Talk:Los Alamos County, New Mexico

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Incorporated county[edit]

From the Los Alamos County website http://www.lac-nm.us/index.asp

I have heard many people describe Los Alamos as "townsite" rather than "city." Someone told me that isn't correct because it is a county, not a city, but yet in many ways it seems like it's a city! If I am writing or speaking about the County, how do I refer to Los Alamos? And how do I refer to White Rock?



This is a question that puzzles many tourists and newcomers! We are officially the Incorporated County of Los Alamos, and so that's the way the County will be referred to in any formal document. If someone wants to refer to the area occupied by the residents of the County, then you are correct that most people refer in informal writings or conversation to "Los Alamos townsite" and "White Rock community." It's just important to note that neither Los Alamos nor White Rock are officially incorporated and therefore any boundaries for a "townsite" or "community" aren't fixed on a map anywhere, so using this kind of language in a formal or legal document isn't correct.

This should help for future misunderstandings about the special nature of this county.

--ABQCat 03:37, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Adjacent pueblos[edit]

Santa Clara Pueblo and San Ildefonso Pueblo may or may not be adjacent to Los Alamos County, depending how you define "pueblo". The census designated places of those pueblos are not adjacent, but their lands are. Eg, the fenced off land immediately north of White Rock is San Ildefonso Pueblo land. --Una Smith (talk) 04:53, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Regardless of this problem (and anyway, there's no source provided for them bordering the county), they're neither counties nor county equivalents, as are supposed to be listed here. Nyttend (talk) 05:03, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
"Supposed to be"? How is that? --Una Smith (talk) 05:13, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Look at the US Counties standards above. Nyttend (talk) 13:37, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
My 2 cents: Wikipedia County project "standards" were not handed down on stone tablets. Native American lands/reservations are real legal entities that cannot and should not be ignored. Unlike counties the Pueblos are not subject to the sovereignty of the state of New Mexico, so they should not appear on lists of counties, but they definitely should be included in the geographic description of the county. --Orlady (talk) 13:53, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
So this is a real legal entity, somewhat like a miniature nation or reservation? I don't see anything to that effect on the articles of either pueblo, but if it's so you're certainly right that it belongs here. I disputed the addition because I understood these pueblos simply to be traditional villages whose residents (individually or corporately) owned land that bordered Los Alamos County. Nyttend (talk) 15:50, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
As Una Smith says, the issue of whether the Pueblos are adjacent to Los Alamos County hinges on the matter of "how do you define pueblo." The Wikipedia articles about these pueblos relied on the boundaries of the Census designated places as geographic definitions of "pueblo," implying that the rest of the lands controlled by each pueblo are part of an Indian Reservation (e.g., Santa Clara Indian Reservation). Wikipedia is the only place where I've seen the pueblos in the Los Alamos area described as "Indian Reservations"; typically the entire land area is identified as part of the "pueblo" or as "lands of the pueblo." Regardless of what they are called, the lands of the San Ildefonso and Santa Clara Pueblos clearly adjoin Los Alamos County. For example, the U.S. government-produced maps on pages 1-8 and 1-9 of this report show San Ildefonso Pueblo lands lying directly adjacent to Los Alamos County. (Those maps do not identify the Santa Clara Pueblo because it does not border the Los Alamos National Laboratory.) To omit the pueblos from the article is to deny reality. --Orlady (talk) 15:55, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
But what are they? How do they "control" them? If they're "controlling" them simply as a homeowner's association controls property, it really doesn't seem necessary to mention them: after all, if you write an article about a small municipality that borders a homeowner's association, it wouldn't be a denial of reality to omit the association. Or is it that they have some sort of governmental control over them? Please don't think that I'm challeging; it's just that I'm altogether unfamiliar with the way that Tewa pueblos work, and (being a curious person) I want to know more :-) Nyttend (talk) 19:31, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
As I understand it (but my understanding is pretty superficial), each Pueblo is a Native American nation with sovereign authority over its lands, pursuant to treaties with the U.S. government (similar to Native American "tribes" that have sovereign authority over their "reservations," but using different terminology). See http://www.narf.org/nill/Codes/sicode/sanildcodetoc.html or http://thorpe.ou.edu/codes/san-ildefonso/san-ildefonso.html for some legal resources related to the Pueblo of San Ildefonso. --Orlady (talk) 20:11, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

[unindent] I've never known that before. Thanks much! Nyttend (talk) 21:50, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

