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Saturday: Interior Secretary Jewell Celebrates Valles Caldera’s Addition To National Park Service

on October 9, 2015 - 8:41am

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell


SANTA FE – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell is visiting the Valles Caldera Saturday, Oct. 10.

Jewell will join U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, former U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, tribal, state and local officials, and other conservation and community leaders to celebrate the inclusion of the Valles Caldera National Preserve as part of the National Park System.

The dedication ceremony is 11 a.m. in the Valle Grande Contact Station Parking Area

Valles Caldera National Preserve was established by Congress in 2000 under the management of the Valles Caldera Trust. On December 19, 2014, the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act re-established the 89,000-acre preserve as a unit of the National Park Service (NPS).

The legislation provided for a management transition from the Trust to NPS, which assumed full management of the preserve Oct. 1, 2015.

Valles Caldera protects a 13-mile-wide collapsed caldera – the remains of an ancient volcano –
that is one of three supervolcanoes in the United States. Valles Caldera includes sub-alpine forests, expansive grasslands, fantastic geologic formations, a wealth of recreational opportunities and rich cultural history. Under NPS management, future generations will be able to visit and enjoy this captivating landscape.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was established in 1965 to invest in our nation’s land, water and wildlife heritage. Valles Caldera was acquired in 2000 using $101 million in LWCF with strong bipartisan support from former Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman and full support from the Clinton Administration.

For 50 years, LWCF has helped support parks and historic sites; conserve forests, rivers, lakes and wildlife habitat; and provide access to recreation, hunting and fishing for current and future generations; however the program expired late last week after Congress failed to permanently authorize and provide dedicated funding.

LWCF is also one of the most important tools for honoring American history, protecting outdoor recreation sites and conserving natural spaces like Valles Caldera and nearly 40,000 other projects across the country.