Las Cruces, New Mexico – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Las Cruces District will host a special celebration on Saturday, October 24, at 9:00 a.m., highlighting the significant paleontological and recreational resources of the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument (Monument).
The public is invited to join local dignitaries and BLM staff for this outdoor celebration commemorating the 15th Anniversary of National Conservation Lands. In addition, the BLM will recognize the donation of a public easement, and dedicate the new Monument portal sign.
An easement through private land, donated by the Burke Family from Las Cruces, has enhanced access to the Monument. Saturday’s celebration will honor Mr. Francis Burke, posthumously, and his family for their generous contribution that ensures public access to one of the BLM’s outstanding landscapes.
Starting at 10 a.m., the public can also enjoy a BLM-guided hike to the Monument’s discovery site, where citizen-scientist Jerry MacDonald excavated the Paleozoic Trackways collection. The unique collection, made up of 2,500 slabs of fossil trackways, including large reptiles, small amphibians, and conifer leaf imprints, is part of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
Anyone planning to participate in the three-hour hike needs to be aware of the challenging hiking conditions, including an undeveloped trail with uneven surfaces and no facilities or shade shelters along the trail. Hikers will also need to come prepared with snacks, closed-toes shoes, a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water.
Saturday’s event will also feature a service project sponsored by the Southern New Mexico Trails Alliance to install signs and repair ruts on the SST Trail, a popular mountain biking trail. Volunteers are invited to join the Alliance to further enhance the Monument’s mountain biking experience. The project will also begin at 10 a.m.
Directions to the celebration site and more information about the Monument can be found on BLM’s website at www.blm.gov/nm/trackways. For more information, please contact BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner McKinney Briske at 575-525-4334.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.