It is complicated, in part because there are so many Pueblos and their governments negotiated with a succession of other governments: Spain, Mexico, and the United States. In Pueblo culture, the CDP more or less is the Pueblo; other lands are of the Pueblo. (The Spanish recognized this when they gave the name Pueblo to these people: the fundamental unit of Pueblo culture is the high-density village, all the dwellings facing the center.) In some cases, those lands are considered by others to be grants; in other cases, reservations. There are complicated historical reasons for the differences. As peers, the Pueblos deal with the US government via a number of special agencies and special courts, and the US Supreme Court; also with the New Mexico state government; and with county governments. --Una Smith (talk) 22:30, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Is the status of the "of" lands similar to the territorial jurisdiction that Texas cities have? Nyttend (talk) 03:35, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Link? --Una Smith (talk) 05:19, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
The reason that you can't understand what I mean is that it's not called "territorial jurisdiction": it's extraterritorial jurisdiction (sorry!). The article doesn't explain it very well; from placing templates on Texas articles, it seems that they have rather broad rights to say what can and can't be done, municipal-wise, on the unincorporated areas just outside their borders. Hopefully the article will be plain enough to explain something. And by the way, "grants" in your paragraph: do you mean lands that were granted to the pueblo? I've been working with New England lately, and I know that the grant you speak of isn't what New England has (similar to a gore), but I'm not sure what you do mean :-) Nyttend (talk) 12:58, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
This has nothing in common with the Texas situation you refer to. The Pueblo is the sovereign government over these lands. Note that the operative terminology for the lands seems to be "lands of the Pueblo" as in "lands of the Pueblo of San Ildefonso." The Pueblo is both a physical thing (as Una Smith describes it, a high-density village) and the band of people affiliated with the Pueblo (I use the terms "band" and "affiliated" loosely here so as to avoid having to be more specific; please do not assign any meaning to that word). The lands of the Pueblo presumably are principally lands that the people of the Pueblo traditionally farmed (an analogy might be a medieval European castle and the surrounding lands under the control/protection of the feudal lord of the castle). These lands are under the sovereign control of the "Pueblo" (i.e., the band of people affiliated with the Pueblo), under the same legal arrangement(s) with which the Pueblo controls the physical "Pueblo" (village). The Pueblos and their occupancy of these areas predate the arrival of European people and the introduction of European legal systems, and the Pueblos' current authority derives from various treaties, agreements, "grants", or other arrangements that were made originally with Spain, Mexico, the U.S., and/or other occupying powers and are currently recognized by the U.S. government. Thinking about the situation, it seems absurd to treat these lands as if they were "granted" or "reserved" for the Pueblos by the U.S. government, but those terms may be about as close an explanation of the situation as our legal system can muster. (Una Smith has a more nuanced understanding of this, and likely can fill in more details.) --Orlady (talk) 13:39, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Definitely not extraterritorial jurisdiction. Before the Spanish colonial period, the pueblos were settlements of Puebloan peoples and the surrounding region was common land shared both with other pueblos and with nomadic non-Puebloan peoples. (Skipping over huge swaths of regional history...) Today, the pueblos are still settlements (villages, towns) and each pueblo is surrounded by its own land. The land belongs to the pueblo collectively, not to individual members of the pueblo. In some cases, title to the land was formally recognized within the Spanish/Mexican/USA legal systems by virtue of government-issued "grants" to the pueblos. Some of the lands are known in legal documents as grants, others as reservations, but as the pueblos see it the land was theirs to begin with. Avoiding the whole hairy question "is it a grant, a reservation, or what?", today in the context of tourism "Pueblo" refers only to the historical old settlement and in the context of local communities "Pueblo" refers to every aspect: the settlement, all the land, and the people too. All (?) the Wikipedia articles on these pueblos and the counties in which they occur need rewriting to achieve NPOV, as currently their POV is very much that of a tourist: pueblo = quaint adobe Native American village. --Una Smith (talk) 20:02, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Do the pueblos have what (outside of Indian regions) is considered to be governmental powers? Nyttend (talk) 04:27, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Yup. State DOT signs on the highways warn you that you must obey all pueblo laws. And they have their own police. --Una Smith (talk) 04:32, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
I wish that this would be better explained elsewhere, so that I didn't have to keep asking you questions. Thanks for faithfully answering them :-) Nyttend (talk) 04:44, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

arbitrary section break[edit]

On that note: as far as rewriting them, you've probably observed that at least many of these pueblos are CDPs, including these two that we've been discussing. This, frankly, is because the Census generally desires to have certain areas for censustaking, and it's frankly more sensible to count the central area: and there's no reason to pick a random name for a CDP when the logical name is that of the one settlement in the boundaries.

One class of CDPs that are really parts of larger entities have (as far as I know) all been merged or moved to be a new format of article: military bases with CDPs. Look at Holloman Air Force Base if you'd like to see an example. Military bases, of course, deserve articles, and there's not been considered that much reason to have separate articles, so bases like Holloman typically have CDP information integrated (here, it's Holloman AFB, New Mexico). I'm not a New Mexico person, but a templates-and-local-government person, so I can't help with providing the old settlement data, but if you get NM project approval, I'd be willing to do what I can. All NM CDPs are on my watchlist, so I'll be able to keep track of changes. Nyttend (talk) 05:07, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

One alternative solution would be to (eg) move the current content of Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico to Santa Clara Pueblo (CPD) and then expand Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico to encompass all that needs to be explained. In fact, the same can be said for Los Alamos: one page for the CPD data, one for the county administrivial equivalent of the CPD page, and one for the cultural idiosyncracies and local interest stuff. Just tossing that out... --Una Smith (talk) 14:24, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
If you want that course, the standard titles would be Santa Clara Pueblo (CDP), New Mexico, and Santa Clara Pueblo (pueblo), New Mexico. I'm not sure that this would be as good of an idea: it's not like up in New York and New England, where we've got a specific unit of local government that's a subset of the state, thus producing situations such as Milton (town), New York and Milton (CDP), New York. I'm more a fan of expanding it (and noting that part of the pueblo is a CDP) because it's more a single entity, somewhat more similar to the military base idea. And also: I'm sorry that I don't understand what you mean with Los Alamos; could you explain more? Nyttend (talk) 02:45, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
I was waxing intellectually about this same topic just the other day, I made a little subpage about it to help organize my thoughts[1]. This is a very complicated issue. I strongly feel that these reservations and their corresponding tribes deserve separate articles. The CDPs do not correspond to the official pueblo boundaries. To further complicate the issue: when a member of one of these tribes purchases land off reservation it becomes a part of the legal entity, the opposite happens when someone who is not purchases tribal land. The result is many exclaves an enclaves. As to the immediately above suggestion about new article titles: The 'New Mexico' bit should only be used for disambiguation where necessary, as the article would be a bit more about the people than the place. Synchronism (talk) 02:52, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

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External links modified[edit]

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history[edit]

This needs a history section--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 06:51, 13 February 2018 (UTC)