National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior
This reconnaissance survey report has been prepared at the request of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for the purpose of identifying opportunities to preserve and interpret nationally signiﬁ cant American Latino heritage sites within the San Luis Valley and central Sangre de Cristo Mountains, as well as opportunities for conservation of the area’s landscape, environment and natural resources.
Publication and transmittal of this report should not be considered an endorsement or commitment by the National Park Service to seek or support speciﬁ c legislative authorization for the project or its implementation. This report was prepared by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Intermountain Regional Oﬃ ce. Table of Contents
Executive Summary — 1 Recommendations for Conservation and Interpretation — 55
1. Recommend that Congress authorize a special resource study of Introduction — 3 American Latino sites within the San Luis Valley and central Sangre de Background — 3 Cristo Mountains, which would allow for a more complete evaluation of Purpose and Scope of the Reconnaissance Survey — 3 alternatives to protect these resources — 55 2. Recommend that Congress authorize an update to the Vermejo Park Ranch Survey Area Description — 4 Special Resource Study — 56 Regional Context — 4 3. Create a corridor of conservation easements on public and Land Ownership — 5 private lands — 57 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview — 7 4. Identify and develop state heritage tour routes — 57 Introduction — 7 5. Provide NPS technical assistance to state and local heritage sites — 57 Mexican Land Grants and Latino Settlement — 8 Signiﬁ cant American Latino Heritage Resources — 18 Appendices — 59 Natural Resources Overview — 29 Appendix A. The National Park System New Areas Study Act (1998) — 59 Introduction — 29 Appendix B. Nationally Signiﬁ cant Themes: History and Prehistory — 61 Geology — 29 Appendix C. National Register of Historic Places and Topology — 29 State Register Properties — 62 Hydrology — 30 References — 69 Climate — 30 Ecoregions — 31 Preparers — 73 Vegetation — 33 Wildlife — 33 Assessment of Signiﬁ cant Natural Features — 33 Previous NPS Studies and Ongoing NPS Efforts — 51 Previous NPS Studies — 51 Ongoing NPS Efforts — 52 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
he survey area, which includes a portion however, includes more than historic sites, depict a distinctive and important chapter of Tof the San Luis Valley of southern trails and structures. Centuries-old traditions American history that likely has the potential Colorado and northern New Mexico, as well including folklore, farming practices, religion, to ﬁ ll a gap in the National Park Service as the central Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and art can still be found in this isolated and Thematic Framework. Preservation of these represents the northernmost expansion of predominantly agricultural region, including important resources has the potential to the Spanish Colonial and Mexican frontier the San Luis Valley of Colorado where a ensure that the stories and places associated in the region. The establishment of Mexican version of 17th century Spanish is still spoken with American Latino heritage will land grants in the area, the impact of those by about 35 percent of the population. be shared and protected for future land grants on settlement patterns, and the generations. The legacy of Mexican land grants, as well history and culture of the people associated as the ruggedness of the Sangre de Cristo with them are signiﬁ cant chapters in the Mountain Range, also resulted in a natural history of the United States. The legacy of landscape that remains largely unfragmented Latino settlement is still clearly evident by subdivisions, development, and other within the area. The survey team identiﬁ ed changes in land ownership. As a result, a distinctive and exceptional concentration the survey area includes vast tracts of land of historic resources associated with Latino where wildlife can migrate between the high settlement, including properties that reﬂ ect prairies of northern New Mexico and the the massive size and scale of the land grants. high mountain valleys of central Colorado. Also here is Colorado’s oldest documented There are few other places in the United town, only communal pasture, ﬁ rst water States where such an open and unchanged right, and oldest church. Many of these landscape exists. Latino historic resources, including the Trujillo Homesteads and La Vega and These ﬁ ndings led the survey team to Associated Sites, are currently being studied conclude that resources and traditions as new National Historic Landmarks. Pike’s existing within the survey area meet Stockade already has been designated as a National Park Service criteria for national National Historic Landmark. Segments of signiﬁ cance and possess exceptional value the Old Spanish National Historic Trail and in illustrating and interpreting the theme the Santa Fe National Historic Trail also pass of American Latino heritage. Latino through the survey area. This rich legacy, resources and lifeways within the survey area Trujillo Homestead - Photo Courtesy of Front Range Research Associates, Inc.
1 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
The 1979 Special Resource Study of 1. Recommend that Congress authorize Vermejo Park Ranch determined that a special resource study of American the ranch was a suitable addition to the Latino sites within the San Luis National Park System. The 1979 study noted Valley and central Sangre de Cristo that the ranch was signiﬁ cant under several Mountains, which would allow national themes including environmental for a more complete evaluation of conservation, recreation, American ways alternatives to protect these resources. of life, the cattlemen’s empire, the mining 2. Recommend that Congress authorize frontier, western trails, law, and Native an update to the Vermejo Park Ranch American history. Vermejo Park Ranch also Special Resource Study. oﬀ ers an excellent opportunity to interpret the history of Mexican land grants in the 3. Create a corridor of conservation region. The 1979 study needs to be updated easements on public and private lands. with current and accurate information and the original ﬁ ndings validated. This study 4. Identify and develop state heritage update should be authorized by Congress tour routes. so that the full range of alternatives can be 5. Provide NPS technical assistance to evaluated and meaningful civic engagement state and local heritage sites. can take place.
As such, the survey team recommends ﬁ ve actions that could be taken – either individually or in combination – to conserve and interpret the nationally signiﬁ cant resources of the survey area. These are:
Elk in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Background Cristo Mountains, 60 miles in length, between Purpose and Scope of the Carson National Forest in northern New he San Luis Valley comprises a Reconnaissance Survey Mexico and San Isabel National Forest in picturesque high alpine valley that This reconnaissance survey report has T southern Colorado, is currently under private stretches for nearly 122 miles, beginning been prepared at the request of Secretary ownership. along the Continental Divide in south central of the Interior Ken Salazar for the purpose Colorado and extending southward into The region contains a mosaic of cultures of identifying opportunities to preserve northern New Mexico to a point near Santa stretching back over 11,000 years, including and interpret nationally signiﬁ cant Fe. The valley is ﬂ anked on the east by the Native Americans, the descendants of American Latino heritage sites within Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which form the Spanish and Mexican colonists, and Anglo- the San Luis Valley and central Sangre de southernmost range of the Rocky Mountains. American settlers. Beginning in the late Cristo Mountains, as well as opportunities A large portion of the mountains is publicly 16th century this region became Spain’s for conservation of the area’s landscape, accessible and under conservation through and then Mexico’s most northern frontier. environment and natural resources. various National Forest designations: the Rio To encourage settlement on this isolated Although the National Park Service cannot Grande and San Isabel in Colorado, and the northern edge of Mexico, in the 1840s the initiate studies of potential new units of the Carson and Santa Fe in New Mexico. These Mexican government awarded ﬁ ve large land National Park System without the speciﬁ c areas are popular for a variety of outdoor grants comprising millions of acres along the authorization of Congress, Congress does recreational pursuits: hunting, camping, present-day Colorado-New Mexico border. permit the National Park Service to conduct hiking, backpacking, climbing, and cross- After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, when preliminary resource assessments and gather country as well as downhill skiing. The Mexico ceded its northern frontier to the data on potential study areas or sites. National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Land United States in 1848, two distinct societies The term “reconnaissance survey report” has Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife were brought together and the San Luis been used to describe this type of assessment Service (USFWS), and the U.S. Forest Service Valley became a shared cultural and natural (see Appendix A). Due to the scope and all have interests and landholdings in the landscape where both Mexican/Spanish and scale of this survey eﬀ ort, the resource area. One major segment of the Sangre de American traditions and practices still endure. overview sections are based on information gathered through literature surveys and previous studies; no new on-site surveys were conducted and public outreach was limited.
3 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Survey Area Description
Regional Context he reconnaissance survey area of Tinterest includes over 3,264,000 acres (approximately 5,100 square miles) situated within the San Luis Valley and central Sangre de Cristo Mountains of south-central Colorado and northern New Mexico. The area includes parts of Saguache, Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Huerfano, and Las Animas counties in Colorado, and Taos and Colfax counties in New Mexico.
Interstate Highway 25 parallels the eastern ﬂ ank of the central Sangre de Cristo Mountains. U.S. Highway 160 from Walsenburg, Colorado provides a western connection over La Veta Pass into the San Luis Valley from I-25. New Mexico Highway 522 and Colorado Highway 159 provide access into the eastern side of the San Luis Valley, while U.S. Highway 285 provides access to the south-central and western portions of the valley.
The survey area is approximately 220 miles from Denver, Colorado and 130 miles from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The Blanca Group taken from Colorado Highway 17 - Photo Courtesy of 14ers.com 4 Land Ownership Most of the land within the survey area is in private ownership, primarily within large ranchland holdings. There are a number of small village areas, principally along the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The publicly owned areas include Carson National Forest, Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge, Bureau of Reclamation lands, and state game and ﬁ sh lands in New Mexico; and Rio Grande National Forest, San Isabel National Forest, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Baca National Wildlife Refuge, Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge, Bureau of Land Management, and state lands in Colorado.
Land Ownership San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
5 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Gallegos Farm, Costilla County, Colorado - Photo Courtesy of Front Range Research Associates, Inc.
6 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview Introduction he San Luis Valley and Sangre de Cristo TMountains comprise an area rich with historic places, many of which are associated with America’s Latino heritage. On the north, the survey area boundary is deﬁ ned by Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, which contains some of the oldest known archeological sites in America, dating back 11,000 years. On the south, extending into New Mexico, the survey area is anchored by the nearly 600,000-acre Vermejo Park Ranch, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve San Luis, Colorado which a 1979 Federal study evaluated as a Latino cultural traditions and settlement signiﬁ cant cradle of Hispano culture,” where suitable addition to the National Park System. patterns are still evident. The area reﬂ ects the language, art, architecture, religion, On the east, the survey area is bounded by land patterns established by the area’s pioneer tradition, and folklore of Native Americans, the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range and settlers, including strips of narrow long lots its Front Range foothill communities. At the (extensiones) that begin on heart of the survey area is the San Luis Valley, a water source and extend, home to Colorado’s oldest documented often for several miles, across town (San Luis), only communal pasture (La various ecosystems, enabling Vega), ﬁ rst water right (San Luis People’s owners to utilize a variety Ditch), and oldest church (Our Lady of of landforms for diﬀ erent Guadalupe). Covering much of the survey planting and agricultural area is the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage purposes. Local residents also Area, the heritage of which is diverse but hold use rights to common especially rich in Hispano culture, folklore, areas for grazing, hunting and religion and language, where 35 percent wood gathering. As noted in of today’s residents still speak a version of its enabling legislation, the Castilian Spanish used by the area’s earliest Sangre de Cristo National settlers. Extensive Mexican land grants Heritage Area is a “nationally triggered initial Latino settlement, and La Vega and the San Luis People’s Ditch - Photo Courtesy of Front Range Research Associates, Inc. 7 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report early Spanish colonists, and Mexican settlers as camels and bison. A number of Folsom Between A.D. 1075 and A.D. 1225, people of the Southwest are alive and thriving. campsites, including the Stewart’s Cattle of the Upper Purgatoire Culture lived on the Guard and Linger Folsom bison-kill site, have east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Overall, the survey area represents the been found across the region. Later Paleo- west of present-day Trinidad. Their lifestyle settlement and development of an area that Indian cultures visited the area some 8,000 reﬂ ected inﬂ uences from the Puebloan once formed the borderlands of Mexico and years ago. A notable change in subsistence Southwest, as well as the Plains culture in the the United States, and then became part of patterns, where people shifted to hunting Oklahoma Panhandle. They lived in semi- the American Southwest. When Mexico’s present-day big-game species and smaller sedentary settlements, hunting and gathering, northern frontier was taken over by the animals and gathering extensive plants, as well as farming in ﬂ oodplains. Their houses United States in 1848, it brought together two occurred from 7,500 to 1,500 years ago. were made of stone, adobe or jacal (slim poles distinct societies that diﬀ ered linguistically, politically, legally and culturally; portions of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico became a merged space that was both Mexican/Spanish in character and American in place. The massive size of Mexican land grants in the survey area, the impact of those land grants on settlement patterns, and the history and culture of the people associated with them are signiﬁ cant chapters in the history of the United States, and could provide excellent opportunities for the interpretation of several aspects of legal, political, economic, environmental, recreational and social themes of history. Mexican Land Grants and Latino Settlement Humans have lived in the San Luis Valley and Sangre de Cristo Mountains for at least 11,000 years. The earliest known inhabitants were nomadic hunters and gatherers of the Clovis Complex, who hunted now-extinct large animals such as the mammoth, as well Trujillo Homestead - Photo Courtesy of Front Range Research Associates, Inc.
8 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview set closely together and often covered with Spaniards had preceded him in the region.1 of the American Southwest.3 The grants, mud). Later explorers included Roque Madrid which were made to individuals, included (1705), Juan Bautista de Anza (1779), Zebulon requirements to recruit settlers and make The Ute are the oldest continuous residents Pike (1807), and Jacob Fowler (1822). Prior to tangible steps towards the development of the of the San Luis Valley and Sangre de Cristo the conclusion of the Mexican-American War land. In the area of southern Colorado and Mountains, arriving as early as A.D. 1300. of 1846-48, most of the current American northern New Mexico, most of these grants Originally nomadic, Ute bands traveled in Southwest belonged to either Spain or – were exceptionally large and grossly exceeded small groups, living a hunting and gathering following the Mexican War of Independence, the legal size limit according to Mexican law. lifestyle. They called themselves the Nuche, which ended in 1821 – to Mexico. However, In New Mexico alone, 295 grants were made or “The People.” The acquisition of the from the 1820s into the 1840s, the Mexican by Spain and Mexico, while seven were made horse allowed the Ute to begin buﬀ alo government was unable to establish in present-day Colorado, ﬁ ve of which are in hunting on the eastern slope of the Rocky permanent settlements in its northern frontier the study area.4 The study area includes the Mountains, and also provided easier escape territories because of resistance by the Ute Luis Maria Baca No. 4 (100,000 acres), Sangre from enemies as other Indian groups arrived and other indigenous inhabitants of the area, de Cristo (1 million acres), Beaubien-Miranda in the valley. Beginning in about 1400, several who retained control over most of the land (Maxwell) (1.7 million), Conejos (2.5 million Indian groups, including Apache, Arapaho, along the border of present-day New Mexico acres), and Vigil-St. Vrain (4 million acres) Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, and Navajo, and Colorado.2 grants.5 migrated to the San Luis Valley and other areas of the Southwest. At various times in the In an eﬀ ort to encourage settlement and In 1846, the United States declared war 1700s, Ute, Comanche and Apache occupied economic development on this isolated on Mexico; the conﬂ ict concluded in 1848 the area along the eastern ﬂ ank of the Sangres; northern edge of Mexico – as well as to with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Comanche continued to live in the upper protect its northern border from America under which Mexico ceded a large area that Arkansas River area until the early 1800s and and Texas (which was still an independent included much of present southwestern the Ute continued to use the upper Purgatoire republic) – the Mexican government awarded United States in exchange for 15 million River area until the early 1870s. tracts of real estate called “land grants” dollars. Under the terms of the agreement, in its northern frontier areas, now part In 1694, when Spanish explorer Don Diego 3 Though details varied, applicants for land grants typically had to agree to cultivate the land and attract settlers. Usually after de Vargas entered what is now southern four years of such development, the grants were ﬁ nalized. Colorado, he recorded the existing Spanish 4 U.S. General Accounting Oﬃ ce, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: names of several of the area’s rivers, creeks Deﬁ nition and List of Community Land Grants in New Mexico. 1 Thomas J. Noel, Paul F. Mahoney and Richard E. Stevens, Report to Congressional Requestors, GAO-01-951 (Washington, and mountains, indicating that other Historical Atlas of Colorado (Norman: University of Oklahoma D.C.: GAO, 2001), 3. The list for Colorado includes the Luis Press, 1994), Map (and caption) 8: “Spanish and French Maria Baca No. 4, which technically was granted by the US Explorers.” government as a result of land grant litigation. 2 Beginning in 1836, the Republic of Texas also claimed the land 5 Colorado State Archives Spanish-Mexican Land Grants in the survey area east of the Rio Grande River and south of the website: http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/mlg/mlg. Arkansas River. html. The later Luis Maria Baca No. 4 grant was 100,000 acres.
9 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report the United States also agreed to recognize and protect the property rights of Mexican citizens living in the ceded areas. The government launched into an extensive and complicated process to determine whether each property claim was legally valid. The procedure was fraught with diﬃ culties; intense controversy accompanied the entire process and continues to this day.
It was not until after the Mexican-American Our Lady of Guadalupe Church War, with the establishment of a U.S. Army distinct within the larger American Latino presence in the area – ﬁ rst through Fort community, this culture is characterized by, Massachusetts and then Fort Garland – among other things, a version of the Spanish that permanent Latino settlements were language that preserves centuries-old words established in southern Colorado. and expressions, distinctive surnames, unique Shrine, San Luis Valley - Photo Courtesy of Front Range Research Associates, Inc. American Latino Culture within the San folklore and music that has Spanish roots, a Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo heavy use of dried chili pepper in cooking, Within the survey area, this cultural imprint Mountains and folk art that includes weaving and the is most evident in the San Luis Valley. La Many American Latinos within the survey creation of santos and bultos (carved and Vega, which is adjacent to the town of San area are descendants of Spanish Colonial painted religious images). The distinctive Luis, was established in 1851 as pasture land settlers whose communities remained imprints of these settlement patterns on commonly held by all community residents relatively isolated from outside contact, the land include plazas (villages); long-lot and is still being utilized by descendants including the larger Mexican population. agricultural ﬁ elds (extensiones); adobe brick of the original settlers. Also here is the San Some scholars, including geographer Richard buildings; dome-shaped outdoor ovens Luis People’s Ditch, an 1852 acequia that Nostrand, use the term “Hispano” to refer to (hornos); communal irrigation systems is Colorado’s oldest water right. Common the speciﬁ c culture and settlement patterns (acequias); and Roman Catholic village areas, such as La Sierra (located on the Cielo that reﬂ ect these centuries of Spanish churches.7 Vista Ranch), were established for grazing, heritage. Nostrand notes that these settlement hunting and wood gathering to be used by the patterns include “certain archaic Iberian entire community. In addition, La Sociedad cultural forms” that do not seem to exist de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (the Society elsewhere in the borderlands.6 Culturally 7 Nostrand, The Hispano Homeland, 8-13; and Trujillo of Our Father Jesus the Nazarene) – also Homesteads National Historic Landmark nomination (draft) 6 Richard L. Nostrand, The Hispano Homeland (Norman: by Thomas H. and R. Laurie Simmons (Denver: Front Range known as the Penitente Brotherhood and University of Oklahoma Press, 1992), 7. Research Associates, Inc., September 26, 2011), 20-22.
