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Record revenues and visitation at the Valles Caldera National Preserve in 2012 highlighted a year of recovery and restoration.
The numbers are detailed in the Valles Caldera Trust’s Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2012 (Oct. 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012).
The report details the challenges and successes of 2012, reviews the historical accomplishments and progress made from 2008-2012 and presents the outlook for fiscal year 2013.
One development involved the appointment of Dennis Trujillo as executive director. Trujillo has been with the trust since its inception and served as Valles Caldera National Preserve manager during the formative stages of the organization.
“This (2012) was a year of transition,” Trujillo said. “We recognized that in order to be successful we had to transition from interim management to a cohesive, comprehensive management plan. We began that phase with the development and implementation of a Strategic Management Plan last spring.”
The plan covers the period of 2012-2018 and concentrates on three strategic goals. The first is to expand the public’s access and enjoyment of the preserve. The second is the restoration and stewardship of the natural and cultural resources found on the preserve. The third goal focuses on financial sustainability, which is critical during this time economic uncertainty and shrinking budgets.
Trujillo noted that the development and implementation of a new strategic plan, continued landscape restoration and the completion of the Public Access and Use Plan and Record of Decision set the tone for 2012.
Record numbers in visitation and revenue also contributed to the list of successes in 2012. The estimated number of visitors to the preserve is estimated to be 110,785, which is 13.6 percent more than the 97,552 who visited in 2011.
The numbers do not include the estimated 150,000 visitors to the two N.M. 4 overlook pullouts. Revenue reached a historical high of $951,574, which is a 19.7 percent increase over the FY 2011 total of $795,110.
The 2012 Report to Congress also discusses the status of the preserve’s natural and cultural resources and details the trust goals for 2013.
The complete Valles Caldera Trust 2012 Report to Congress can be found on the trust website at: vallescaldera.gov/about/trust/.