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In his June 7 story, Roger Snodgrass described very well the mood of the panel at the Albuquerque forum concerning public access to the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Unfortunately, in paraphrasing my comments that the caldera rim has truly world-class views, he transposed the owners of sections of the rim.
The sad fact is that the Forest Service owns access. The Preserve owns the best viewpoints along the rim. The entire boundary of the preserve is fenced and heavily posted, in essence, Public Land, No Trespassing. If only Roger were correct, it would save us all a lot of anguish in establishing trails around the caldera rim.
I talked with the new executive director, Gary Bratcher, about public access to parts of the preserve rim. I am especially concerned about the rim between Cerro Grande and Pajarito Mountain. It was once a standard local hiking route that was snatched away when the government bought the Baca Location No. 1 in 2000.
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