10 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview
Los Hermanos Penitentes – has played a on the eastern side of the Sangre de Cristo ownership, including the U.S. Forest Service signiﬁ cant role in numerous communities Mountains.8 and National Park Service. in northern New Mexico and southern Mexican Land Grants within the Luis Maria Baca No. 4 Land Grant Colorado, and is an important representation Survey Area The Luis Maria Baca No. 4 land grant can of American Latino culture in the area. A lay Much of the survey area is located on be considered both the oldest and the religious society focused on penance and Mexican land grants. The survey area and newest in Colorado. Petitioned for by Luis mutual aid, Los Hermanos Penitentes has a adjacent lands within the Sangre de Cristo Maria Caveza de Baca, the land originally number of moradas (quarters) in the survey and Northern Rio Grande National Heritage granted to Baca in 1821 was located in New area where the Brotherhood continues to Areas include the Luis Maria Baca No. 4, Mexico, but due to conﬂ icting claims on the meet. Conejos, Sangre de Cristo, Beaubien-Miranda same land, in the early 1860s the Baca heirs Nostrand writes that the “homeland” of (Maxwell) and Vigil-St. Vrain land grants. The agreed to receive an equal amount of land this culture was originally centered in history of each of these land grants follows in ﬁ ve parcels in three diﬀ erent states. The northern and central New Mexico but, in its own unique trajectory, and reﬂ ects varying Colorado parcel – the Baca No. 4 – was then the mid-nineteenth century, following the degrees and patterns of Latino and American deeded to a lawyer to pay for legal fees; it conclusion of the Mexican-American War settlement. In some portions of the survey was subsequently owned by two diﬀ erent in 1848, expanded northward along the Rio area, especially the southern San Luis Valley, Colorado governors and then mining Grande into Colorado, which represents particularly on lands associated with the investors and developers who extracted over its most northern extension. In Colorado, Conejos and Sangre de Cristo land grants, $50 million in gold. Latino settlers brought traditional settlement such settlements were established in the Conejos Grant patterns that had been established decades San Luis Valley and on the east side of the Established in 1833, the Conejos grant also earlier and which took deep root, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in western Las was one of the older land grants in Colorado. distinctive culture of those communities Animas and Huerfano counties. Nostrand A portion of the Conejos grant – in the continues to this day. Other portions of the compares the migration of these settlements western San Luis Valley, near the Colorado- survey area, including the lands in the Baca to “a ﬁ reworks display of shooting stars: New Mexico border – was settled by Hispano No. 4, Vigil-St. Vrain and Beaubien-Miranda each star that shot into space gave rise to immigrants from the lower Chama Valley, (Maxwell) grants, as well as portions of the several new stars, which in turn parented including Abiquiú and Ojo Caliente, New Sangre de Cristo and Conejos grants, were stars of their own, all headed in the same Mexico. Their plazas (villages) included ultimately acquired by American, Dutch direction.” Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Santa Conejos, Mogote, Las Mesitas and Rincones. and New Mexican elites, speculators and Cruz, New Mexico were the fountainheads, However, the U.S. government chose not to ﬁ nanciers. Some of these lands, as well as giving rise to Taos, Mora, and Abiquiú, which honor the claim of the grant, so the land grant other parcels, later came under Federal then gave rise to settlements in the San Luis was dissolved and the northern portion of the Valley in Colorado, as well as to settlements 8 Simmons and Simmons, Trujillo Homesteads National Historic grant was settled via U.S. land laws. Landmark nomination, 20-22; and Nostrand, 96.
11 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Mexican Land Grants (within and adjacent to the survey area) San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
12 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview
Nevertheless, the southern area of Conejos Eventually the Cielo Vista and Trinchera Madrid, Tijeras, Los Baros (Segundo), La County continues to be occupied by Ranches were located on this grant. Junta (Weston), and Vigil. Almost immediately descendants of the early Hispano settlers, and after receiving the grant, Vigil and St. Vrain Vigil-St. Vrain Grant their language, religion, lifeways and values gave one-sixth interest each to several friends, In 1843, New Mexican Governor Manuel continue to prevail in this area. including Charles Bent and Governor Armijo awarded the Vigil-St. Vrain grant (also Armijo. St. Vrain continued bestowing gifts Sangre de Cristo Grant known as the Las Animas grant) to Cornelio of land, and subsequent owners sold land to The Sangre de Cristo grant was established Vigil (Taos Justice of the Peace) and Ceran speculators, even after Congress reduced the in 1843 by Stephen Luis Lee and Narciso St. Vrain (partner of the Bent-St. Vrain fur- grant from 4 million acres to about 96,000 Beaubien; following their deaths in the 1847 trading empire). With the record-setting 4 acres in 1869. Land title chaos erupted; after Taos Uprising, the grant was taken over by million acre grant, for a short while, Vigil and decades of litigation, the U.S. Court of Private Carlos Beaubien (Narciso Beaubien’s father). St. Vrain were two of the largest landholders Land Claims conﬁ rmed the smaller acreage in As in the case of the Conejos grant, Hispano in the history of the United States.10 The 1900. In the early twentieth century, western settlers from the Taos, New Mexico area owners did little to attract settlers, as required Las Animas County and southwestern likewise immigrated to Carlos Beaubien’s by Mexican law, and those they did recruit Huerfano County were developed as the Sangre de Cristo grant after the Mexican- were typically Anglos. Many of those who southern Colorado coal ﬁ eld, primarily by American War, settling in the eastern San Luis were Latino were employees of the Anglo Colorado Fuel and Iron, Co. (CF&I). Valley in present-day Costilla County. Plazas settlers, or relatives of their Latino wives.11 established here included San Luis, Viejo San In addition, some Latino settlers moved to Beaubien-Miranda (Maxwell) Grant Acacio, San Pedro, San Pablo, San Francisco the western area of the grant, but this was Established in 1841, the Beaubien-Miranda and Chama. In the 1860s the majority of the settlement by individuals, not colonization (Maxwell) land grant – within which Vermejo Sangre de Cristo land grant – other than the in the manner usually implemented in Park Ranch is located – encompasses land in lands deeded to the Hispano settlers – was Mexican grants.12 In the 1860s, Latinos New Mexico and Colorado. Lucien Maxwell sold to investors. The grant was the focus from northern New Mexico formed villages (Carlos Beaubien’s son-in-law) acquired of a landmark 1876 Supreme Court ruling along the Purgatoire River, which included the Beaubien-Miranda grant in the 1860s. that upheld its unusually large acreage.9 In the 1870s, Maxwell sold the grant to 10 The ruling caused a furor that resulted in a “Spanish-American Land Grants: A Brief Introduction, Las Animas/Vigil & St. Vrain Grant,” Colorado State Archives, http:// investors, and conﬂ icts between the new (and complete revision of how the government www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/mlg/mlg.html (accessed subsequent) owners and the previous settlers processed Mexican land grant claims; it September 15, 2011). – who were primarily farmers and miners, 11 Marianne L. Stoller, “Grants of Desperation, Lands of also prompted open conﬂ icts between the Speculation: Mexican period Land Grants in Colorado,” in many of whom were Latinos – erupted and newly established grant owners and settlers. Spanish & Mexican Land Grants in New Mexico and Colorado, continued for decades. When the company ed. John R. Van Ness and Christine Van Ness (Manhattan, KS: Sunﬂ ower University Press, 1980), 33, citing J. L. LeCompte, that owned the Maxwell grant began evicting Pueblo, Hardscrabble, Greenhorn (Norman: University of people who had been living on the grant 9 Tameling v. United States Freehold & Emigration Co., 93 U.S. Oklahoma Press, 1978), 98. 644 (1876). 12 Stoller, 85. lands, the situation turned especially violent,
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Trujillo Homestead - Photo Courtesy of Front Range Research Associates, Inc. continuing into the late 1880s, and became communal lands of the Hispano settlers. represent signiﬁ cant chapters of Latino and known as the Colfax County War. The Around the same time, members of the Anglo settlement in the area. violence ended only after the Supreme Court Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Trinchera Ranch ruled that the title belonged to the Maxwell settled in towns in southern Conejos County. The 171,400-acre Trinchera Ranch survives Land Grant Company, a Dutch group.13 The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad arrived today as the largest contiguous remnant of the in the late 1870s, enabling the transfer of The 1870s also marked a major shift in Sangre de Cristo land grant, which spanned goods and materials to and from the valley, settlement, economy and transportation over 1 million acres. In the 1860s, Carlos which prompted new economic activity in in the San Luis Valley. Homesteaders and Beaubien – an owner of both the Sangre de agriculture and mining, and created railroad ranchers, primarily from the Midwest, began Cristo and Beaubien-Miranda (Maxwell) towns. to settle the northern San Luis Valley during grants – began selling some of his holdings. this decade. This major shift in migration Major Ranchlands within the Survey Area William Gilpin, Colorado’s ﬁ rst territorial impacted the future development of the The limited nature of this reconnaissance governor, purchased the mountain portion landscape and culture of the survey area. survey did not permit a full assessment of all of the Sangre de Cristo grant. Although The settlement pattern of the Anglo settlers of the major ranchlands within the survey Beaubien died before the sale was complete, typically followed the square pattern found area. However, there are three privately his heirs followed through on the transaction in surveyed townships, ranges and sections owned ranches that are among the largest and sold 500,000 acres to Gilpin. In 1868, – very diﬀ erent from the long lot ﬁ elds and contiguous tracts of land representing the Gilpin and partners incorporated as the massive size and scale of the land grants United States Freehold Land Association, 13 U.S. vs. Maxwell Land Grant Company, 121 U.S. 325 (1887). on Mexico’s northern frontier. They also which divided the property into the Trinchera
14 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview
Major Ranchlands (within the survey area) San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
15 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Estate at the north and the Costilla Estate from New Mexico during that same time. beginning in the 1860s, Carlos Beaubien (also known as La Sierra and, later, as the The Simms family expanded the ranching began to sell oﬀ the Sangre de Cristo grant Taylor Ranch and the Cielo Vista Ranch) operations to include sheep grazing; they also and William Gilpin purchased the mountain to the south. Gilpin also oﬀ ered a portion developed ﬁ sh habitat. In 1950, the Simms portion. Gilpin and his associates divided of the grant to William Jackson Palmer, to family divided the property into two large the property into the Trinchera Estate at the incentivize him to build his Denver & Rio ranches: the Blanca (on the north) and the north and the Costilla Estate to the south. Grande Railroad into the San Luis Valley. Trinchera. They sold the Blanca portion, and The Costilla Estate – also known as La Sierra, In 1913, the Trinchera Estate, which came retained ownership of the Trinchera portion. Taylor Ranch and, currently, Cielo Vista to be known as the Trinchera Ranch, was Media tycoon Malcolm Forbes purchased Ranch – straddled the Colorado-New Mexico purchased by David Bryant Turner, a wealthy the Trinchera Ranch in 1969, then expanded border. Denver industrialist.14 his holdings in 1982 when he purchased the As part of the sale, Beaubien ﬁ led a document adjacent Blanca Ranch – renaming the whole The Turner family used the Trinchera Ranch requiring Gilpin to fulﬁ ll promises made property as the Forbes Trinchera Ranch. The to farm, raise cattle and entertain friends. to the pobladores, the Hispano settlers Forbes family used the ranch as a conference They built several buildings on the ranch on the grant. This included obligations to center and hunting lodge, as well as for to house family members and employees. maintain the status quo of Mexican land corporate entertaining and as an executive Following the stock market crash of 1929, grant traditions and customs, which allowed retreat.15 In 2004, the family donated a the ranch went into receivership and was pobladores to use designated portions of the conservation easement on 80,000 acres of purchased by lumber baron E.D. Wetmore land grant in common with any future owner the ranch to Colorado Open Lands. In 2007, of Warren, Pennsylvania. In 1938, Ruth of the grant.16 This was particularly important the Forbes family sold the 171,400-acre Hanna McCormick Simms and her husband for the Costilla Estate portion of the Sangre property to hedge-fund manager and noted Albert Gallatin Simms bought the ranch. de Cristo land grant because it included conservationist Louis Moore Bacon. Ruth Hanna McCormick (whose ﬁ rst La Sierra, common lands that had been husband was Joseph Medill McCormick) La Sierra/Cielo Vista Ranch provided through the Mexican land grant was a noted leader in the women’s suﬀ rage (Taylor Ranch) for the original settlers. Here, descendants of movement, and a member of the U.S. House La Sierra/Cielo Vista Ranch, which is 77,000 the original Hispano settlers exercised their of Representatives from Illinois from 1929- acres, is on the Costilla Estate portion of the traditional rights to access and use the land 1931. Albert Simms was a U.S. Representative historic Sangre de Cristo land grant. As noted for a variety of traditional purposes. above in the history of the Trinchera Ranch, 14 Ranch roots stretch back to days of million-acre grants of In the 1960s, a subsequent owner of a 1800s,” The Denver Post, January 28, 2001; “Society People to Found a Summer Colony and Game Preserve,” The New 15 Forbes Trinchera Ranch, Deed of Conservation Easement, large portion of the Costilla Estate – which York Times, January 7, 1915; and Poor’s Manual of Industrials, 2-3; “Ranch roots stretch back to days of million-acre grants Manufacturing, Mining and Miscellaneous Company, Volume of 1800s,” The Denver Post, January 28, 2001; and “Ruth 16 Maria Mondragón-Valdéz, The Culebra River Villages of 7 (New York: Poor’s Manual Company, 1916), 1711. Poor’s Hanna McCormick”, Women in Congress website: http:// Costilla County, Colorado, National Register Multiple Property Manual reports that D. Bryant Turner was president and womenincongress.house.gov/member-proﬁ les/proﬁ le. Documentation Form (San Luis, Colorado: Valdez & Associates, treasurer of the Denver Rock Drill Manufacturing Company. html?intID=163 2000), 17.
16 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview then became known as the Taylor Ranch Vermejo Park Ranch between subsequent owners and previous – denied access to these common lands, Vermejo Park Ranch, which is nearly 600,000 settlers resulted in the so-called Colfax which triggered a protracted battle over the acres, is located primarily in New Mexico, County War. The 1887 Supreme Court ruling rights to these lands. In 1992, the Sangre de with its most northern portion extending that title belonged to the Maxwell Land Grant Cristo Land Grant Commission, which was into Colorado. The ranch is on lands within Company quieted the violence.19 appointed by Colorado Governor Roy Romer, the Beaubien-Miranda (Maxwell) land grant, By the early twentieth century, Chicago recommended that the Taylor Ranch be which was acquired by Lucien Maxwell in businessman William H. Bartlett owned the acquired for public ownership and managed the 1860s. Maxwell lived there in a feudal portion of the Maxwell grant that includes in a partnership between the local community manner with settlers – many of whom were Vermejo Park Ranch; he also owned a portion and the State of Colorado. The report also Latinos – providing goods and services to of the Sangre de Cristo grant that was in New recommended a management plan for the him. Coal and gold were mined on the grant Mexico.20 Bartlett developed the estate as a ranch, as well as conservation easements during Maxwell’s ownership.18 Conﬂ icts cattle ranch, and lavishly entertained guests that would protect the land and ensure that the local community would have undisputed 18 Ruins of the mining town of La Belle were extant in 1979. Vermejo Ranch: Study of Management Options (U.S. Department 19 U.S. vs. Maxwell Land Grant Company, 121 U.S. 325 (1887). ownership over the historic use rights of of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agricultural and State of 20 Much of this paragraph taken from Vermejo Ranch: Study of local residents, including traditional wood New Mexico, July 1979), 116. Management Options, 103-104. gathering, timber management, livestock grazing, cow elk harvest, ﬁ shing, recreational uses, and educational opportunities.17 Finally, after several decades of lawsuits, a 2002 Colorado Supreme Court decision upheld the rights of the settlers’ descendants to use the privately owned land as common lands for grazing and gathering ﬁ rewood and timber. The 77,000-acre Taylor Ranch is now called Cielo Vista Ranch by the current owners, and La Sierra by the descendants of the Hispano settlers.
