Input sought on access, amenities at Valles Caldera NP
Written bySTACI MATLOCK, Santa Fe New Mexican
Almost from the day in 2000 when Congress approved the purchase of an 88,900-acre former ranch in a stunning collapsed volcano of Northern New Mexico, the public has wanted to see more of it. But how to open the Valles Caldera National Preserve to public use without damaging the resources has been a long, contentious debate.
Now the managing arm of the preserve, the Valles Caldera Trust, has released a draft public-use and access plan. The public has until Aug. 14 to comment on the plan, which includes six alternatives for increasing visitor amenities, parking, trail access and more.
The alternatives include building a visitor center ranging from 2,500 square feet to 10,000 square feet. Other options discussed in the plan are full-scale versus limited visitor amenities; parking lots in the backcountry; and different combinations of shuttles and personal vehicles allowed on the roads into the preserve's interiors.VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE