Udall On Need To Extend LWCF At Valles Caldera

 Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Manager Nancy Partridge, left, is among a group that gathered Friday with U.S. Sen. Tom Udall at the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Courtesy/Sen. Udall’s Office

Sen. Tom Udall, second from right, and the group participate in a cookout. Courtesy/Sen. Udall’s Office


U.S. Sen. Tom Udall hosted a roundtable discussion Friday at the Valles Caldera National Preserve on the urgent need to extend the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at the Valles Caldera.

He participated in a group discussion about the need to reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which helps fund outdoor recreation and conservation projects in New Mexico, from Valles Caldera to Valle de Oro to even local city parks.

The discussion focused on what LWCF means to the Valles Caldera and other public outdoor places in New Mexico. The group also talked about what can be done in Congress to reauthorize LWCF and gave an update on the status of the management transition of the Valles Caldera from the Valles Caldera Trust to the National Park Service.

Udall is a long-time supporter of fully funding LWCF, which was created when his father was Interior Secretary. Udall has introduced legislation to find a permanent solution for the LWCF. More than $261 million has been spent in New Mexico since 1965 to protect natural resources and provide recreational opportunities, including over $41 million for state and local grants, and 62 New Mexico businesses have called on Congress to fully fund the LWCF

Those accompaning Sen. Udall Friday include:

  • Jorge Silva Banuelos, Executive Director, Valles Caldera Trust
  • Garrett Veneklasen, New Mexico Wildlife Federation (moderator)
  • Toner Mitchell, Trout Unlimited
  • Jerry Burton, New Mexico Trout
  • Mark Allison and John Olivas, NM Wilderness Alliance and
  • Michael Casaus, The Wilderness Society
  • Alexandra Merlino, Partnership for Responsible Business
  • Nancy Partridge, Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce
  • Jarrett Babincsak, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Earlier in the day, Sen. Tom Udall and the group went out fly fishing on Jemez Creek and a tributary. Courtesy/Sen. Udall’s Office


Courtesy/Sen. Udall’s Office