17 Sangre de Cristo Land Grant Commission Report (1993: The Sangre de Cristo Land Grant Commission), 4-5. Bison Grazing on the Vermejo Park Ranch
17 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report from across the country. For the visitors settlement. The company continues to open with the earliest Americans, native villages, he built numerous guest cottages, a stone the property to guests. and the contact period.22 lodge, and two large residences.21 Harrison At the time of a Federal 1979 study of the The southern portion of Vermejo Park Ranch Chandler of the Times Mirror Corporation ranch as a potential new unit of the National is crossed by the Mountain Route of the Santa purchased the Vermejo Park Ranch in 1926, Park System, Vermejo Park Ranch included Fe National Historic Trail in the vicinity of and organized the Vermejo Club, whose the remains of the homes of the land grant’s Cimarron, New Mexico. Along the trail in members could relax in the natural seclusion earliest Latino settlers. Other historic New Mexico, at the edge of the ranch, is the of the ranch. Participants included celebrities resources included two guest lodges that Cimarron Historic District, which includes and powerful businessmen such as Douglas were constructed in 1907-1910, as well as a the site of Lucien Maxwell’s headquarters Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Cecil B. deMille, cabin built by silent movie star Mary Pickford. and home, as well as an 1864 grist mill built Andrew Mellon, and Harvey Firestone. In The ranch may include remnants of historic for Maxwell. the 1940s Texas businessman W.J. Gourley mining operations and irrigation projects, purchased the land; he focused on improving some of which may date to the Maxwell Signiﬁ cant American Latino hunting by reintroducing elk and bison, land grant era. The ranch also is likely to Heritage Resources bringing in wild turkey, and improving ﬁ shing contain numerous prehistoric and historic impoundments. He reopened the ranch The survey area includes a number of archeological sites, including those associated as a ﬁ shing and hunting haven in the early resources associated with America’s Latino 1950s. Upon Gourley’s death, the Vermejo 22 VVeVermejormejjo RRaRanch:nchh: SStudyttuddy ooff MaManagementnagement OOptions,ptions, 1101.01. Park Corporation, a subsidiary of Penzoil, purchased the property in 1973 and held it for two decades. During that time, the ranch continued to be used for cattle and as a resort. In 1982, the company deeded over 96,000 acres, known today as the Valle Vidal, to the U.S. Forest Service. Currently, the Vermejo Park Ranch is owned by Ted Turner’s Vermejo Park, LLC, which ceased cattle ranching and has been managing the natural resources to return them to the condition of pre-European
21 Both stone residences remain in excellent condition today. However, in 1991 a new rustic log lodge replaced the original structure, which was destroyed by ﬁ re. Vermejo Ranch: Study of Management Options, 103. Santa Fe National Historic Trail
18 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview heritage, many of which already have been trading post, stage station, and popular stop identiﬁ ed as nationally signiﬁ cant through on the Mountain Route, and Wootton Ranch previous Federal studies. Other sites are listed was home to Richens Lacy Wootton, who on the National Register of Historic Places, owned and operated the Raton Pass toll as well as the state registers of Colorado road and who later sold the property to the and New Mexico. The following resources Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, which within the survey area, as well as some sites today follows the route of the old trail. on adjacent lands, are a representation of Old Spanish National Historic Trail Old Spanish National Historic Trail some of the cultural resources that reﬂ ect this (trail sections within Alamosa and Costilla Diego de Vargas (1694), Roque Madrid history. Counties, Colorado and Taos County, New Mexico) (1705), Juan Bautista de Anza (1779), Zebulon Santa Fe National Historic Trail Montgomery Pike (1807), and Jacob Fowler (trail sections within Colfax County, Coming north from Santa Fe, a segment of (1822). A campsite at the foot of Mosca New Mexico) the Old Spanish National Historic Trail passes Pass, near the Great Sand Dunes, was used Designated in 1987 and administered by the through the San Luis Valley and Great Sand by American explorer Pike. Today, the Old National Park Service, the 1,200-mile-long Dunes National Park and Preserve before Spanish Trail crosses six states – Colorado, Santa Fe National Historic Trail, including the turning west toward Utah and southern New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and Mountain and Cimarron Routes, is signiﬁ cant California. Designated in 2002 and managed California. in a number of historic contexts. From 1821 jointly through a network of partnerships to 1846 it was an international trade route that with the National Park Service and Bureau Pike’s Stockade National Historic Landmark fostered an exchange of goods – and cultures of Land Management, the trail was a (Conejos County, Colorado) – among Latino, Indian and American people. commercial trade route ﬁ rst used in 1829 by Pike’s Stockade, near the town of Sanford, Following the Mexican-American War, the Mexican trader Antonio Armijo, who carried Colorado, was designated a National Historic trail played a critical role in the westward blankets and serapes to trade in California Landmark in 1961 and represents early expansion of the United States and eventually for horses and mules. Over the next 20 years, exploration of the trans-Mississippi West, developed into the ﬁ rst major transportation Mexican and American traders continued as well as the collision of American and route between the eastern United States and to ply variants of the route that Armijo Spanish expansionist frontiers. Following the American Southwest. As the Mountain pioneered, frequently trading with Indians the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, President Route crosses from Colorado into New along the way. The branch through the San Thomas Jeﬀ erson sent Meriwether Lewis Mexico, it traverses Raton Pass National Luis Valley developed from Indian trails and and William Clark to explore the northern Historic Landmark and several other sites later was used by explorers, trappers, and portion of the purchase. In 1806, Jeﬀ erson associated with the trail, many of which are travelers. Between 1694 and 1825, at least sent Zebulon Montgomery Pike on the listed on the National Register of Historic ﬁ ve individuals or groups are known to have second oﬃ cial expedition into the Louisiana Places. Clifton House, for instance, was a traversed part of the San Luis Valley: don Purchase, focusing on the southern portion.
19 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Trujillo Homesteads Potential National sheep on the open range led to cattlemen Historic Landmark killing a large number of his sheep and (Alamosa County, Colorado) burning his home and ranch headquarters to In 1865, New Mexico native Teoﬁ lo Trujillo the ground. Soon thereafter, both generations settled on an isolated site in Colorado’s San of Trujillos sold their homesteads and Luis Valley. Over the next 40 years, Teoﬁ lo moved to other locations in the valley. The and his wife Andrellita, as well as their son Trujillo Homesteads are an outstanding Pedro and his wife Soﬁ a, expanded their representation of the ﬁ rst wave of Latino holdings to nearly 1,500 acres. Teoﬁ lo and settlement in the area. These ﬁ rst settlers Andrellita, who lived in an adobe home, came in a northward migration, analogous Pike’s Stockade National Historic Landmark - Photo eventually created one of the wealthiest ranch Courtesy of Fort Garland Museum & Pike’s Stockade to the westward push from the East and operations in the San Luis Valley, where they Midwest, bringing traditional Latino Among Pike’s goals was to ﬁ nd the Red raised sheep and cattle. Pedro increasingly agricultural methods, architecture, language, River, which was then believed to be the adapted to the growing Anglo dominance of foods and settlement patterns. boundary between America and Mexico. the area by raising only cattle and building a The expedition built a stockade at this site two-story log house on his own homestead. in 1807, and Pike raised the American ﬂ ag In 1902, conﬂ ict over Teoﬁ lo’s grazing of over Spanish soil. Pike and his men were then taken into custody by Spanish forces. The location of Pike’s Stockade was determined through descriptions of the terrain contained in Pike’s journal and supplemented by accounts of settlers who attested to the former existence of surface remains. The site is on the north bank of the Conejos River, and includes a reconstruction of the fort that is based on notes in Pike’s journal. The site is owned and interpreted by the State of Colorado as part of Fort Garland Museum & Pike’s Stockade state historic site.
Pedro Trujillo Homestead - Photo Courtesy of Front Range Research Associates, Inc.
20 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview
The homesteads also reﬂ ect the conﬂ ict settlements is La Vega, which was established an 1852 acequia recognized as Colorado’s between cattlemen, primarily Anglos, in 1851 as pasture land commonly held oldest water right; the headgate of the ditch and sheep raisers, primarily Latinos, over by all the residents of the community, and diverts water from Culebra Creek in the access and control of the open range. The which is still being utilized by descendants southern part of La Vega. Also included are homesteads are within the authorized of the original settlers. Within and adjacent the Gallegos Farm, an extensione that fronts boundary of Baca National Wildlife Reserve. to La Vega is the San Luis People’s Ditch, a waterway and then extends outward for In December 2011 the NPS Advisory Board recommended to the Secretary of the Interior that the properties be designated a National National Historic Landmarks Program Historic Landmark. National Historic Landmarks are nationally signiﬁ cant historic places designated by the La Vega and Associated Sites Potential Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating National Historic Landmark or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, fewer than 2,500 historic (Costilla County, Colorado) places bear this national distinction. A National Historic Landmark -- which can be a Beginning in the early 1850s, San Luis, which building, site, structure, object, or district -- represents an outstanding aspect of American is the oldest documented, continuously history and culture. It may be a place that is associated with a turning point in our occupied community in Colorado, and other Nation’s history, the home of a nationally signiﬁ cant person, an exceptional building or nearby villages including San Pablo, San engineering monument, or an archeological site that may yield new information about Pedro, San Acacio, San Francisco, and Chama, our past. Many of the most renowned historic properties in the Nation are National developed in the Culebra Creek watershed Historic Landmarks, including Mount Vernon, Pearl Harbor, the Apollo Mission Control of the San Luis Valley. At the center of these Center, the Air Force Academy, the Empire State Building, and the Martin Luther King Birthplace.
The National Historic Landmarks Program, established in 1935, is administered by the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. The National Historic Landmarks Program does not manage or own National Historic Landmarks. Landmarks are owned by both public and private entities; most are privately owned. The National Historic Landmarks Program works with preservation ofﬁ cials, property owners, and other partners interested in nominating a landmark. Completed applications are reviewed by the National Park System Advisory Board, which makes recommendations for designation to the Secretary of the Interior. If they wish, Landmark owners are provided with a bronze plaque to display at the Landmark. Plaques identify the name and Landmark Gallegos Farm - Photo Courtesy of Front Range Research status of the property and the date of designation. Associates, Inc.
21 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Beaubien, who owned the grant, the National Register of Historic Places, La negotiated to sell a mountain Sierra is one of the most signiﬁ cant resources portion of the land to William associated with Hispano culture within the Gilpin, Colorado’s ﬁ rst territorial survey area. La Sierra is located within Cielo governor. Although Beaubien Vista Ranch. died before the sale was complete, Fort Garland Museum his heirs followed through on (Costilla County, Colorado) the transaction and sold 500,000 Established in 1858 to protect Latino acres to Gilpin. As part of the sale and Anglo settlement in the area, Fort negotiations, Beaubien had ﬁ led a Garland (which is operated by the State of document requiring Gilpin to fulﬁ ll Colorado) has important associations with promises made to the pobladores, the settlement of the San Luis Valley. After the Hispano settlers on the grant. Fort Garland the end of the Mexican-American War of This included obligations to 1846-48, it was the presence of the U.S. maintain the status quo of Mexican land Army – which began with the establishment nearly ﬁ ve miles, and the Dario Gallegos grant traditions and customs, which allowed of Fort Massachusetts in 1852, replaced by home within the town of San Luis. Together, pobladores to use designated portions of the Fort Garland six years later – that created a all of these resources form an outstanding land grant in common with any future owner more secure environment where permanent representation of the expansion of Hispano 23 of the grant. Among those designated lands settlements could be established in the San settlement into a newly acquired region of was La Sierra, where descendants of the Luis Valley. Fort Garland also helped usher the American frontier. The nomination will original Hispano settlers exercised traditional in the railroad era in southern Colorado. be reviewed by the Landmarks Committee of rights to access and use the land for a variety Fort Garland served as a base of military the National Park System Advisory Board in of purposes. In the 1960s, when a subsequent operations until it was abandoned in 1883. Spring 2012. owner of La Sierra denied access to La Sierra, Company G of the Ninth Cavalry, a unit of it triggered a protracted battle over the rights La Sierra African American soldiers (now popularly (Costilla County, Colorado) to these lands. Finally, after several decades known as Buﬀ alo Soldiers), operated out of La Sierra – common lands associated with of lawsuits, a 2002 Colorado Supreme Court the fort from 1876 to 1879. A state museum the Sangre de Cristo land grant – is an decision upheld the rights of the settlers’ site, Fort Garland also interprets Pike’s outstanding representation of traditional descendants to use the privately owned land Stockade, which is a National Historic Hispano agricultural and settlement patterns as common lands for grazing and gathering Landmark. in the survey area. La Sierra is part of the ﬁ rewood and timber. Although not listed on Sangre de Cristo land grant, which was established in 1842. In the 1860s, Carlos 23 Mondragón-Valdéz, Culebra River Villages of Costilla County, 17.
22 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview
Fort Massachusetts inhabited town in Colorado. Originally (Costilla County, Colorado) known as Plaza de San Luis de Fort Massachusetts was the ﬁ rst military fort la Culebra, the town contains an in the area. Established on June 22, 1852, important collection of buildings on the west bank of Ute (Utah) Creek, the including the county courthouse, the pine log stockade’s primary function was convent and Church of Most Precious to protect travelers and settlers in the San Blood, the town’s commercial core and Luis Valley from Indian attack. When it numerous residences, including the became apparent that the swampy location home of Narciso Gallegos and Dario was unsuitable, troops were removed to Fort Gallegos. Dario Gallegos founded the Garland, a new adobe post that opened in ﬁ rst mercantile business in Colorado 1858, six miles to the south. The remains of in 1857, which was originally known Fort Massachusetts, which are located on the as the Gallegos Store and which later County Courthouse, San Luis, Colorado Trinchera Ranch, have been the subject of became the Salazar Store. The district recent archeological investigations. also includes La Vega and the San Luis People’s Ditch. Culture), a Penitente morada, displays of Francisco Plaza Colcha stitchery, Spanish Colonial santos, and (Huerfano County, Colorado) A contributing building within the Plaza the manuscript and art collection of Father Listed on the National Register of Historic de San Luis de la Culebra Historic District Patrick Valdez. Future plans call for a research Places and within the town of La Veta, is the San Luis Institute of Arts and library, living history demonstrations, Colorado, Francisco Plaza was founded by Crafts Building, which is now being and partnerships with institutions of “Colonel” John M. Francisco in 1862. The restored by the Sangre de Cristo National higher learning on the research, study and plaza was constructed as two adobe buildings Heritage Area and will be reopened as the interpretation of the Hispano farm system, that formed a U-shape around a traditional Sangre de Cristo Heritage Center at Costilla traditional arts and folklore. The center also open courtyard. The buildings originally had County. The project is being undertaken plans to hold traditional festivals and art dirt ﬂ oors and a dirt roof supported by vigas; in cooperation with the Costilla County markets to interpret the Indo-Hispano culture later improvements included gabled roofs, Economic Development Council, with of northern New Mexico and southern wood ﬂ ooring, and plastering of the walls. funding from the Colorado State Historical Colorado.24 The site is now the Francisco Fort Museum. Fund. The San Luis Institute was built during Plaza de San Luis de la Culebra Historic the Great Depression by the Works Progress District (Costilla County, Colorado) Administration (WPA) as a community Listed on the National Register of Historic center, and later served as a high school Places, the town of San Luis, which was and museum/cultural center. The center’s 24 Rick Manzanares, “A Rationale for Federal Recognition and Resources for the Sangre de Cristo Heritage Center of Costilla established in 1851, is the oldest continuously exhibits include: Cultura Constante (Constant County,” August 29, 2011.
23 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Sacred Heart Catholic Church Sociedad de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (Alamosa County, Colorado) (San Francisco Morada) Located in Alamosa, Colorado, and listed (Costilla County, Colorado) on the National Register of Historic Places, Listed on the Colorado State Register, this Sacred Heart was designed by architect circa 1908 building represents an important Robert Willison and built between 1922 and aspect of Latino history in southern 1928. The church has interior murals that Colorado: the Penitente Brotherhood, also were painted by local artist Josef Steinhage, known as Los Hermanos Penitentes. The lay who is recognized nationally for his artwork religious, fraternal organization constructed in Catholic churches. In terms of Latino and continues to use the building as a chapel heritage, the murals are noteworthy because and meeting hall. Los Hermanos Penitentes they reﬂ ect Latino design elements and depict played an instrumental and inﬂ uential role Sociedad de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno – San Francisco Morada local members of the Latino community. in the settlement of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The organization held religious observations involving penance and mutual aid – and exerted a powerful and positive inﬂ uence in the preservation of Spanish language, lore, customs, and faith in the American Southwest. The building, which is in San Pablo, Colorado, also reﬂ ects the limited religious and governmental support in rural areas of predominately Latino populations and the aid societies that formed as a result.
La Sociedad Proteccion Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (SPMDTU) Concilio Superior (Conejos County, Colorado) Located in Antonito, Colorado, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this building has served as the headquarters for La Sociedad Proteccion Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos since 1925. Founded Mural on Interior of Sacred Heart Catholic Church
24 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview
by seven residents of Antonito in 1907, La La Capilla De San Antonio De Padua Sociedad is an excellent representative of the (Conejos County, Colorado) mutual aid society, or mutualista, movement Listed on the Colorado State Register, in the Southwest. These organizations oﬀ ered this adobe chapel was built in 1928 and a form of self-help and self-defense to the encompasses a wall of the original 1880 Latino community – providing mutual aid and church at this site. It reﬂ ects the importance insurance, fraternal association, protection of churches as centers and symbols of of rights and privileges, and cultural, southern Colorado Latino communities. It social, patriotic and recreational activities. is also the only remaining public building Mutualistas date to the 1850s in Mexico; from representing the village of Lasauses. there, they spread into Texas in the 1870s, San Rafael Presbyterian Church and then proliferated across the southwestern (Conejos County, Colorado) United States and then into the Midwest. La Sociedad Proteccion Mutua De Trabajadores Unidos Located in Mogote and listed on the Colorado State Register, this circa 1895 church, which was expanded in 1911, is one of the oldest extant adobe churches in Conejos County. The church represents the inroads made by the Presbyterian Church into Latino southern Colorado, which was predominately Catholic, and is the only remaining Spanish-speaking Presbyterian church in Conejos County.
