In an unexpected development to last year’s request for public input to inform and shape future management decisions, it now appears that the Valles Caldera Preserve is initiating a Wilderness Eligibility Assessment.
Should this be successful, Wilderness designation includes prohibiting bicycles from accessing the area, only six years after the Preserve opened up year-round access to quiet and low-impact pedal power during the day.
Given its location, existing infrastructure of logging and gravel roads, and established access points, the area has become popular with bikepackers from northern New Mexico – one of our routes, the Valles Caldera Supervolcano Explorer, uses public transport to access and gently explore the Preserve, as part of a greater loop around the surrounding National Forest.
So, whilst we understand the desire to keep this important area protected and support the creation of Wilderness areas where they make a difference, we’d certainly like to see the Valles Caldera National Preserve remain open to cycling.
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