NM U.S. Senators Propose National Park Status For Valles Caldera

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich are trying again to make the Valles Caldera National Preserve a national park.

The New Mexico Democrats on Tuesday reintroduced legislation to transfer management of the preserve to the National Park Service. Udall and retired Sen. Jeff Bingaman first proposed the transfer in 2010 in hopes of getting more consistent funding to preserve and improve the area and increase recreation.

A study requested by Udall and Bingaman in 2009 determined that the Valles Caldera met the high criteria for inclusion in the national park system

The federal government bought the 89,000-acre former cattle ranch just west of Los Alamos in 2000. It is a popular spot for hiking, camping and fishing.

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