Historic Resources Associated with Lucien Maxwell (Colfax County, New Mexico) Maxwell-Abreu House (Rayado Ranch Headquarters) (Cimarron vicinity) – After the death of his son Narciso in 1847, Carlos Beaubien transferred management of the massive Beaubien-Miranda (Maxwell) land grant to his son-in-law Lucien B. Maxwell. Shortly thereafter, Maxwell constructed a large
Sociedad de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno – San Francisco Morada frame home and several outbuildings along
25 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Signiﬁ cant American Latino Heritage Resources (within and adjacent to the survey area) San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
26 American Latino Heritage Resources Overview
Rayado Creek, located about 11 miles south Colorado, and Saints Peter and Paul (San of Cimarron, New Mexico. The location Pedro y San Pablo) Catholic Church (1942) provided a dependable source of water, in San Pablo, Colorado. Saints Peter and Paul and its location along the Santa Fe Trail Church was built in 1942 to replace an earlier guaranteed a steady supply of goods and church.25 These churches are part of a Sacred trade. Construction of Maxwell’s home Circle Mission Churches Tour in Costilla began in 1850, and the existing house County, which includes six other churches includes elements of the original building. in the area.26 Also representing the area’s In the late 1850s, Maxwell moved to the religious heritage is the Stations of the Cross town of Cimarron and the house became Shrine in Costilla County. The stations, which the possession of Jesus Abreu. The Maxwell- are depicted in a series of bronze sculptures Abreu house is listed on the National Register by San Luis artist Huberto Maestas, are of Historic Places, as part of the Maxwell- located along a three-quarter mile trail that Abreu and North (Martinez) Houses climbs a mesa above the town of San Luis. property. Another historic site is the Montoya Ranch, Cimarron Historic District also known as Fort Talpa, in Farisita, (Cimarron) – The Cimarron Historic District Huerfano County, Colorado, which was part includes the site of the house that Lucien of the Vigil-St. Vrain land grant. The State Maxwell built after he moved from the Review Board of the Colorado Historical Rayado Creek property (Maxwell-Abreu Society recently recommended that the House) in the late 1850s. The home is no Montoya Ranch be approved for listing on longer standing, but the historic district, the National Register of Historic Places. The Aztec Mill, Cimarron Historic District which is listed on the National Register of site, which is in the upper Huerfano valley, Historic Places, includes the building site as includes a fortiﬁ ed adobe building – Fort along the Santa Fe National Historic Trail in well as the graves of Maxwell’s mother-in-law Talpa – that was reportedly built by Latino New Mexico, at the edge of Vermejo Park and daughter. Also in the historic district is settlers for defensive purposes against attack Ranch. the three-story Aztec Mill, which was built from Native Americans. In 1887, Victor by Maxwell in 1864 as a grist mill. The grist Other Historic Resources mill was assured immediate success when Other historic churches in the survey area Maxwell was awarded a government contract 25 Memorandum from Thomas H. Simmons and R. Laurie include the Mission of San Acacio (1857- Simmons to Christine Whitacre, National Park Service, RE: to provide ﬂ our to the nearby Jicarilla Apache 1868) in Viejo San Acacio, Colorado; San San Luis NHL Reconnaissance Survey Results and District Recommendations, October 14, 2010, 3-4. Indian Reservation. The district is located (1894) in Los Fuertes, Isidro Church 26 The Sacred Circle Tour brochure at http://www. sanluispreservation.com/2007/10/sacred-circle-2.html
27 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Montoya obtained a patent for the land and The Culebra River Villages of Costilla County, raised sheep on the property until 1910.27 Colorado Multiple Property Submission form, which identiﬁ es settlement patterns The Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area and property types associated with Latino also includes several Centennial Farms heritage, provides a framework for such associated with the area’s Latino history. In eﬀ orts.29 Costilla County, Colorado, these include the Gallegos Ranch, Rio Culebra Ranch, A. 29 Mondragón-Valdéz, The Culebra River Villages of Costilla Prax Ortega Farm, and the Los Antencios County, Colorado, passim. Farm. The Gallegos Ranch (also known as the Gallegos Farm) is part of the proposed La Vega and Associated Sites National Historic Landmark. In Conejos County, Colorado, the Maestas-Valdez Farm near Capulin, the Salazar Farm and Ranch near Manassa, and the Gonzales Farm near La Jara also are Centennial Farms. In order to be designated as a Centennial Farm, a property must have remained in the same family ownership for 100 years and be a working farm.28
The survey area undoubtedly includes additional landscape and building resources that reﬂ ect the area’s Latino heritage, and further research is likely to result in more resources being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
27 Vicky Bunsen Doucette and Dana EchoHawk, Montoya Ranch National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (review board draft) (Colorado: Manitou Springs, presented to the State Review Board, Colorado Historical Society, 2011). 28 Simmons and Simmons, Trujillo Homesteads National Historic Landmark nomination, 49. Hiker at Summit of Mt. Herard
28 Natural Resources Overview
Introduction an impressive variety of ecosystems along an block from the broad, ﬂ at valley ﬂ oor of elevational gradient. Elevations range from the San Luis Valley to the west, which is he Sangre de Cristo Mountains are 5,900 feet to 14,345 feet, with ecosystems primarily covered with Quaternary alluvium geologically young, rugged and steep. T ranging from near desert and prairie to high and aeolian deposits. South of Blanca Peak, The mountains start in the highlands of alpine. More than 90% of the study area expanses of upper Tertiary sedimentary rocks central Colorado at Poncha Pass and trend remains in natural vegetation, providing occur at the mountain front. To the east, the southerly into north central New Mexico. essential wildlife habitat and dispersal broad erosional surface of the Park Plateau The range is often noted as the longest corridors, as well as allowing the operation of and adjacent foothills is formed in lower straightest and tallest range in North America. natural processes at landscape scales. To date, Tertiary sedimentary rocks that give way to Here, ancient glaciers have made their mark, this sparsely populated area has experienced Cretaceous shaley substrates to the east and carving deep valleys and creating a geological few major impacts, and the overall ecosystem southeast. Volcanic intrusives of primarily showcase of the Southern Rockies. The Rio health of the area is good. Tertiary age are present in the Spanish Peaks, Grande Rift created the range by displacing and northwards in the vicinity of Sheep terrain over millions of years. The ruggedness The area supports numerous high-quality Mountain and Mount Maestas. The Latir of the terrain and steep slopes has served to occurrences of rare plants, animals, and Volcanic Field borders the Sangres to the keep the area remote and limit the number of native plant communities that exist within southwest. major roadway crossings. Only US highways a largely undisturbed natural setting. The 285 and 160 cross this range in Colorado. The range oﬀ ers extremely important habitat and Topology rugged landscape also has served to restrict migration routes for a wide variety of wildlife Elevations in the area range from 5,900 feet land use changes such as subdivisions. species. In times of climate change, this (1,798 m) along Dry Arroyo east of Cimarron, ecosystem may provide one of the last open The Sangre de Cristo range occupies the to 14,345 ft. (4,372 m) at the summit of critical migration routes from the high deserts southern end of the Rocky Mountains and Blanca Peak. In the northern portion of the of New Mexico to the high mountain valleys demarcates the boundary of the Great Plains area the Sangre de Cristo Mountains form a in central Colorado. and the high semi deserts of northern New steep eastern rampart above the alluvial fans, Mexico. The San Luis Valley, the largest Geology sand dunes and sand sheet, and drainages of alpine valley in North America, rests along the San Luis Valley. South of the prominent The survey area is bisected by the complexly the mountain range’s western ﬂ ank. The massif of Blanca Peak, the Sangre de Cristo deformed Precambrian and Paleozoic strata mountains and adjacent valleys represent a range begins to trend more directly south, forming the core of the Sangre de Cristo large and uniquely intact natural landscape. along the boundary between Costilla and Range (Bolyard 1960). Here the Sangre de Research has shown that the area maintains Las Animas counties. To the west, Culebra Cristo Fault separates the rugged mountain
29 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
and Costilla creeks drain toward the San their precipitation as winter and spring Luis hills on the ﬂ oor of the valley, while to snowfall, while precipitation patterns at lower the east the dramatic summits of the Spanish elevations are dominated by summer and Peaks overlook the adjacent foothills. Further monsoonal moisture events. La Veta Pass south, the southern Sangre de Cristos are averages 21.6 in. of precipitation annually, called the Culebra Range, and form the with an average annual snowfall of 12.5 ft. western boundary of the Park Plateau, which The ﬂ oor of the San Luis Valley is the driest dominates the southern end of the survey part of the area, with annual precipitation area and includes the headwaters of the for the period of record averaging 8.56 at Purgatoire and Vermejo rivers Blanca, Colorado (WRCC 2011). Areas at intermediate elevations, such as Vermejo Hydrology Park, receive annual precipitation of 12- The survey area is primarily drained by 16 in., and much less snowfall than that of tributaries of the Arkansas River, with the higher areas. Temperatures follow a similar exception of streams of the closed basin in elevational pattern, with generally cooler the northern portion of the San Luis Valley. temperatures with increasing elevation. To the west of the Sangres, streams ﬂ ow Lower and intermediate elevations typically into the Rio Grande River system, while experience summer temperatures with lows the eastern ﬂ ank of the mountains includes in the 40’s to highs in the 70s and 80s, with an the Huerfano, Purgatoire, Canadian, and extreme high of 101 F recorded at Cimarron Cimarron River drainages. in 1939. Winters bring highs in the upper 30s and lower 40s, and lows in the single digits, Climate although temperatures as low as -35 F have The survey area has a continental climate been recorded at Cimarron in 1905 (WRCC characterized by dry air, sunny days, clear 2011). nights, variable precipitation, moderate evaporation, and large diurnal temperature changes. Annual precipitation is highly correlated with elevation, and is greatest at the highest elevations of the Sangre de Cristo range and the Spanish Peaks, decreasing with lower elevations to both the east and Cow Elk and Calf at Indian Springs, Great Sand Dunes west. Mountainous areas receive most of National Park and Preserve
30 Natural Resources Overview
Ecoregions In the center of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, the Rio Grande Rift passes through the San Luis Valley. Here, the southeastern “corner” of the Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregion meets the adjacent boundary between the Central and Southern Shortgrass Prairie ecoregions (as deﬁ ned by TNC 2001, modiﬁ ed from Bailey 1995). This area represents a transition from the grasslands of the Great Plains through foothill and montane forested habitats of the Southern Rockies. The Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregion includes the north- south trending mountain ranges with their intervening valleys and parks from southern Wyoming to northern New Mexico, and, in Colorado, more westerly mountain ranges and high plateaus. The major ecological zones are alpine, subalpine, upper montane, lower montane and foothill (Neely et al. 2001). The survey area is primarily part of the Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregion, but also include a small portion of the Southern Shortgrass Prairie ecoregion.
Ecoregions San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
31 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Major Vegetation Types San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
32 Natural Resources Overview
Vegetation Assessment of Signiﬁ cant NatureServe Explorer (NatureServe 2011), The survey area includes nearly the entire Natural Features and other sources as cited herein. The identity range of ecosystem types that characterize Methodology and extent of ecosystem types was evaluated the Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregion, as Information about the natural features of by using an extract of the Landﬁ re existing well as a selection of types from the adjacent the survey area was compiled from a variety vegetation type (2008 refresh) dataset for the Southern Shortgrass Prairie ecoregion. of sources, including the Southern Rocky Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregion. Rare The northwestern portion on the ﬂ oor of Mountain Ecoregional Assessment (Neely species of interest were initially identiﬁ ed the San Luis Valley is dominated by the et al. 2001), Colorado Natural Heritage by comparison with species lists for the six shrublands and sparsely vegetated types of Program BIOTICS database (CNHP 2011), sites in Neely et al. (2001) that substantially the Intermountain Basins. The area is bisected by ridge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which supports narrow bands of shrubland, woodland, and forest types with increasing Table 1. Explanation of Natural Heritage Rankings elevation, and including alpine and barren rock habitats at the highest elevations. The Rank Description southeastern end of the area is dominated by G1 Critically Imperiled—At very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer populations), very an extensive matrix of montane woodland steep declines, or other factors. G2 Imperiled—At high risk of extinction or elimination due to very restricted range, very few populations, steep types, overlooking the grassy mesas and declines, or other factors. valleys above the Cimarron River to the south. G3 Vulnerable—At moderate risk of extinction or elimination due to a restricted range, relatively few populations, recent and widespread declines, or other factors. Wildlife G4 Apparently Secure—Uncommon but not rare; some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors. The survey area contains a variety of wildlife G5 Secure—Common; widespread and abundant. species that are more fully discussed under GNR Unranked—Conservation status not yet assessed. each ecosystem type listed in the elements of GU Unrankable—-Currently unrankable due to lack of information or due to substantially conflicting information biodiversity section that follows. about status or trends. G#G# Range Rank—A numeric range rank (e.g., G2G3, G1G3) is used to indicate the range of uncertainty about the exact status of a taxon or ecosystem type. Ranges cannot skip more than two ranks (e.g., GU should be used rather than G1G4). ? Inexact Numeric Rank—Denotes inexact numeric rank Q Questionable taxonomy that may reduce conservation priority— Distinctiveness of this entity as a taxon or ecosystem type at the current level is questionable; resolution of this uncertainty may result in change from a species to a subspecies or hybrid, or inclusion of this taxon or type in another taxon or type, with the resulting taxon having a lower-priority (numerically higher) conservation status rank. T# Infraspecific Taxon (trinomial)—The status of infraspecific taxa (subspecies or varieties) are indicated by a “T- rank” following the species' global rank. Rules for assigning T-ranks follow the same principles outlined above
33 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report overlap the survey area. Site names are: Table 2. Major Ecosystem Types In The Survey Area Culebra Range, GRSA/San Luis Lks, La Veta Pass Link, Sangre de Cristo Mtns, SLV Ecosystem Name Approximate Acreage Greasewood, and Vermejo Park/Upper Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine Woodland 684,000 Purgatoire. Species names from this source Inter-Mountain Basins Semi-Desert Shrub Steppe 304,000 were checked against currently available Southern Rocky Mountain Pinyon-Juniper Woodland 303,000 information from state natural heritage Rocky Mountain Montane Mixed Conifer Forest and Woodland 242,000 programs, the NatureServe database, and a Rocky Mountain Gambel Oak-Mixed Montane Shrubland 214,000 recent ﬂ oristic inventory of the area (Legler Western Great Plains Shortgrass Prairie 199,000 2010), and corrections made accordingly. Inter-Mountain Basins Greasewood Flat 172,000 Plant associations documented from the Inter-Mountain Basins Big Sagebrush Shrubland 162,000 Colorado portion of the area (CNHP 2011) Rocky Mountain Subalpine Spruce-Fir Forest and Woodland 154,000 are also reported; New Mexico Natural Rocky Mountain Aspen Forest and Woodland 120,000 Heritage does not track plant associations. Southern Rocky Mountain Montane-Subalpine Grassland 93,000
Elements of Biodiversity Tracked and Ranked by State Natural Heritage Programs states track all plant communities, both rare systems they provide an estimate of the risk of Plants, animals and ecological communities and common, while other states do not tract elimination. Global ranks and rank modiﬁ ers are tracked by state Natural Heritage these elements. (shown below, and used in this document) Programs for a variety of reasons, and these reﬂ ect the status of the element throughout data are continually being revised to reﬂ ect Recognizing that rare and imperiled species its entire range. State ranks (not used herein) current knowledge. Some species may be are more likely to become extinct than are used to indicate the status of an element locally common but restricted to a very small common species, the Natural Heritage within a particular state. geographic area. Other species may be more Methodology ranks species according to widely distributed, but uncommon within their rarity or degree of imperilment. The Elements of Biodiversity: Ecosystems their range. Additional species are tracked ranking system is scientiﬁ cally based upon the The survey area supports sizeable examples because they are at the edge of their range number of known locations of the species as of over two dozen ecological system types. in a particular state, although they may be well as its biology and known threats. Natural The most important types, represented by at quite common elsewhere. Additionally, heritage ranks are applied to a species or least 90,000 acres, are shown in Table 2. and plants, animals, and natural communities natural community element as an estimate described below. may be considered rare because not enough of its overall conservation status. For species is known about their distribution. Some these ranks provide an estimate of extinction risk, while for ecological communities and
34 Natural Resources Overview
Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine ﬁ res are not allowed to burn, young trees Woodland continue to grow, and places that were once This is the most common ecosystem type in open savannas and woodlands become dense the survey area and, together with adjacent forests. The increased density of trees allows mixed conifer forest stands, forms extensive ﬁ res to reach the forest canopy, and these tracts of wooded habitat. The ponderosa pine rapidly spreading ﬁ res can burn very large ecological system is widespread throughout areas. the western United States in warm, dry, Ponderosa forests and woodlands provide exposed sites at certain elevations. In the habitat for a number of mammal species such Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregion these as mule deer, mountain lion, porcupine, and Rocky Mountain Juniper - NPS Photo, Patrick Myers matrix-forming woodlands occur at the Abert’s squirrel. Characteristic bird species lower treeline transition between grassland include the pine siskin, mountain chickadee, or shrubland and the more mesic coniferous pygmy nuthatch, band-tailed pigeon, and forests above. These woodlands are especially chipping sparrow. The most notable species prevalent along the mountain front, and on of concern in Colorado’s ponderosa pine the southern ﬂ ank of the San Juan Mountains. ecological system is the federally threatened Elevations in the survey area are primarily Pawnee montane skipper butterﬂ y. This between about 6,500 and 9,000 feet. species occurs only in ponderosa pine Fire is the most signiﬁ cant ecological process systems with an understory of blue grama in maintaining this system; frequent, low- grass (the skipper’s host plant). The Mexican intensity ground ﬁ res are typical. Healthy Spotted Owl is at the northern end of its Rubber Rabbitbrush - NPS Photo, Patrick Myers ponderosa pine forests often consist of open range in these woodlands in south central and park-like stands of mature trees, with an Colorado. understory of predominantly ﬁ re-tolerant grasses and forbs. Older trees drop their Inter-Mountain Basins Semi-Desert lower branches as they age, which protects Shrub Steppe The term steppe generally refers to a treeless, them from ground ﬁ res, usually only younger grassy plain. In the survey area, these trees are killed. In stands where the natural semi-arid shrubby grasslands are found ﬁ re regime still occurs, shrubs, understory between 7,500 and 8,000 feet in elevation, trees and downed logs are uncommon. A on windswept mesas, valley ﬂ oors, gentle century of human development and ﬁ re slopes, or shoulders of ridges. Stands of suppression has resulted in a higher density this ecosystem type in the San Luis Valley Indian Ricegrass of ponderosa pine trees in many areas. When
35 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report are part of the largest such occurrence in about 6,000 to 9,000 feet. Understory layers Colorado. These shrub-steppes are grass are variable and may be dominated by shrubs, dominated areas with an open shrub layer. grasses, sparse vegetation, or bare ground. Typical grass species include blue grama, needle-and-thread, galleta, saltgrass, Indian Pinyon-juniper woodlands are inﬂ uenced rice grass, and alkali sacaton. Historically, the by climate, grazing, ﬁ res, tree harvest, and shrub layer was dominated by winterfat, but insect-pathogen outbreaks. Since the late this species has decreased under pressure 1800s, distribution and density of pinyon from domestic livestock grazing in many and juniper and the accompanying native areas, and been replaced by rabbitbrush understory have been signiﬁ cantly altered by species and other woody shrubs. The general changing ﬁ re frequency, grazing patterns, and aspect of occurrences may be either open climate cycles. In many places, these two tree shrubland with patchy grasses or patchy open species, especially juniper, have encroached herbaceous layer. Pinyon-juniper woodlands on adjacent shrublands and grasslands, and sagebrush shrublands commonly changing the habitats available to wildlife, are adjacent to this system at the upper as well as the forage available to domestic elevations. cattle. In this system, ﬁ re acts to open
These shrub-steppes provide habitat for many shrubland birds and small mammals. Typical species include the sage thrasher, vesper sparrow, Gunnison’s prairie dog, Ord’s kangaroo rat, and northern grasshopper Mountain Lion in Stand of Quaking Aspen mouse. In the San Luis Valley, rare local subspecies of the silky pocket mouse and the canyons and plateaus of much of the northern pocket gopher, as well as the rare Colorado Plateau to the west, but with a plant species Weber’s cryptantha and James’s more restricted distribution in south central cryptantha, are found in these habitats. Colorado and northern New Mexico. In the survey area, these are open woodlands of Southern Rocky Mountain Pinyon- warm, dry sites on mountain slopes, mesas, Juniper Woodland plateaus, and ridges. Pinyon pine and/or The Southern Rocky Mountain Pinyon- one-seed juniper dominate the tree layer, Juniper ecological system is similar to the and Rocky Mountain juniper may be present pinyon-juniper system that characterizes at higher elevations. Elevations range from Mountain Bluebird
36 Natural Resources Overview stands, increase diversity and productivity in are probably highly variable in both return Fire in these cool, moist stands is infrequent, understory species, and create a mosaic of interval and severity. Douglas-ﬁ r stands and the understory may be quite diverse. stands of diﬀ erent sizes and ages across the are characteristic of drier sites, often with A number of common and rarer bird species landscape while maintaining the boundary ponderosa pine. More mesic stands are found may be found in these forests, including the between woodlands and adjacent shrubs or in cool ravines and on north-facing slopes, white-crowned sparrow, mountain bluebird, grasslands. and are likely to be dominated by white ﬁ r Clark’s nutcracker, Williamson’s sapsucker, with blue spruce or quaking aspen stands. These woodlands are used by many common and red-naped sapsucker. mammal species, including several bat species, desert and Nuttall’s cottontails, Mexican woodrats, rock squirrels, pinyon and deer mice, gray foxes, mule deer, and mountain lions. Bird species include the pinyon jay, western scrub jay, and turkey, as well as the less common black-throated gray warbler. A number of reptiles are characteristic, including the prairie lizard. The common hog-nosed skunk reaches the northern edge of its distribution in this system in southern Colorado.
