Valles Caldera National Preserve


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Valles Caldera National Preserve

(vä`yās), 89,766 acres (36,343 hectares), N N.Mex.; est. 2000 by Valles Caldera Trust, transferred to National Park Service 2015. Formerly part of the vast, privately owned Baca Ranch, the preserve lies at the heart of the Valle Grande (Jemez) Mountains and encompasses most of a 12–15 mi-wide (19–24 km) circular caldera formed after two massive eruptions about 1.6 and 1.2 million years ago. The basin is some 3,000 ft (915 m) deep, measured from the surrounding rim, which encircles several lava domes. The landscape is mainly a mixture of grasslands and forested mountains, cut by numerous streams, with hot springs, gas vents, and other volcanic features. Wildlife include such threatened or endangered species as the Mexican spotted owl, goshawk, Jemez Mountains salamander, and Rio Grande cutthroat trout as well as elk, mule deer, black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, and other mammals, and golden and bald eagles and other birds.
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Categories: Natural Resources, Conservation, Federal corporations, Federal property management, Financial management, Financial statement audits, Forest management, Funds management, Internal controls, Land management, Monitoring, Natural resources, Recreation, Reporting requirements, Schedule slippages, Strategic planning, Valles Caldera (NM), Valles Caldera National Preserve
A signed fence on Rabbit Ridge delineates Park Service land from Valles Caldera National Preserve, two separately managed parcels that have something in common: The ash spewed in one of Valles Caldera's eruptive fits created Bandelier's tuff, the chalky stone that ancestral Puebloans carved into dwellings.
Deep in New Mexico's Jemez Mountains and 60 miles north of Albuquerque, the Valles Caldera National Preserve gives skiers and snowshoers jaw-dropping scenery--and almost guaranteed solitude--at bargain rates.