Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Valles Caldera: A turning point

Joan Kavanau would love to see more of the green valleys and forests in the Valles Caldera National Preserve near Los Alamos. The Santa Fe resident has driven along the edge of the 88,900-acre preserve in the Jemez Mountains on N.M. 4, but never through the ancient collapsed volcano. Kavanau, 75, can't hike and there's no place to park a car and take a short walk or sit and have a picnic in the preserve's interior. Two years ago she joined a line of 1,500 cars trying to drive into the preserve on the first, and only, open access day. The line was so long she gave up. "It would be nice if they could open access more," Kavanau said. "Even to be given the opportunity to call and make an appointment to go see it. Right now it's inaccessible really except under their terms." Public access remains one of the biggest bones of contention between the Valles Caldera Trust that manages the preserve and the people who want to experience it. Congress bought the former ranch for $101 million in 2000 and established the preserve as an experiment in land management, with a 15-year initial timeline to meet a difficult set of goals: protect the natural resources, allow public access, maintain a working ranch and be financially self-sufficient...Santa Fe New Mexican

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Trust is a total failure and must be stopped. It's time to take down the "Temporarily Closed" signs that ring the Caldera and keep the real owners from enjoying the most amazing views. What a waste. This place could be an economic magnet but instead it is being wasted by a Trust that is too busy fiddling with a grazing program rather then fixing the access debacle. Note to Trust: The grazing program worked great last years ... now move on for god sake!