Rocky Mountain Montane Mixed Conifer Forest and Woodland Mixed conifer woodlands are common and widespread in the survey area, where, together with ponderosa pine woodlands they form the extensive matrix woodland community of the area. These are mixed- conifer forests occurring on all aspects at elevations ranging from 7,200 to 10,500 feet. Douglas-ﬁ r and white ﬁ r are the most common dominant trees, but as many as seven diﬀ erent conifer species may be present. Natural ﬁ re processes in this system Mount Blanca - Photo Courtesy of 14ers.com
37 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
the western slope of the continental divide, where they form extensive bands on the lower mountain slopes, plateaus, and dry foothills. In the survey area these shrublands are characteristic of the eastern mountain front in the vicinity of the Spanish Peaks and the drainages of the Purgatoire and Vermejo Rivers. These shrublands may form dense thickets, or occur as open shrublands with an herbaceous understory. Although this is a shrub-dominated system, some trees may be present. Fire typically plays an important role in this system, causing shrub die-back in some areas, promoting stump sprouting of the shrubs in other areas, and controlling the
invasion of trees into the shrubland system. Trujillo Homestead - Photo Courtesy of Front Range Gambel Oak in Fall Color Research Associates, Inc. As with foothills shrublands, there are few Rocky Mountain Gambel Oak-Mixed common or rare species exclusively associated most of Colorado and New Mexico east Montane Shrubland with oak-mixed mountain shrublands. A of the mountain front, at elevations below These are montane shrublands generally variety of small mammals, including squirrels 6,000 feet. Today, nearly 50% of our historic occurring at elevations from approximately and woodrats, and birds such as rufous-sided shortgrass prairie has been converted to 7,000 to 9,000 feet, in the survey area where towhee, green-tailed towhee, and Virginia’s agriculture or other uses. In the early 1800s they are often situated above pinyon- warbler use these habitats. Larger mammals the shortgrass prairie was home to massive juniper woodlands. Gambel oak is typically such as mule deer, black bear, and mountain herds of free-ranging bison and pronghorn, dominant, but very often mixed with other lion may take advantage of the cover and food as well as huge prairie dog colonies, deer montane shrubs such as serviceberry, sources oﬀ ered by thick shrublands. and elk, and top predators including gray mountain mahogany, antelope bitterbrush, wolves and grizzly bears. Today, the most Western Great Plains Shortgrass Prairie big sagebrush, chokecherry, and snowberry. conspicuous animals on the prairie are In the survey area, these grasslands are found This ecological system intergrades with the domestic cattle. Pronghorn and prairie primarily on the mesas and valleys below the foothills shrubland system and shares many of dogs still inhabit these prairies in reduced Park Plateau. These grasslands, characterized the same site characteristics. In the Southern numbers, and the former top predators by blue grama, buﬀ alo grass, and other Rocky Mountain ecoregion, oak and mixed have been replaced by coyotes. Large-scale short to mid-height species, once covered mountain shrublands are most common on ecological processes such as climate, ﬁ re,
38 Natural Resources Overview and grazing by large animals exert strong playas. Large occurrences are also found in inﬂ uences in this ecosystem. Consequently, the lower elevations of Colorado’s western the short grasses that dominate this ecosystem valleys. Elevations in the survey area range are have evolved to be extremely tolerant of from about 7,500 to 7,700 feet. Greasewood drought and grazing. ﬂ ats usually have saline soils, a shallow water table and ﬂ ood intermittently, but remain dry A number of animal species of concern for most of the growing season. These open to are associated with the shortgrass prairie. moderately dense shrublands are dominated Grassland bird species may constitute one of by black greasewood, often with additional the fastest declining vertebrate populations shrubs and graminoids that tolerate saline in North America. The federally endangered soils. black-footed ferret was lost throughout its shortgrass prairie range prior to re- Greasewood stands are used by some introduction of experimental populations shrubland birds, such as the sage thrasher, in recent years. Species of conservation and small mammals including the white-tailed concern that still inhabit native prairie antelope squirrel. In the San Luis Valley, these habitats include: burrowing owl, ferruginous shrublands are home to rare local subspecies hawk, mountain plover, McCown’s longspur, of the silky pocket mouse and thirteen lined chestnut-collared longspur, and long-billed ground squirrel. Here also the rare slender curlew, as well as northern pocket gopher, spiderﬂ ower occurs in alkaline playa wetlands ornate box turtle, massasagua rattlesnake, and that are imbedded in greasewood ﬂ ats. Texas horned lizard. The rarest plants in the shortgrass prairie are associated with isolated Inter-Mountain Basins Big Sagebrush shale barren outcrops. Shrubland Big sagebrush shrublands occur throughout Inter-Mountain Basins Greasewood much of the western United States. Although Flat –Part of the Largest Such Occurrence they can be found on the east slope of the in Colorado continental divide, the largest occurrences The expansive greasewood ﬂ ats in the San are on the western slope, where high Luis Valley are part of the largest occurrence montane parks often have extensive stands of this ecosystem in Colorado. These of sagebrush shrublands. Big sagebrush shrublands are typically found near drainages shrublands are characterized by dense stands on stream terraces and ﬂ ats, on alluvial fans, of taller sagebrush species with a signiﬁ cant along streams or arroyos, or as rings around herbaceous understory, and in the survey area Trail through Gamble Oak in Early Spring, Saguache County, Colorado
39 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report are found at elevations from 7,900 to 8,600 early 20th century, much of the old-growth be surrounded by a diverse array of other feet along the western ﬂ ank of the Sangres. spruce ﬁ r was cut for timber. systems, including grasslands, wetlands, These taller shrubs distinguish the sagebrush coniferous forests, etc. Aspen forests are one Species characteristic of these heavily wood shrubland ecological system from the of our most species-rich ecosystems. Most habitats include pine marten, lynx, red montane sagebrush steppe shrublands, which of the plant and animal species that inhabit squirrel, snowshoe hare, boreal owls, elk, grey are dominated by shorter sagebrush species. aspen forests are relatively abundant and not jay, and Clark’s nutcracker. Although much Big sagebrush shrublands are typically found of signiﬁ cant conservation concern. Rarer of this system is now made up of younger in broad basins between mountain ranges, on species of this system include: purple martin, trees, it is still possible to ﬁ nd very old widely- plains and foothills. northern goshawk, olive-sided ﬂ ycatcher, spaced trees with yellow bark and snags and ﬂ ammulated owl, Cassin’s ﬁ nch, and dwarf These shrublands provide food and shelter downed trees that create perfect habitat for shrew. for many small mammal and bird species. cavity-nesting birds and pine martens. Few Species of concern that are found exclusively rare species are found in these habitats. Boreal Southern Rocky Mountain Montane- (or almost exclusively) in sagebrush habitats toads were once a common species in small Subalpine Grassland include the Greater Sage Grouse, Brewer’s wetlands within high altitude coniferous Montane-subalpine grasslands in the Sparrow and Sage Sparrow, as well as a forests in the Southern Rockies. Today very Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregion number of rare plant species. few healthy populations exist; most have are found at elevations of 7,200-10,000 apparently succumbed to chytrid fungus feet, intermixed with stands of spruce- Rocky Mountain Subalpine Spruce-Fir infestation. Lynx and boreal owls spend most ﬁ r, lodgepole, ponderosa, and aspen Forest and Woodland of their time in or near large stands of spruce- forests, or as the matrix community in the These high elevation forests form the matrix ﬁ r forests. large intermountain basin of South Park, of the sub-alpine zone at elevations of 9,500 Colorado. In the survey area, these grasslands to 11,500 feet in the survey area. They are Rocky Mountain Aspen Forest and are generally conﬁ ned to a fairly narrow characterized by dense stands of Engelmann Woodland elevational band between 8,600 and 9,600 spruce and subalpine ﬁ r. This is one of the In the Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregion, feet on both ﬂ anks of the Sangres. Lower few area forest types that is not ﬁ re-adapted aspen forests are quite common on the elevation montane grasslands are more xeric, - a typical ﬁ re return frequency is around 400 western slope of the continental divide, with while upper montane or subalpine grasslands years. Areas with spruce-ﬁ r forest typically generally smaller stands represented on the are more mesic. Typical species include receive a lot of precipitation in the form of eastern slope. In the survey area, these are fescue, muhly, oatgrass, and others. Grasses of snowfall and frequent summer showers, but upland forests and woodlands dominated the foothills and piedmont may be included droughts can occur. During drought periods by quaking aspen, or forests of mixed aspen in lower elevation occurrences. Trees and the stressed trees become susceptible to and conifer, ranging in elevation from about shrubs are generally sparse or absent, but spruce-bud worm outbreaks, which can kill 8,500 to 10,500 feet. They usually occur as a occasional individuals from the surrounding entire hillsides of trees in one summer. In the mosaic of many plant associations and may communities may occur.
