Valles Caldera could be added to National Park Service, according to study

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By The Staff

VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE, N.M. (AP) — A study of northern New Mexico's Valles Caldera National Preserve says the area is a worthy addition to the National Park Service system.

The study — released Thursday by the Park Service — was praised by Audubon New Mexico, the National Audubon Society's state office.

Audubon New Mexico and Bird Life International designated the preserve as an Important Bird Area because it provides essential breeding and migrating habitat and regularly supports significant densities of species listed as endangered or threatened in New Mexico.

Audubon New Mexico says the study could mean further protection for the area.

The preserve currently is managed by a nine-member Valles Caldera Trust appointed by the president.

Democratic U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall asked for the study last summer.

Look for expanded local coverage of this story in Sunday's Monitor.