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The Board of Trustees of the Valles Caldera National Preserve will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. in Los Alamos (at the Hilltop House), and we encourage the public to come and ask plenty of questions.
Though the trustees make their decisions in closed door meetings held before the public one, (possibly in violation of the Valles Caldera legislation), the public meetings can be informative and at times entertaining, and they provide a chance to watch the “experiment” in action.
The idea of having a “Trust” manage the Valles Caldera National Preserve rather than a professional land management agency has been an expensive and troubling experience. After nine years the trust experiment has proven to be a failure.
The “trust” concept apparently was intended to have the Valles Caldera run like a business instead of an agency, but accounting problems, and the fact that public lands have set costs for complying with laws and managing public values that have no monetary value has meant that the business idea is a poor match for a piece of wild country that the public wants protected and open to its owners.
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