40 Natural Resources Overview
Table 3. Plant Associations Documented From The Survey Area
Group Scientific Name Common Name Rank Group Scientific Name Common Name Rank Terrestrial Communities Riparian and Wetland Communities Great Plains Sand Grassland Arid West Emergent Marsh Achnatherum hymenoides - Psoralidium Indian Ricegrass - Lemon Scurfpea Mixedgrass G3Q Schoenoplectus acutus - Typha latifolia - Sandhills Bulrush Marsh G4 lanceolatum Herbaceous Vegetation Prairie (Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani) Sandhills Herbaceous Vegetation Redfieldia flexuosa - (Psoralidium lanceolatum) Blowout Grass - (Lemon Scurfpea) Herbaceous G1? Herbaceous Vegetation Vegetation Schoenoplectus pungens Herbaceous Vegetation Bulrush Wet Meadow G3G4 Colorado Plateau Pinyon - Juniper Woodland Great Plains Depressional Saline & Brackish Wetland Pinus edulis - Juniperus spp. / Quercus gambelii Two-needle Pinyon - Juniper species / Gambel Oak G5 Salicornia rubra Herbaceous Vegetation Red Saltwort Herbaceous Vegetation G2G3 Woodland Woodland Intermountain Basins Alkaline-Saline Herb Wet Flat Intermountain Semi-Desert Grassland Sporobolus airoides Southern Plains Herbaceous Alkali Sacaton Southern Plains Grassland G3Q Hesperostipa comata - Achnatherum hymenoides Needle-and-Thread - Indian Ricegrass G2? Vegetation Herbaceous Vegetation Mixedgrass Prairie Distichlis spicata Herbaceous Vegetation Saltgrass Saline Prairie G5 Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir - White Fir - Blue Spruce Mesic Forest Intermountain Basins Alkaline-Saline Shrub Wetland Abies concolor - Picea pungens - Populus White Fir - Blue Spruce - Narrowleaf G2 angustifolia / Acer glabrum Forest Cottonwood / Rocky Mountain Maple Forest Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Distichlis spicata Greasewood / Inland Saltgrass Shrubland G4 Shrubland Rocky Mountain Subalpine & Montane Aspen Forest & Woodland Rocky Mountain & Great Basin Lowland & Foothill Riparian & Seep Shrubland Populus tremuloides / Acer glabrum Forest Quaking Aspen / Rocky Mountain Maple Forest G1G2 Salix exigua - Salix ligulifolia Shrubland Coyote Willow - Strapleaf Willow Shrubland G2G3 Populus tremuloides / Juniperus communis Forest Quaking Aspen / Common Juniper Forest G4 Salix exigua / Barren Shrubland Coyote Willow / Barren Shrubland G5 Populus tremuloides / Tall Forbs Forest Quaking Aspen / Tall Forbs Forest G5 Salix exigua / Mesic Graminoids Shrubland Coyote Willow / Mesic Graminoids Shrubland G5 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Limber Pine - Bristlecone Pine Woodland Rocky Mountain & Great Basin Montane Alder & Birch Riparian Shrubland Pinus aristata / Festuca arizonica Woodland Bristlecone Pine / Arizona Fescue Woodland G4 Alnus incana - Salix (monticola, lucida, ligulifolia) Gray Alder - (Park Willow, Shining Willow, G3 Pinus aristata / Festuca thurberi Woodland Bristlecone Pine / Thurber's Fescue Woodland G5 Shrubland Strapleaf Willow) Shrubland Pinus aristata / Vaccinium myrtillus Woodland Bristlecone Pine / Whortleberry Woodland GU Alnus incana / Mesic Forbs Shrubland Gray Alder / Mesic Forbs Shrubland G3 Southern Rocky Mountain Cercocarpus-Mixed [Dry] Foothill Shrubland Rocky Mountain & Great Basin Montane Riparian & Seep Shrubland Cercocarpus montanus / Muhlenbergia montana Mountain-mahogany / Mountain Muhly Shrubland GU Salix brachycarpa / Carex aquatilis Shrubland Short-fruit Willow / Aquatic Sedge Shrubland G2G3 Shrubland Salix ligulifolia Shrubland Strapleaf Willow Shrubland G2G3 Southern Rocky Mountain Gambel Oak-Mixed [Mesic] Montane Shrubland Rocky Mountain and Great Basin Riparian Forest Quercus gambelii - Cercocarpus montanus / (Carex Gambel Oak - Alderleaf Mountain-mahogany / G3 Populus angustifolia - Juniperus scopulorum Narrowleaf Cottonwood - Rocky Mountain G2G3 geyeri) Shrubland (Geyer's Sedge) Shrubland Woodland Juniper Woodland Southern Rocky Mountain Montane-Subalpine Grassland Populus angustifolia / Alnus incana Woodland Narrowleaf Cottonwood / Gray Alder Woodland G3 Muhlenbergia montana Herbaceous Vegetation Mountain Muhly Herbaceous Vegetation G3G4 Populus angustifolia / Betula occidentalis Woodland Narrowleaf Cottonwood / Water Birch Woodland G3 Danthonia parryi Herbaceous Vegetation Parry's Oatgrass Herbaceous Vegetation G3 Populus angustifolia / Rhus trilobata Woodland Narrowleaf Cottonwood / Skunkbush Sumac G3 Festuca arizonica - Muhlenbergia montana Arizona Fescue - Mountain Muhly Herbaceous G3 Woodlan Herbaceous Vegetation Vegetation Populus angustifolia / Salix (monticola, Narrowleaf Cottonwood / (Park Willow, G3 Southern Rocky Mountain Pinyon - Juniper Woodland drummondiana, lucida) Woodland Drummond's Willow, Shining Willow) Woodland Populus angustifolia / Salix drummondiana - Acer Narrowleaf Cottonwood / Drummond's Willow - G2? Pinus edulis - Juniperus monosperma / Quercus X Two-needle Pinyon - One-seed Juniper / G5 glabrum Woodland Rocky Mountain Maple Woodland pauciloba Woodland Wavyleaf Oak Woodland Populus angustifolia Sand Dune Forest Narrowleaf Cottonwood Sand Dune Forest G1 Pinus edulis / Achnatherum scribneri Woodland Two-needle Pinyon / Scribner's Needlegrass G3 Woodland Populus tremuloides / Alnus incana Forest Quaking Aspen / Gray Alder Forest G3 Southern Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine Savanna Populus tremuloides / Betula occidentalis Forest Quaking Aspen / Water Birch Forest G3 Pinus ponderosa / Cercocarpus montanus / Ponderosa Pine / Alderleaf Mountain-mahogany / G2 Populus tremuloides / Cornus sericea Forest Quaking Aspen / Red-osier Dogwood Forest G4 Andropogon gerardii Wooded Herbaceous Vegetation Big Bluestem Wooded Herbaceous Vegetation Populus tremuloides / Salix drummondiana Forest Quaking Aspen / Drummond's Willow Forest G3G4 Southern Rocky Mountain White Fir - Douglas-fir Dry Forest Pseudotsuga menziesii / Betula occidentalis Douglas-fir / Water Birch Woodland G3? Pseudotsuga menziesii / Quercus gambelii Forest Douglas-fir / Gambel Oak Forest G5 Woodland
41 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Common species characteristic of these Table 3. Plant Associations Documented From The Survey Area (cont.) grasslands include the vesper sparrow, Riparian and Wetland Communities (cont.) mountain bluebird, Brewer’s blackbird, and Group Scientific Name Common Name Rank white-tailed jack rabbit. Rarer species are Vancouverian & Rocky Mountain Montane Wet Meadow the Gunnison’s prairie dog and a variety of Carex nebrascensis Herbaceous Vegetation Nebraska Sedge Wet Meadow G4 skipper butterﬂ ies. Impacts from human Carex simulata Herbaceous Vegetation Analogue Sedge Herbaceous Vegetation G4 activity other than domestic livestock grazing Carex vesicaria Herbaceous Vegetation Inflated Sedge Herbaceous Vegetation G4Q Catabrosa aquatica - Mimulus ssp. Spring Wetland Spring Wetland GU are low for most of these grasslands, although Cardamine cordifolia - Mertensia ciliata - Senecio Large Mountain Bittercress - Mountain Bluebells G4 a signiﬁ cant portion of historic occurrences triangularis Herbaceous Vegetation - Arrowleaf Ragwort Herbaceous Vegetation Western North American Maritime Lowland Wet Meadow & Herbaceous Seep have been lost through habitat conversion. Eleocharis palustris Herbaceous Vegetation Marsh Spikerush Wet Meadow G5 Western North American Ruderal Wet Shrubland, Meadow & Marsh Elements of Biodiversity: Plant Phragmites australis Western North America Western Reed Marsh G5 Communities Temperate Semi-natural Herbaceous Vegetation A number of relatively uncommon riparian Western North American Temperate Interior Freshwater Marsh Hippuris vulgaris Herbaceous Vegetation Common Mare's-tail Herbaceous Vegetation G5 plant communities have been documented Schoenoplectus maritimus Herbaceous Vegetation Alkali Bulrush Marsh G4 in the survey area, especially in the area in and around the Great Sand Dunes. The sand dunes and their associated grasslands also support high quality examples of several Table 4. Rare Plants Documented From The Survey Area uncommon grassland communities. Common Name Scientific Name Rank Comment Blue Giant-hyssop Agastache foeniculum G4G5 Plant communities that have been Bodin's Milkvetch Astragalus bodinii G4 Wittmann's Milkvetch Astragalus wittmannii G3 NM endemic documented from the survey area are Alpine Coral-drops Besseya alpina G4 shown in Table 3. Communities shown in Reflected Moonwort Botrychium echo G3 Western Moonwort Botrychium hesperium G4 bold type are represented in the area by Lanceleaf Grapefern Botrychium lanceolatum ssp. lanceolatum G5T4 “A-ranked” high quality occurrences. Due Narrowleave Grapefern Botrychium lineare ("furcatum") G1G2 Common Moonwort Botrychium lunaria G5/S3 to the continually evolving nature of plant Mingan Moonwort Botrychium minganense G4/S2 community classiﬁ cation, and the fact that Pale Moonwort Botrychium pallidum G3 Slender Sedge Carex lasiocarpa G5 this area has not been completely surveyed, Small-winged Sedge Carex stenoptila G2 and there are likely to be many other types Marsh-meadow Indian-paintbrush Castilleja lineata G4? Downy Indian-paintbrush Castilleja puberula G2G3 CO endemic present as well. Many-stemmed Spider-flower Cleome multicaulis G2G3 Birdbill Dayflower Commelina dianthifolia G5 Dwarf Alpine Hawk's-beard Crepis nana G5 James' Cat's-eye Cryptantha cinerea var. pustulosa G5TNR American Yellow Lady's-slipper Cypripedium parviflorum G5 Colorado Larkspur Delphinium alpestre G2 CO-NM endemic
42 Natural Resources Overview
Table 4. Rare Plants Documented From The Survey Area (cont.) Elements of Biodiversity: Rare Plants More than ﬁ fty species of rare plants are Common Name Scientific Name Rank Comment found in the area. Table 4 is a list of vascular Dwarf Alpine Hawk's-beard Crepis nana G5 James' Cat's-eye Cryptantha cinerea var. pustulosa G5TNR plant species tracked by Natural Heritage American Yellow Lady's-slipper Cypripedium parviflorum G5 Programs in Colorado and New Mexico Colorado Larkspur Delphinium alpestre G2 CO-NM endemic White Arctic Whitlow-grass Draba fladnizensis G4 that have been documented from the survey Gray's Peak Whitlow-grass Draba grayana G2 CO endemic Porsild's Whitlow-grass Draba porsildii G3G4 area (CNHP 2011, Legler 2010). A number Mountain Whitlow-grass Draba rectifructa G3? of regional endemics (plants whose global Smith's Whitlow-grass Draba smithii G2 CO endemic Colorado Divide Whitlow-grass Draba streptobrachia G3 distribution is conﬁ ned to a small area) are Philadelphia Fleabane Erigeron philadelphicus G5 included. Cimarron Buckwheat Eriogonum aliquantum G3 NM endemic Slender Cotton-grass Eriophorum gracile G5 Rough Fescue Festuca hallii G4 Elements of Biodiversity: Rare Animals Alpine Spicy Wintergreen Gaultheria humifusa G5 The San Luis Valley is home to many endemic Dwarf Rattlesnake-plantain Goodyera repens G5 Horrid Herrickia Herrickia horrida G2? CO-NM endemic species of small mammals, and the sand Eastern Yellow Star-grass Hypoxis hirsuta G5 dunes are a hotspot for endemic insects. The Alpine Bluebells Mertensia alpina G4? Rock Sandwort Minuartia stricta G5 survey area also provides signiﬁ cant habitat Livemore Fiddleleaf Nama dichotomum G4 for rare ﬁ sh species such as the Rio Grande Fringed Grass-of-Parnassus Parnassia fimbriata G5 Rocky Mountain Phacelia Phacelia denticulata G3? Chub, Rio Grande Sucker, and Rio Grande Eastwood's Podistera Podistera eastwoodiae G3 Colorado Watercress Rorippa coloradensis GH CO endemic Cutthroat Trout, as well as for other species of Weber's Saw-wort Saussurea weberi G2G3 management concern. Nodding Saxifrage Saxifraga cernua G5 Tundra Saxifrage Saxifraga cespitosa ssp. monticola G5T5 Elements of Biodiversity: Natural Rocky Mountain Spikemoss Selaginella weatherbiana G3G4 - Senecio cliffordii GNR Landscapes and Connectivity King's Campion Silene kingii G2G4Q Diverse, intact natural landscapes are an Stiff Blue-eyed-grass Sisyrinchium demissum G5 Hooded Ladies'-tresses Spiranthes romanzoffiana G5 important component of the biological Altai Chickweed Stellaria irrigua G4? Prairie Violet Viola pedatifida G5 diversity of an area. Fragmentation of New Mexico Cliff Fern Woodsia neomexicana G4? landscapes, loss of connections and migratory corridors, and loss of plant communities all result in a loss of biological diversity for a region. More than 90% of the survey area remains in natural vegetation, providing
Smith’s Draba - NPS Photo, Phyllis Pineda Bovin
43 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report wildlife habitat and dispersal corridors, as Elements of Biodiversity: bear, mountain lion, and more (CDOW 2010). well as allowing the operation of natural Wildlife Habitat Common species associated with particular processes at landscape scales. To date, this In addition to habitat for rare species, the area ecosystem types are discussed above. At sparsely populated area has experienced few provides important habitat for many common least a dozen important wildlife linkages or major impacts, and the overall ecosystem and wide-ranging wildlife species such as elk, movement areas have been identiﬁ ed within health of the area is good. mule deer, big-horn sheep, pronghorn, black the area (SREP 2005).
Table 5. Tracked Animal Species Documented From The Survey Area
Group Common Name Scientific Name Rank Comment Group Common Name Scientific Name Rank Comment Vertebrates Invertebrates Birds Sage Sparrow Amphispiza belli G5 Insects Great Sand Dunes Anthicid Beetle Amblyderus werneri G1? Endemic Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus G5 Colorado Tiger Beetle Cicindela theatina G1 Endemic Ferruginous Hawk Buteo regalis G4 Giant Sand Treader Cricket Daihinibaenetes giganteus GNR Endemic Western Snowy Plover Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus G4T3 Gold-edged Gem Schinia avemensis G1G3 Black Swift Cypseloides niger G4 Northwestern Fritillary Speyeria hesperis ratonensis G1 Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Empidonax traillii extimus G5T1T2 Capulin Mountain Arctic Oeneis alberta capulinensis G2 Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus G5 Rhena Skipper Polites origenes rhena G3 Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus G5 Mollusks Umbilicate Sprite Promenetus umbilicatellus G4 Brown-capped Rosy Finch Leucosticte australis G4 Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus G5 Lazuli Bunting Passerina amoena G5 American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos G3 White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi G5 Purple Martin Progne subis G5 Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri G5 Virginia's Warbler Vermivora virginiae G5 Fish Rio Grande Sucker Catostomus plebeius G3G4 Rio Grande Chub Gila pandora G3 Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis G4T3 Mammals Pale Lump-nosed Bat Corynorhinus townsendii pallescens G4T4 Wolverine Gulo gulo G4 historical Rio Grande Sucker - Photo Courtesy Colorado Tiger Beetle Gunnison's Prairie Dog Cynomys gunnisoni G5 of Colorado Division of Wildlife Canadian Lynx Lynx canadensis G5 Plains Pocket Mouse Subsp Perognathus flavescens relictus G5T2 Endemic Pine Marten Martes americana G5 Silky Pocket Mouse Subsp Perognathus flavus sanluisi G5T3 Endemic A Ground Squirrel Spermophilus tridecemlineatus blanca G5T3 Endemic Botta's Pocket Gopher subsp. cultellus Thomomys bottae cultellus G3 Endemic Northern Pocket Gopher Subsp Thomomys talpoides agrestis G5T3 Endemic New Mexican Jumping Mouse Zapus hudsonius luteus G2 Reptiles Variable Skink Eumeces multivirgatus epipleurotus G5T5
Bald Eagle - NPS Photo, Patrick Pine Martin Myers
44 Natural Resources Overview
Geologic Features borders the rift valley. During rift formation, These volcanic intrusions pushed up Rio Grande Rift and Sangre de Cristo the San Luis and Wet Mountain Valleys through overlying Cretaceous and Tertiary Uplift dropped down as the crust arched upward, sedimentary strata, and as the magma rose The northwestern portion of the survey stretched, and collapsed, leaving the Sangre it ﬁ lled a series of radiating fractures in the area includes features of the Rio Grande de Cristo Range as a remnant of this uplift overlying rock (Chronic 1980, Foutz 1994). Rift, a large north-south trending Cenozoic (Lindsey 2010). Geophysical surveys indicate The softer overlying shales have subsequently continental rift extending northwards from the original downfaulted block of the San eroded away, leaving the volcanic dikes that New Mexico through Colorado (Miggens Luis Valley is now topped by more than 3 now stand as nearly vertical walls up to 100 et al. 2002). This separation in the earth’s miles of sediment ﬁ ll. feet (30 m) high and 100 feet (30 m) wide and crust dates back nearly 26 million years and extending for a maximum distance of 14 miles Volcanic Features was accompanied by block-faulting and (23 km). One of the most prominent of these Spanish Peaks volcanic eruptions. The Sangre de Cristo dikes is the spectacular “Big Wall” extending At some distance from the eastern ﬂ anks Range contains numerous small intrusions of north from the Spanish Peaks, and easily of the Sangre de Cristos, the Spanish Peaks igneous rocks dating from the time of rifting visible from Highway 160. or slightly before (Lindsey 2010). The San were formed as two large igneous intrusions Luis Valley is part of the downfaulted block surrounded by an extensive system of radial Latir Volcanic Field that forms the Rio Grande Rift. Adjacent dikes. The east and west Spanish Peaks, The Latir volcanic ﬁ eld and associated to the valley, and bounded by the Sangre with elevations of 12,683 ft. and 13,626 Questa caldera, which adjoin the survey de Cristo fault, the Sangre de Cristo Range ft., respectively, are familiar landmarks on area in the vicinity of Latir Peak, constitutes represents the upfaulted block or horst that the mountain front in southern Colorado. the largest mid-Tertiary volcanic system in
Mounts Lindsy, Blanca, and Little Bear - Photo Courtesy of 14ers.com
45 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report northern New Mexico This area is believed to 7% moisture content below the dry surface. represent the surface manifestation of a large The duneﬁ eld is composed of reversing shallow magma body that was active during dunes, transverse dunes, star dunes, and a few early development of the Rio Grande rift zone barchan dunes. It is estimated to contain over (Lipman et al. 1986). 5 billion cubic meters of sand (NPS 2011).
