11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Zuni Salt Lake and Sanctuary Zone

Year Listed: 2003
Location: New Mexico
Threat: Public Policy, Road Construction

Vast landscape of the Zuni Salt Lake and Sanctuary Zone, Catron and Cibola Counties, New Mexico. The Zuni Salt Lake was on the 2003 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation


Located in a remote region of western New Mexico, Zuni Salt Lake and the surrounding area (known as the Sanctuary Zone) are considered sacred ground by no less than six Native American tribes. The lake is particularly significant to members of the Zuni Tribe, who believe that it gives life to Ma'l Oyattsik'I, Salt Woman, one of the tribe's central deities, and has long been an important source of salt for domestic and ceremonial use. In recognition of the sites' significance, the National Park Service listed Zuni Salt Like on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.