Preserve inches closer to becoming a national park

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No timeline on how long it could take to incorporate the Valles Caldera

By Jennifer Garcia

A public  hearing was held  during Tuesday night’s county council meeting regarding the Valles Caldera National Prerserve’s inclusion in the national park system.

Council didn’t seem to agree on the motion presented, so the original motion  was amended a handful of times before councilors voted, 7-0, to pass a motion that “supports the transfer of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Park Service to be managed as a preserve.” The motion also stated that, “during the interim, the council recommends Congress take action to modify the year 2000 enabling legislation to remove obstacles restricting the Valles Caldera Trust’s ability to effectively manage the preserve to meet the public’s access priorities …”

Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott spoke briefly to council prior to their discussion and vote. Council Chair Michael Wismer asked Lott how long it would take to make the Valles Caldera a national park.

“It’s at Congress’ discretion. The community can provide support, but the delegation will look at it and move it forward,” Lott responded.

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