrated in 1989 by Lama Rinchen Thuntsok.
Thereafter, for reasons which are not entirely clear to me, the National Park Service essentially exercised eminent domain and, despite an epic and costly legal holding action by Cohen and Emory -- which consumed everything they had or would have -- the Park Service prevailed. There were also rumors of some fundamentalist Christian involvement.
As you see from the above photograph, the United States Government has not been kind to this stupa. What is this? "In God We Trust," but leave the Tibetan Buddhist stupa to rot away out in the middle of a rubbish-strewn field? What is this? Grab the land so Muffy and Buffy can see the Indian writing, and then turn around and ignore the original energy? The fundamental energy? I was not born the way I was born nor did I live the way I have lived to let this class of bullshit just pass by unremarked.
Naughty Smokey! Naughty!
Well, that was 1989, and now we are in 2009, and regardless of your personal politics, Nancy Peliosi and the distinguished former Mayor of the City of San Francisco, now U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
I bet if we all get together and write to Speaker of the House Peliosi and Senator Feinstein, the Park Service might sit up and take notice.
After all, Senator Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, is out saving stupas in the Himalayas, so you would think his wife might be able to save a stupa in New Mexico.