[Aerial view of Michael Heizer's City from Bing Maps]
City, as I learned at Architect magazine, is under threat, since there is a possibility the area around the land Heizer owns could "becom[e] a missile site, oil and gas reserve, or a nuclear waste rail line." That article points to a petition, Take Action to Protect Basin and Range, which gives three reasons for protection, one of them to:
Preserve the uniquely American landscape art work by Michael Heizer, City. With a relationship to the earliest archeological sites that are inextricably linked to the landscape, City cannot be experienced within a museum given it is more than a mile in length and a quarter mile in width.This is a very real concern, given that in Heizer's earlier Effigy Tumuli in Ottawa, Illinois, the "sculptures have deteriorated to the point of unrecognizability" since their completion in 1985:
[Aerial view of Michael Heizer's Effigy Tumuli from Bing Maps]
Of course, where Effigy Tumuli suffered from adverse effects to the land art itself (due to mismanagement, I'd wager), the problem in Nevada is keeping City isolated. LACMA's Scott Tennent put it this way: "As with many of Heizer’s greatest works, the sculpture is incomplete without the surrounding landscape. The solitude of 'City' is part of its power. To have the surrounding land developed into anything would severely impact Heizer’s work."
The petition to protect the Basin and Range land can be signed on Facebook.