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Senators Seek Possible National Park Designation for Valles Caldera

New Mexico’s U.S. senators have asked the National Park Service if the Valles Caldera National Preserve could be included in the National Park System.


The trust that governs the Valles Caldera is set to expire in 2020 and Sens. Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman said “various ideas about the future management of the preserve are being investigated.”


The senators wrote a letter to National Park Service Acting Director Daniel Wenk urging him to consider making Valles Caldera a preserve within the National Park Service. A National Park Service preserve is managed similarly to a national park, but it allows for hunting, according to a joint Bingaman-Udall news release.


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“Anyone who has seen the Valles Caldera knows it is a special place,” said Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Management by the National Park Service could be one of many options we evaluate to ensure the preserve’s remarkable resources are protected.”

“The Valles Caldera is a treasured piece of New Mexico that captures our state’s history, wildlife and beauty,” Udall said. “We must evaluate every viable option to ensure that this incredible landscape remains both protected and accessible for future generations to enjoy.”

The senators asked for a the analysis to be complete within a few months.