Place:  Valles Caldera National Preserve

Location:  Sandoval County, New Mexico

Person interviewed:  Jeremy Romero, Wildlife Corridor Coordinator, National and New Mexico Wildlife Federations

Land and Water Conservation Fund
Land and Water Conservation Fund
Land and Water Conservation Fund

How this site benefits you and your community: In 2000, the Valles Caldera – 90,000 acres of lush volcanic grasslands, mountain streams and plentiful wildlife – was purchased and became public lands in LWCF’s largest land acquisition in New Mexico. The Land and Water Conservation Fund contributed just over $100 million to make the purchase happen, promote recreational opportunities and public access, and to conserve habitat for wildlife, including elk, mule deer, and mountain lions.

“That purchase was meant to preserve and protect these areas,” said Romero. “It preserves this sacred, vast landscape and allows for many people to recreate here. It’s not just recreation; it also protects the tribal and historical use. There are numerous sacred sites scattered throughout the Caldera.”

“If the Land and Water Conservation Fund wasn’t available for the purchase of the Caldera, then the public would not be able to recreate here and experience the scenery, the wildlife, the beauty of this place. I hunt and I fish and I hike these hills nearly every weekend. To be able to pass by and now call it mine – it’s mine, it’s yours, it’s all of ours – I love seeing this place and I know future generations will love it as well.”

(Credits: esrIII/Flickr for the panoramic photo; NM Wildlife Federation for fishing photo.)

NEW Valles Caldera National Preserve fishing