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The Valles Caldera Trust 2012 State of the Preserve Report details the journey of an overused, exhausted landscape to its improved condition and provides a peek at the road ahead.
The report, released Thursday, is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures unique to the trust, and provides baseline data, which aids the strategic management of the preserve. However, the report also points out that some of the resources Congress believed would contribute to financial self-sufficiency were either overestimated or emerged as liabilities for the “Experiment in Public Land Management”.
“The land was over grazed, heavily logged and the streams were severely compromised when we took over in 2002,” notes Valles Caldera Trust Executive Director, Dennis Trujillo. “The preserve was incapable of supporting the livestock numbers and timber production it did under private ownership. We had to adapt, and adapt quickly.”
The 2012 report recounts how the trust employed science-based adaptive management from 2002-2012 to restore the landscape, establish land use policies and expand opportunities for public access and revenue generation. Adaptive management allows the trust to institute a new program, monitor the implemented changes, and adjust the program, based on the assessment data.
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