Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Camino Real trail may land on historic places list

A centuries-old trail through Doña Ana County that played an important part in New Mexico history will gain the spotlight this week because of a proposal pending before a state panel. A state historic preservation panel will vote on whether portions of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (Royal Road to the Interior Lands) should be added to the state's official list of historic places. A second measure would nominate the same stretches for listing on the national register of historic places, said Tom Drake, spokesman for the state Historic Preservation Division. An eventual U.S. listing would lead to greater protections for the trail because any projects involving federal dollars that could impact the trail would undergo more scrutiny, said Jean Fulton, executive director of El Camino Real de Tierra Trail Association, or CARTA. "Listing the segments in the register will raise public awareness regarding the trail's national significance," she said. Spanish conquistador Juan de O-ate and an entourage of explorers first traveled El Camino Real route northward from Mexico in 1598 - about a decade before the first Europeans settled Jamestown, Va. - but the route was traveled by American Indians for centuries prior to that. The trail became a major travel route between Mexico City and Santa Fe...more

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