Great Sand Dunes Geological System In addition to the active dune ﬁ eld, the Great At Great Sand Dunes National Park and Sand Dunes geological system includes the Preserve the tallest duneﬁ eld in North sand sheet surrounding the main dune ﬁ eld America spreads across 30 square miles, in the valley, and the sabkha, where sand is forming the heart of the Great Sand seasonally saturated by rising ground water. Dunes geological system. The dune system Almost 90% of the sand deposit is found in originated when sand from dry lakebeds in the sand sheet, while only about 10% is found the valley was blown by prevailing southwest in the main duneﬁ eld. The sand sheet is the winds toward a low curve in the Sangre de primary source of sand for the Great Sand Cristo Mountains. Here the wind funnels Dunes. Small parabolic dunes form here, toward three mountain passes, and the sand then migrate into the main duneﬁ eld. Nebkha accumulates in this natural pocket. The or coppice dunes form around clumps of winds generally blow from the valley ﬂ oor vegetation (NPS 2011). toward the mountains, but during storms the Marble Mountain winds blow back toward the valley, and these The eastern ﬂ ank of the Sangre de Cristo opposing wind directions cause the dunes to Range in Colorado has exposures of the grow vertically. Runoﬀ from creeks draining Minturn Formation that represent sequences the mountain watershed above the dunes of sedimentary rocks recording the rise and captures and returns sand that has blown fall of sea level along a coastline dominated from the valley ﬂ oor, carrying it around the by river deltas during Pennsylvanian time edge of the duneﬁ eld and depositing it where (Lindsey 2010). Here are preserved sites it can again be picked up by the wind and where numerous remains of invertebrate carried into the main duneﬁ eld. This recycling marine animals, such as crinoids, action of water and wind contributes to the brachiopods, and coral, as well as algae great height of this duneﬁ eld. The active collected on the shallow seaﬂ oor and formed duneﬁ eld is stabilized by opposing wind mounds called “bioherms” hundreds of feet directions (southwesterly and northeasterly), View from Marble Mountain in Great Sand Dunes National thick. Marble Mountain on the east side creeks that recycle sand back into it, and a Park and Preserve - NPS Photo, Patrick Myers
46 Natural Resources Overview
openings in the volcanic what would otherwise be a dry valley to have rocks beneath the valley abundant water resources and support an ﬂ oor have ﬁ lled with agriculture-based community. water, creating a complex, Medano Creek and interconnected aquifer Sand Creek Surge Flow system. These aquifers are Medano Creek and Sand Creek in the vicinity continually recharged by of Great Sand Dunes National Park are ground water percolating unusual because they exhibit surge ﬂ ow - a from surface streams, stream ﬂ owing in rhythmic waves on sand. In leakage through canals, spring and early summer, the three elements and recharge from the needed to produce the phenomenon (a mountains (CWCB 1998). relatively steep gradient to give the stream The groundwater system a high velocity; a smooth, mobile creek bed consists of a shallow with little resistance; and suﬃ cient water unconﬁ ned aquifer that to create surges) combine to produce these is present across the waves at Great Sand Dunes. As water ﬂ ows Medano Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - Photo Courtesy Renée Rondeau entire basin, and a deeper, across sand, sand dams or antidunes form conﬁ ned aquifer that on the creek bed, collecting water. As water of the range is the best exposure of these is present everywhere pressure increases the dams periodically give formations (Lindsey 2010). except along the basin margins (Bexﬁ eld and way, releasing a wave about every 20 seconds. In wet years, waves can surge up to a foot high Sheep Mountain and Mount Maestas Anderholm 2010). The unconﬁ ned aquifer is the top water-saturated layer of sand and (Valdez 1996). These summits of volcanic origin north of the gravel, down to a depth of about 100 feet Spanish Peaks are unusual in that they exhibit San Luis Lakes and Other Wetlands across most of the valley. Below this layer in rock glaciers in a non-alpine setting. The playa lakes of the northern San Luis the central part of the valley there are a series Valley are a unique landscape in the Southern Hydrologic Features of clay layers that largely separate, without Rocky Mountain ecoregion. The Closed San Luis Valley Aquifers completely disconnecting, the unconﬁ ned Basin of the northern San Luis Valley contains The arid San Luis Valley is a deep rift basin aquifer from deeper water-bearing layers of many shallow depressions that support a ﬁ lled with sediments and layers of volcanic sand, gravel, and fractured volcanic rocks variety of wetland types. The basins ﬁ ll from rock eroded from the surrounding mountain (CWCB 1998). There are many naturally snowmelt runoﬀ in late spring and most and carried into the valley by rivers and ﬂ owing wells in the conﬁ ned aquifer due to are dry by late summer. Heavy monsoon streams. Over time, the pore spaces between artesian pressure. The aquifer system allows precipitation can cause some basins to reﬁ ll in the grains of sediments, fractures, and other
47 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
interaction of surface and National Natural Landmarks groundwater sources which Spanish Peaks National Natural Landmark undergo characteristic In recognition of its outstanding geological seasonal and inter-annual resources, Spanish Peaks was designated a ﬂ uctuations. Water uses National Natural Landmark (NNL) by the which perturb the timing Secretary of the Interior in 1976. Located or magnitude of surface in San Isabel National Forest, Spanish Peaks ﬂ ows, or aﬀ ect the valley contain some of the best known examples bottom water table, are likely of exposed igneous dikes, which are formed to aﬀ ect these wetlands when molten material is forced into a fracture detrimentally. Changes in or fault before becoming solidiﬁ ed. the water depth or duration of inundation in the basins Potential National Natural Landmarks can have profound eﬀ ects Several sites were identiﬁ ed in the 1970s and on soil salinities and wetland 1980s as being representative of particular vegetation (Cooper and natural features within the Southern Wetlands in the Sand Sheet at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - Rocky Mountains and Great Plains natural Photo Courtesy Renée Rondeau Severn 1992). Wetland dependent fauna, such as regions, and thus determined to potentially late summer, but summer rains are generally waterbirds, amphibians, or vertebrates may warrant further evaluation to determine of secondary importance. The soils in the be aﬀ ected by even brief changes in wetland signiﬁ cance as deﬁ ned by the National lake basins are alkali clays with low rates of hydrology. Natural Landmarks Program. These potential water inﬁ ltration allowing rapid evaporation Landmarks are: Scenic and Recreational Values at the water surface and accumulation of salts. The Sangre de Cristo Range is home to ten Blanca Peak within the Sangre de They support a ﬂ ora adapted to seasonal soil of Colorado’s “Fourteeners” (mountain Cristo Range saturation and saline conditions. The lakes peaks over 14,000 ft. in elevation, CGS 2011), Blanca Peak, the third tallest peak in vary greatly in depth, salinity, and period of as well as many other summits that attract Colorado, includes semidesert shrubland inundation (Rondeau et al. 1998). climbers and hikers. Throughout the area, through alpine tundra ecoregions, fault-block Playas are typically temporary features, dramatic mountain ranges, dune ﬁ elds, ranges, and glacial features such as cirques however, San Luis Lake is an exception, as wildlife viewing, and other outstanding scenic and aretes. its water level is maintained for recreational values are a source of attraction for visitors. purposes by input from the Closed Basin Hunting, ﬁ shing, hiking, camping, and other Canal. The playa lake ecosystems of the San recreational activities are plentiful on both Luis Valley ﬂ oor depend upon a complex public and private lands.
48 Natural Resources Overview
Indian Springs National Natural Landmarks Program Located within Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Indian Springs is a Established in 1962, the National Natural Landmarks (NNL) Program recognizes and relatively large spring surrounded by an active encourages the conservation of sites that contain outstanding biological and geological dune ﬁ eld. The spring provides useful habitat resources, regardless of landownership type. It is the only natural areas program of for birds and supports a great diversity of national scope that recognizes the best examples of biological and geological features plants and animals. in both public and private ownership. NNLs are owned by a variety of land stewards, Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge and participation in the program is voluntary. This site, situated on the western edge of the short-grass plains association, contains National Natural Landmarks are selected for their outstanding condition, illustrative numerous playa lakes and supports a variety value, rarity, diversity, and value to science and education. Sites are designated by of wildlife species, including feeding and the Secretary of the Interior, with landowner concurrence and, to-date, nearly 600 nesting grounds for migratory waterfowl. landmarks have received the NNL designation within the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Current Condition and Potential Future Impacts to Natural Values The National Park Service administers the program, reports on the condition of the Overall, ecosystems in the survey area are NNLs, acts as an advocate for the protection of designated sites, and raises public essentially intact, with many natural processes awareness of our Nation’s natural heritage. Ongoing partnerships with public and able to function without hindrance. Higher private landmark owners allow participants to share information, solve problems elevation ecosystems such as alpine and cooperatively, and conserve outstanding sites that illustrate the rich and diverse tapestry spruce-ﬁ r forest, and the dune and sandsheet of the country’s natural landscape. systems in the vicinity of Great Sand Dunes
Panorama from the Summit of Blanca Peak - Photo Courtesy of 14ers.com 49 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
National Park and Preserve are generally in good to excellent condition. However, many areas on both public and private land lack special protection, and some areas have been degraded or altered by road building, domestic livestock grazing, exurban development, and ﬁ re suppression. Invasive species, especially cheatgrass, have altered ﬁ re dynamics in pinyon-juniper woodlands. Ongoing impacts to this landscape include renewable and non-renewable energy production (wind, solar, geothermal, oil and gas, and biofuels) and the continuing expansion of exurban communities.
The Colorado Natural Heritage Program has delineated over 40 potential conservation areas in the survey area, including one site of Outstanding Biodiversity Signiﬁ cance, and thirteen sites of Very High Biodiversity Signiﬁ cance.
Sandhill Cranes Spend Spring and Fall in the San Luis Valley - NPS Photo, Patrick Myers
50 Previous NPS Studies and Ongoing NPS Efforts
Previous NPS Studies Forest. The House rejected the proposal, area status.30 The 1979 Management Options citing “higher priorities elsewhere.” In study noted that the ranch was signiﬁ cant revious NPS studies have resulted in January 1979, in an apparent response to under several national themes, including the designation of several nationally P another oﬀ er of sale, a task force – composed environmental conservation, recreation, signiﬁ cant sites within the survey area. The of representatives of U.S. Fish and Wildlife American ways of life, the cattlemen’s empire, survey area includes Great Sand Dunes Service, NPS, Heritage Conservation and the mining frontier, western trails, law, and National Park and Preserve, Old Spanish Recreation Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Native American history.31 Vermejo Park National Historic Trail, Santa Fe National the State of New Mexico – determined that Ranch also oﬀ ers an excellent opportunity to Historic Trail, Pike’s Stockade National the natural and cultural resources at Vermejo interpret the history of Mexican land grants. Historic Landmark, Spanish Peaks National Park Ranch were nationally signiﬁ cant Natural Landmark, Sangre de Cristo National Alternative Concepts for Commemorating and concluded that “public ownership is Heritage Area, and Northern Rio Grande Spanish Colonization (1991) necessary for adequate protection of the National Heritage Area. In 1991, the NPS completed a Special natural and cultural resources at Vermejo Resource Study that focused on New Mexico Other sites within the survey area also have Park.” Later that same year, the Vermejo sites for the purpose of commemorating been identiﬁ ed and evaluated for national Ranch: Study of Management Options – Spanish colonization. The study sites ranged signiﬁ cance. These studies include: prepared by the U.S. Department of Interior, from archeological ruins of pueblos, mission U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Study of Management Options Vermejo churches, and Spanish civil settlements to State of New Mexico – followed up on the Park Ranch (1979) contemporary Latino communities and task force recommendations and provided Vermejo Park Ranch – which is nearly Indian pueblos. Some of the key ﬁ ndings a description and analysis of the natural, 600,000 acres in size – has been the subject concluded that American culture derives from cultural and recreational resources of of two Federal studies that have determined both English and Spanish colonial heritage. Vermejo Park Ranch, as well as a range of its national signiﬁ cance and suitability as a The Spanish colonization created a colonial management options. The Management National Park Service unit. In 1938, the Times culture in the American Southwest just as Options study determined that the ranch Mirror Corporation oﬀ ered the ranch to the English colonization created an English was a suitable addition to the National National Park Service, which investigated Park System, noting that it had nationally the property but took no action regarding 30 National Park Service memorandum to Regional Director, signiﬁ cant natural resources, that its cultural Southwest Region, from Manager, Denver Service Center, acquisition. Later, the Gourley Estate also resources had the integrity and potential to Subject: Task Directive for Review and Approval, Vermejo oﬀ ered the property for sale to the Federal Ranch, New Mexico, November 9, 1978, “Background,” 1; contribute to our understanding of several “Vermejo Park, A Study Conducted by the U.S. Department of government, and the Senate authorized its nationally signiﬁ cant themes, and that the the Interior in Cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and the addition to contiguous Carson National State of New Mexico, January 26, 1979, 3; and Vermejo Ranch: ranch met the criteria for national recreation Study of Management Options, 113-116.
51 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report colonial culture in the eastern United States. Sangre de Cristo National Northern Rio Grande National Spanish colonization developed a Latino Heritage Area Heritage Area culture that characterizes the American In 2009, the more than 3,000-square- New Mexico’s Northern Rio Grande NHA is Southwest and is the principal source of mile Sangre de Cristo National Heritage located directly south of the Sangre de Cristo this distinctive Southwestern culture. The Area, comprising the Colorado counties NHA. Congress authorized the Northern report also found that considerably more of Conejos, Costilla, and Alamosa, was Rio Grande NHA in 2006 to conserve and study is needed to complete the survey and designated by Congress to preserve and interpret the mosaic of cultures and history, documentation of Spanish colonial sites. protect the environmental, geographical and including that of the eight Native American cultural landscape of this unique area where pueblos in the area and the descendants of Ongoing NPS Efforts Latino, Anglo, and Native American cultures the Spanish ancestors who settled here in the The Intermountain Regional Oﬃ ce of the converged. The mission of the Heritage late 16th century. NPS is currently involved in several projects Area is to “promote, preserve, protect and The Board of Directors includes and initiatives in the San Luis Valley and interpret its profound historical, religious, representatives for the eight pueblos as well central Sangre de Cristo Mountains, assisting environmental, geographic, geologic, as representatives from the three counties residents, nonproﬁ t organizations and local cultural, and linguistic resources,” which of Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, and Taos. The NHA governments in the identiﬁ cation of resources reﬂ ect over 11,000 years of documented received about $150,000 in NPS funding and the development of conservation goals human habitation.32 The Sangre de Cristo in FY2011, which was matched 1:1 with and strategies. National Heritage Area contains more than 40 NHA funding. The bulk of the funding will properties listed in the National Register of National Heritage Area Program be allocated toward preparation of their Historic Places and Colorado State Register, The NPS Intermountain Region National management plan, while a small amount will many of which reﬂ ect the area’s Latino Heritage Area (NHA) Program provides be used for a few early action projects. heritage. technical and ﬁ nancial support to two Rivers, Trails and Conservation The Board of Directors includes National Heritage Areas within the San Luis Assistance Program commissioners from each of the three Valley and Sangre de Cristo Mountains The NPS Intermountain Region’s Rivers, counties within the NHA: Alamosa, Conejos in southern Colorado and northern New Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) and Costilla. The NHA received about Mexico: Program is involved in three projects in the $150,000 in NPS funding in FY2011, which San Luis Valley: was matched 1:1 with NHA funding. The bulk of the funding will be allocated toward preparation of their management plan, while a small amount will be used for a few early action projects (website development and 32 Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area website: http:// sdcnha.org/js/about-sangre-de-cristo-national-heritage-area. 31 Vermejo Ranch: Study of Management Options, 113-116. heritage center planning). html
52 Previous NPS Studies and Ongoing NPS Efforts
Costilla County Heritage Tour RTCA is continuing to develop strategies for Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad The RTCA program, in collaboration with implementation of open space, trails, and The 64-mile segment of the former Denver Costilla County and the Costilla County recreation projects and ﬁ nalize a master plan & Rio Grande Railroad that extends Economic Development Council, has with the county and partner assistance. between Antonito (CO) and Chama (NM) developed a 2-hour guided heritage tour of is an outstanding example of the 1000-mile Technical Support for the Sangre de eight historic sites within the town of San Cristo NHA Management Plan “narrow gauge” network that once crossed Luis. RTCA staﬀ facilitated the development RTCA has facilitated nine community much of Colorado, northern New Mexico of the interpretive themes, helped the county scoping meetings within the valley to collect and parts of Utah. It is also the best surviving identify signiﬁ cant cultural sites in San input about NHA heritage resources and example of early 20th century railroading at Luis and recruited and trained community conservation strategies. The information will its peak of national inﬂ uence. The nomination members to lead the tour. be used for the legislatively mandated NHA is being prepared by the Friends of the Costilla County Trails, Recreation and comprehensive plan, which is expected to Cumbres & Toltec with assistance from the Open Space Plan be completed in 2012. The plan will contain NPS. RTCA is working with Costilla County, an inventory of historic, natural, scenic and National Historic Trails Program local organizations, land trusts, landowners, recreational resources within the NHA, as Old Spanish National Historic Trail and the Sangre de Cristo NHA to identify well as strategies, programs, and projects to The NPS Intermountain Region’s Long community resources, needs, and priorities conserve and protect these resources. Distance Trails Oﬃ ce and BLM jointly regarding the development of a trails, administer the Old Spanish Trail, the historic National Historic Landmarks Program recreation, and open space plan. In April trade route between Mexican settlements The NPS Intermountain Region’s National 2010, the working group hosted two public near Santa Fe and southern California. A Historic Landmarks (NHL) Program is open houses to roll out an action plan and section of this trail traverses the east and west currently working with valley residents, gather input. In October 2011, the county edges of the San Luis Valley. See description organizations and local governments to completed a trail restoration project within under “Signiﬁ cant American Latino Heritage nominate three new NHLs in the area: 1.5 miles of greenbelt area with ﬁ nancial Resources.” As part of the comprehensive assistance from Get Outdoors Colorado. La Vega and Associated Sites management plan process for the trail, which Also in October 2011, RTCA assisted the See description under “Signiﬁ cant American is currently being conducted by NPS and county with planning a community event Latino Heritage Resources”. BLM, the NPS is investigating high potential called “Get Outdoors Costilla County!” to sites and segments in the San Luis Valley. highlight trails, recreation, and open space Trujillo Homesteads resources and projects that were identiﬁ ed at See description under “Signiﬁ cant American the 2010 open houses; Costilla County was Latino Heritage Resources”. also able to collect additional feedback to help prioritize projects for implementation.
53 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Santa Fe National Historic Trail NPS Spanish Colonial Research Center Colonial Research Center’s primary purpose The NPS Intermountain Region’s Long As a way of recognizing our Spanish colonial is to develop a computerized database from Distance Trails Oﬃ ce administers the Santa Fe past in the area of the present-day United Spanish colonial documents to serve the National Historic Trail, the 1,200 mile historic States, and in commemoration of the research needs of the NPS Spanish Colonial trade route between western Missouri and Columbus Quincentennial in 1992, the NPS Heritage sites as well as other federal, state Santa Fe, New Mexico. See description established the Spanish Colonial Research and local organizations. The Spanish Colonial under “Signiﬁ cant American Latino Heritage Center in 1986 as a partnership with the Research Center cooperates with research Resources.” University of New Mexico. The Spanish entities in Spain, Portugal and Mexico.
Trujillo Homestead - Photo Courtesy of Front Range Research Associates, inc.
