Valles Caldera

Columbine-Hondo, Valles Caldera bills pass


By Teresa Seamster, December 15, 2014

In December, the U.S. Congress approved the transfer of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service as part of the Defense Authorization Bill during the lame-duck session of Congress.

The Valles Caldera would have otherwise reverted in 2020 to general U.S. Forest Service land with no dedicated staff or budget if Congress had not acted to locate the preserve within the National Park Service. The Columbine-Hondo in Northern New Mexico was also declared a Wilderness Area, protecting 45,000 acres.

Valles Caldera bill passes Senate panel

Valles Caldera - photo by Tom Ribe

By Tom Ribe, Caldera Action

On June 18, 2013, the bill to move the Valles Caldera National Preserve from the temporary VCNP Trust to the National Park Service passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a bipartisan basis. This is a huge step for protecting the Valles Caldera over the long term. The bill (S285) is likely to be bundled with other public-land bills and presented to the full Senate this summer or fall. The trick is always getting time on the Senate floor and overcoming any filibuster that could require a supermajority to pass.

Citizen efforts protecting Valles Caldera National Preserve

Valle San Antonio © Jon Longmire

By Tom Ribe, Executive Director, Caldera Action

The yawning expanse of the Valles Caldera National Preserve in north-central New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains has drawn generations to its streams, grasslands and wild forests. This outstanding remnant of a recent cataclysmic volcanic event has been cloaked in peace that belies its geologic and tumultuous human history.

Bill Huey, champion for Valles Caldera

Bill Huey, 85, passed away in August in Tesuque. Bill was a director of the Game and Fish Department and one of the State’s Natural Resources Department directors. In 1975 Bill stated, “The single biggest problem facing wildlife is the loss of habitat altogether, or the loss of its availability.”

Senators Bingaman & Udall Introduce Bill to Transfer Valles Caldera to National Park Service - Update

Valles Caldera

August 5 - U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today announced that a bill he introduced with Senator Tom Udall to transfer management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service has cleared its first hurdle. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed it.

The Chapter has been strongly supporting the effort by Caldera Action to transfer management of the Valles Caldera from the Valles Caldera Trust to the National Park Service, which has the experience and resources to better manage the Preserve. We are delighted to announce that on May 27, Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall introduced legislation to transfer the management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service.

Outdoor Initiative Increases Opportunities

Youth with Senator Udall

This spring President Obama created the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. This weekend leaders from the Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency met with New Mexicans in Albuquerque to learn about our views of this program. This is my viewpoint on this issue.

  • We should all increase our use of the world-class outdoors opportunities that exist here in New Mexico.
  • The Federal government should provide new, expanded, and better protected public lands.
  • Increase opportunities for youth in the Great Outdoors.
  • Support local economies by investing in public lands.
  • Manage all public lands to comprehend climate change.

Celebrating the Legacies of New Mexico’s Eco Heroes

New Mexico lost three of its most respected conservationists this year....Stewart Udall, Marilyn Cooper, and Gail Ryba.

Good News from Caldera Action

Valles Caldera

The Pajarito Group partners with Caldera Action to advocate for increased access to, as well as the restoration and protection of, the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP). For years, Caldera Action has worked for better management of VCNP, from science-based management to restricted development of roads and hotels – always with the view to stay true to VCNP’s mandate to protect our public treasure. Toward these ends, Caldera Action has been working to get the VCNP redesignated as a National Park Preserve.

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