Why is it urgent to preserve and protect the Caja del Río Plateau in New Mexico? • The National Wildlife Federation Blog

The Caja del Río Plateau, located one mile from the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, has a landscape that dazzles with its abundant wildlife, its mountains, its alpine forests and its extensive desert landscapes, from where you can contemplate unforgettable sunsets. This volcanic region, with numerous steep cinder cones over its plains, encompasses 106,000 acres. It limits to the northwest with the Rio Grande, to the west with the Bandelier National Monument, and to the south with the steep cliffs of La Bajada. National Wildlife Federationtogether with a coalition of organizations, calls for the permanent protection of the Caja del Río plateau.

These are the main reasons for asking the Biden Administration, and Congress, to designate the Caja del Río plateau as a national monument, conservation area, or traditional cultural asset:

In Caja del Río, thousands of petroglyphs made between the 13th and 17th centuries are preserved. It is a sacred place for the Pueblo Indians and their ancestors. The historic trail, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, also crosses through this region. With a length of 2,560 kilometers, the trail was the longest trade route in North America, stretching from Santa Fe to Mexico City. In the year 2000 this route was recognized by Congress as a National Historic Trail.

A sign on a desert hiking trail reads, "Camino Real Historic Route segment Begins".

In addition to its historical and cultural value, Caja del Río is a natural transit area for dozens of animal species that travel between Colorado and Mexico. This land is home to diverse wildlife, including elk, mule deer, cougars, and bears. It is also the habitat of golden and bald eagles, and burrowing owls, among other birds. In addition, Caja del Río has a high climatic resilience that contributes to the adaptation of a variety of species.

In addition to the threat of forest fires, mining, poaching, and habitat fragmentation, the Caja del Río plateau faces an increase in vandalism, including the defacing of petroglyphs and the desecration of its sacred sites. It has also become a place for the illegal dumping of garbage. It is necessary to protect the Caja del Río plateau, an area of ​​cultural convergence and a deep relationship with nature and wildlife, which must be preserved for future generations.

Currently, the Caja del Río plateau is managed by the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Land Management of the Department of the Interior. Permanent protections from the federal government are needed to prevent mining from desecrating these sacred lands. Avoiding the construction of new infrastructure in this fragile New Mexico wildlife habitat is urgently needed.

National Wildlife Federationreiterates its call to the Biden Administration and Congress to designate the Caja del Río plateau as a national monument, conservation area, or traditional cultural asset, and guarantee its permanent protection under the Antiquities Law.

you can sign this petition to save the Caja del Río plateau.

It is video in English of Caja del Río, explains its importance.

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