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Sen. Pete Domenici, R.-N.M., today formally requested $10 million in federal funds to continue support for the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The senator serves on a subcommittee that will soon begin developing the FY2009 Interior Appropriations Bill that funds the U.S. Forest Service and the Valles Caldera.In a letter submitted to subcommittee chair, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Domenici requested the funding for the Valles Caldera, an 89,000-acre ranch located near Los Alamos in the Jemez Mountains. The request includes $3.5 million for general operation of the preserve, and $6.5 million for road and facilities maintenance improvements.“This request is reasonable and, in my view, necessary as we continue to propel the Valles Caldera to be able to accept more visitors,” Domenici said. “I vehemently disagree with the budget request and view of the Forest Service that the Caldera can and should be treated in its budget like other pieces of federal property.
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