54 Recommendations for Conservation and Interpretation
his section presents ﬁ ve 1. Recommend that Congress includes more than historic sites, trails and Trecommendations for the conservation authorize a special resource study structures. Centuries-old traditions including and interpretation of the nationally signiﬁ cant of American Latino sites within the folklore, farming practices, religion, and art cultural and natural heritage resources San Luis Valley and central Sangre de can still be found in the survey area, including that are within the San Luis Valley and Cristo Mountains, which would allow a region of Colorado where a version of 17th central Sangre de Cristo Mountains. These for a more complete evaluation of century Spanish is still spoken by about 35 recommendations could be initiated by alternatives to protect these resources. percent of the population. the Federal government, by state or local The San Luis Valley, shadowed beneath These ﬁ ndings led the survey team to governments, by private citizens, or by any the picturesque peaks of the Sangre de conclude that the resources and traditions combination of the above, and this variety Cristo Mountain Range, represents the existing within the San Luis Valley and of possibilities is reﬂ ected in the range of northernmost expansion of the Spanish central Sangre de Cristo Mountains meet recommendations presented. The fact that Colonial and Mexican frontier into North NPS criteria for national signiﬁ cance and portions of this area have recent designations America. Here, at the edge of the southern possess exceptional value in illustrating as National Heritage Areas adds a special Rocky Mountains, the legacy of this Latino and interpreting the theme of American emphasis and recognition of the many settlement is still clearly evident. This Latino heritage. Moreover, this survey options available for the area to further reconnaissance survey has identiﬁ ed a concludes that the Latino resources and enhance its legacy of conservation and distinctive and exceptional concentration lifeways within the survey area depict education. of historic resources associated with a distinctive and important chapter of We have chosen to discuss the Hispano settlement, including Colorado’s American history that has the potential to recommendations separately to provide oldest documented town, only communal ﬁ ll a gap in the NPS Thematic Framework. greater clarity in comparing the various pasture, ﬁ rst water right, and oldest church. Preservation of these important resources possibilities. In actual implementation, Many of these historic resources, including has the potential to ensure that the stories however, while each recommendation could the Trujillo Homesteads and La Vega and and places associated with American Latino stand alone, interpretation and resource Associated Sites, are currently being studied heritage will be shared and protected for protection objectives might be better served as new National Historic Landmarks. Pike’s future generations. Stockade already has been designated as a by combining two or more strategies. Although the survey area includes portions National Historic Landmark. Segments of the of two National Heritage Areas, preservation Old Spanish National Historic Trail and the and interpretation of the American Latino Santa Fe National Historic Trail pass through resources and traditions could be enhanced the survey area. This rich legacy, however,
55 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report by stronger aﬃ liation with the NPS. The ﬁ nding and evaluate the remaining three 2. Recommend that Congress authorize survey team, therefore, recommends that criteria. an update to the Vermejo Park Ranch a Special Resource Study (SRS) of the San Special Resource Study. An area may be considered suitable for Luis Valley and central Sangre de Cristo potential addition to the National Park A Special Resource Study of the Vermejo Park Mountains be authorized by Congress. System if it represents a natural or cultural Ranch was completed in 1979, and concluded If authorized by Congress, the SRS could resource type that is not already adequately that the ranch possessed nationally signiﬁ cant examine many potential alternatives for represented in the system, or is not cultural and natural resources that merited resource protection and visitor experience. comparably represented and protected for inclusion within the National Park System. Potential management options could include public enjoyment by other Federal agencies; Thirty-two years have elapsed since the designation of a new national historical park, tribal, state, or local governments; or the Special Resource Study and several signiﬁ cant establishment of a commemorative center, private sector. changes to the ranch have occurred during partnerships between NPS and existing the interim. The ranch is now owned by landholders, and more. To be feasible as a new unit of the National American philanthropist Robert Edward Park System, an area must be (1) of suﬃ cient The primary purpose of a SRS is to determine “Ted” Turner III. Turner has reintroduced size and appropriate conﬁ guration to ensure whether the resources being evaluated meet bison to the ranch and no longer raises cattle. sustainable resource protection and visitor the criteria for inclusion as a unit or units of Coal mining, which was occurring during the enjoyment (taking into account current the National Park System. By law (16 U.S. C. 1970s, has been discontinued and reclamation and potential impacts from sources beyond 1a-5, see Appendix A.) and National Park of mined lands is proceeding. According to a proposed park boundaries), and (2) capable Service policy, potential new units of the NPS site manager, some lands within the ranch are of eﬃ cient administration by the Service at a must: now leased for coal bed methane extraction. reasonable cost. Undoubtedly, other changes to the ranch have 1) Possess nationally signiﬁ cant resources, There are many excellent examples of the also transpired. 2) Be a suitable addition to the system, successful management of important natural The 1979 study needs to be updated with 3) Be a feasible addition to the system, and and cultural resources by other public current and accurate information, including 4) Require direct NPS management or agencies, private conservation organizations, an estimate of costs for the NPS to administer administration instead of alternative and individuals. Unless direct NPS the ranch, which is purported to be the protection by others. management of a studied area is identiﬁ ed as largest contiguous ranch in the United States. the clearly superior alternative, the Service This study update should be authorized by This reconnaissance survey has will recommend that one or more of these Congress, so that the full range of alternatives determined that the survey area possesses other entities assume a lead management role, can be evaluated and meaningful civic nationally signiﬁ cant resources. A SRS and that the area not receive National Park engagement can take place. would reaﬃ rm the national signiﬁ cance System status.
56 Recommendations for Conservation and Interpretation
3. Create a corridor of conservation to this and one tool would be the use of 5. Provide NPS technical assistance to easements on public and private lands. conservation easements by various large and state and local heritage sites. small landowners in this area. The NPS, as well as other state and federal Existing NPS programs, such as the Rivers, agencies and nonproﬁ t organizations, could 4. Identify and develop state heritage Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) encourage the establishment or expansion tour routes. Program, could be deployed to help of conservation easements on a number of strengthen state and local eﬀ orts to research, Working in partnership with the National large-scale ranchlands, such as the Trinchera preserve, and interpret a wide range of Heritage Areas, and with the states of Ranch, La Sierra/Cielo Vista Ranch, Vermejo American Latino heritage resources found Colorado and New Mexico, the NPS could Park Ranch, and other privately held within the San Luis valley and central Sangre identify and develop a series of tours that ranchlands in the San Luis Valley and central de Cristo Mountains. Federal ﬁ nancial and would allow visitors to retrace the historic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The legacy of the technical assistance could enable the National routes traveled by the early Latinos in Mexican land grants has allowed the area to Heritage Areas to work with state and local southern Colorado and northern New remain largely unfragmented by subdivisions governments to complete an inventory of Mexico and to visit closely related sites. and other changes in land ownership. The these resources, and assist local communities Diﬀ erent tours would be planned around mountain range itself is steep and rugged and and private organizations in preservation and individual parts of the Latino story, and does not allow easy access and road building. public enjoyment of a variety of sites. The the tour routes would be designed so that A corridor of easements would provide a National Heritage Areas, working with state people could embark on a tour at any major beneﬁ t to the public, in allowing for species and local governments, could develop and entrance to the San Luis Valley and central and ecosystem migration. This would be a implement a comprehensive interpretation Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Visitors would valuable outcome of the conservation ethic of program for all participating sites. receive orientation for the tours at the various private owners. state welcome and information centers and One of the signature projects of the Sangre One of the natural resource attributes is that at other tourism centers. Web-based tour de Cristo National Heritage Area is the this area remains largely unchanged and is information, brochures or booklets could restoration and reopening of the Sangre de a place where wildlife can migrate between be developed for each tour to explain how Cristo Heritage Center at Costilla County the high prairies of eastern New Mexico resources along the way relate to the Latino (formerly the San Luis Museum and and the high mountain valleys of central story. This information would oﬀ er visitors Cultural Center), located in the town of Colorado. Maintaining such an open corridor options that would allow them to spend one San Luis. This project is being undertaken is important for species survival and overall day or several days on each tour. in cooperation with the Costilla County ecosystem health. There are few other places Economic Development Council. Restoration in the soutwestern United States where of the building, which was built during the such an open and unchanged landscape Great Depression by the Works Progress exists. Preservation of the landscape is key Administration (WPA), is being funded in
57 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report part through a Colorado State Historical youth programs, such as the Colorado Youth Fund grant. The center’s exhibits include: Summit. NPS staﬀ also could implement the Culture Constante (Constant Culture), Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program. The NPS a Penitente morada, displays of Colcha already has a major presence in the San Luis stitchery, and Spanish Colonial santos, as Valley at Great Sand Dunes National Park well as a manuscript and art collection. and Preserve. The staﬀ at that park could Future plans call for a research library, living provide the overall management and training history demonstrations (Spanish Colonial necessary to sustain such a program. period), and partnerships with institutions As in the other recommendations calling for of higher learning on the research, study and site interpretation, visitors would receive interpretation of the Hispano farm system, an overview of American Latino heritage traditional arts and folklore. The center also resources and have the opportunity to plans to hold traditional festivals and art visit a variety of sites representing various markets to interpret the Indo-Hispano culture aspects of this story. The added emphasis on of northern New Mexico and southern preservation would help ensure the integrity Colorado.33 of resources and minimize the potential for In cooperation with the National Heritage misrepresentation. The preservation of a wide Areas, NPS staﬀ could conduct interpretive assemblage of resources would give visitors a programs at various historic sites, such broader understanding of American Latinos’ as Fort Garland and the Sangre de Cristo contribution to America’s heritage than could Heritage Center. The staﬀ could also develop be conveyed by preserving just the biggest or educational programs associated with Latino most impressive sites. settlement, culture, traditions and initiative
33 Rick Manzanares, “A Rationale for Federal Recognition and Resources for the Sangre de Cristo Heritage Center of Costilla County,” August 29, 2011. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Appendix A. The National Park those areas of national signiﬁ cance listed on B) In developing the list to be submitted System New Areas Study Act the National Register of Historic Places which under this subsection, the Secretary (1998) areas exhibit known or anticipated damage shall consider— or threats to the integrity of their resources, 1. Those areas that have the greatest The National Park System New Areas along with notations as to the nature and potential to meet the established Studies Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-391) placed severity of such damage or threats. Each criteria of national signiﬁ cance, speciﬁ c limits on the process of conducting report and annual listing shall be printed as suitability, and feasibility; new area studies. These changes have been a House document: provided, that should 2. Themes, sites, and resources not incorporated in law under 16 U.S.C. 1a-5 as adequate supplies of previously printed already adequately represented in follows: identical reports remain available, newly the National Park System; and 1. General Authority submitted identical reports shall be omitted The Secretary of the Interior is directed to from printing upon the receipt by the Speaker 3. Public petition and Congressional investigate, study, and continually monitor of the United States House of Representatives resolutions. the welfare of areas whose resources exhibit of a joint letter from the chairman of the C) No study of the potential of an area for qualities of national signiﬁ cance and which Committee on Natural Resources of the inclusion in the National Park System may have potential for inclusion in the United States House of Representatives and may be initiated after November 13, National Park System. Accompanying the the chairman of the Committee on Energy 1998, except as provided by speciﬁ c annual listing of areas shall be a synopsis, and Natural Resources of the United States authorization of an Act of Congress. Senate indicating such to be the case. for each report previously submitted, of D) Nothing in this Act shall limit the the current and changed condition of the 2. Studies of Areas for Potential Addition authority of the National Park Service resource integrity of the area and other A) At the beginning of each calendar to conduct preliminary resource relevant factors, compiled as a result of year, along with the annual budget assessments, gather data on potential continual periodic monitoring and embracing submission, the Secretary shall submit study areas, provide technical and the period since the previous such submission to the Committee on Resources of the planning assistance, prepare or process or initial report submission one year earlier. House of Representatives and to the nominations for administrative The Secretary is also directed to transmit Committee on Energy and Natural designations, update previous studies, annually to the Speaker of the House of Resources of the United States Senate a or complete reconnaissance surveys Representatives and to the President of the list of areas recommended for study for of individual areas requiring a total Senate, at the beginning of each ﬁ scal year, a potential inclusion in the National Park expenditure of less than $25,000. complete and current list of all areas included System. on the Registry of Natural Landmarks and
59 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
E) Nothing in this section shall be 2. Is a suitable and feasible addition to public agencies or the private sector construed to apply to or to aﬀ ect or the system. is appropriate for the area; alter the study of any river segment for C) Each study— 3. Shall identify what alternative or potential addition to the national wild 1. Shall consider the following factors combination of alternatives would and scenic rivers system or to apply to with regard to the area being in the professional judgment of or to aﬀ ect or alter the study of any trail studied— the Director of the National Park for potential addition to the national Service be most eﬀ ective and a. The rarity and integrity of the trails system. eﬃ cient in protecting signiﬁ cant resources; 3. Report resources and providing for public A) The Secretary shall complete the study b. The threats to those resources; enjoyment; and for each area for potential inclusion c. Similar resources are already 4. May include any other information in the National Park System within 3 protected in the National Park which the Secretary deems to be complete ﬁ scal years following the date System or in other public or relevant. on which funds are ﬁ rst made available private ownership; for such purposes. Each study under D) Each study shall be completed d. The public use potential; this section shall be prepared with in compliance with the National appropriate opportunity for public e. The interpretive and educational Environmental Policy Act of 1969 [42 involvement, including at least one potential; U.S.C. 4321 et seq.]. public meeting in the vicinity of the f. Costs associated with acquisition, E) The letter transmitting each completed area under study, and after reasonable development and operation; study to Congress shall contain eﬀ orts to notify potentially aﬀ ected a recommendation regarding the g. The socioeconomic impacts of landowners and State and local Secretary’s preferred management any designation; governments. option for the area. h. The level of local and general B) In conducting the study, the Secretary public support; and 4. New Area Study Ofﬁ ce shall consider whether the area under The Secretary shall designate a single oﬃ ce i. Whether the area is of study— to be assigned to prepare all new area studies appropriate conﬁ guration to 1. Possesses nationally signiﬁ cant and to implement other functions of this ensure long-term resource natural or cultural resources section. protection and visitor use; and represents one of the most 5. List of Areas important examples of a particular 2. Shall consider whether direct At the beginning of each calendar year, along resource type in the country; and National Park Service management with the annual budget submission, the or alternative protection by other Secretary shall submit to the Committee on
Resources of the House of Representatives Appendix B. Nationally Peopling Places: Ethnic Homelands: and to the Committee on Energy and Natural Signiﬁ cant Themes: History and Navajo Resources of the Senate a list of areas which Prehistory The Navajo view Blanca Peak (Tsisnaasjini) as have been previously studied which contain the Sacred Mountain of the East, one of four primarily historical resources, and a list of The National Park Service Thematic marking the boundaries of their traditional areas which have been previously studied Framework for History and Prehistory (1996) homeland. which contain primarily natural resources, is used to guide the National Park Service in numerical order of priority for addition to in evaluating the signiﬁ cance of resources Peopling Places: Mexican Land Grants, the National Park System. In developing the including for designation as National Historic Latino Settlement and non-Latino lists, the Secretary should consider threats to Landmarks and for potential new additions Settlement Late in the Mexican era (1821-1848), that resource values, cost escalation factors, and to the National Park System. The framework government bestowed several large land other factors listed in subsection (c) of this also is used to identify nationally signiﬁ cant grants within the study area: Luis Maria Baca section. The Secretary should only include on themes for National Park Service planning No. 4, Conejos, Sangre de Cristo, Beaubien- the lists areas for which the supporting data is eﬀ orts, including special resource studies. Miranda (Maxwell), and Vigil-St. Vrain. current and accurate. The framework organizes history under eight general themes: One intent was for Mexicans to settle these 6. Authorization of Appropriations areas that, for the most part, were populated For the purposes of carrying out the studies 1. Peopling Places by American Indians. That process was for potential new Park System units and for 2. Creating Social Institutions and interrupted by the transfer of the area to the monitoring the welfare of those resources, Movements United States after the War with Mexico, and there are authorized to be appropriated 3. Expressing Cultural Values the inﬂ ux of non-Latinos. Together, the grants annually not to exceed $1,000,000. For the exemplify the interplay between the distinct 4. Shaping the Political Landscape purposes of monitoring the welfare and Latino settlement patterns and culture, integrity of the national landmarks, there 5. Developing the American Economy overlaid with the settlement patterns and are authorized to be appropriated annually 6. Expanding Science and Technology culture of non-Latinos, with accompanying not to exceed $1,500,000. For carrying out violence including the Colfax War. Several 7. Transforming the Environment subsections (b) through (d) of this section resources in the study area reﬂ ect this theme, there are authorized to be appropriated 8. Changing Role of the United States in including the Sangre de Cristo National $2,000,000 for each ﬁ scal year. the World Community Heritage Area, the Trujillo Homesteads Within the Thematic Framework, cultural potential National Historic Landmark, La resources in the San Luis Valley and central Vega and Associated Sites potential National Sangre de Cristo Mountains area, including Historic Landmark, Vermejo Park Ranch, the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, Trinchera Ranch, and La Sierra/Cielo Vista represent the following major themes: Ranch.
61 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Developing the American Economy: The and wildlife. Vermejo Park Ranch’s current Appendix C. National Register of Cattle Industry owner Ted Turner’s mission is to return the Historic Places and State Register The cattle industry adapted its operations landscape to its condition before European Properties to meet the demands of the harsh mountain settlement, including reintroducing or climate of the West. Vermejo Park Ranch was breeding wolves, black-footed ferrets and The survey area and Sangre de Cristo one of the most valuable cattle grazing areas Aplomado falcons. On the Trinchera Ranch, National Heritage Area represent several in New Mexico well into the 20th century. in 2004, the Forbes family donated the largest themes in national and Colorado history, conservation easement in Colorado history to including westward expansion, the railroad Developing the American Economy: The protect a rich diversity of ecotypes. era, cattle ranching, community settlement, Mining Industry and architecture. Reﬂ ecting the multi- Colorado Fuel & Iron developed important Transforming the Environment: layered history of this area are the following coal mines in the Colorado portion of the Recreation properties, which are listed on the National Maxwell grant and also the Vigil-St. Vrain Vermejo Park Ranch has provided leisure Register of Historic Places and State grant. Coal mining and placer gold mining activities for celebrity members of the Registers.34 also took place on the Maxwell grant. exclusive Vermejo Club and hunting and Colorado: Alamosa County Resources reﬂ ecting this history also may still ﬁ shing activities for the elite guests of owners Alamosa County Courthouse (Alamosa) – be extant on the Vermejo Park Ranch. Bartlett, Gourley, and Pennzoil. The U-shaped courthouse is one of the Developing the American Economy: The Changing Role of the United States in the county’s best examples of Mission-style Railroad Industry World Community: Expansionism and architecture. Construction of the building The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad San Juan Land Law began in 1936 and it is one of the largest Extension, which runs through the study Spanish and Mexican land laws impacted of several Works Progress Administration area, greatly expanded settlement and access American law when the U.S. interpreted projects built in the county. to natural resources throughout much of ownership claims in the land grants. One Alamosa Masonic Hall (Alamosa) – Listed Colorado, northern New Mexico and parts of especially notable example is the decades- on the Colorado State Register, this building Utah. A 64-mile segment of the railroad now long legislative battle to regain the ability to represents a period of construction called the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad hunt, graze cattle and collect ﬁ rewood on the associated with the arrival of the railroad and is a potential National Historic Landmark. privately owned La Sierra/Cielo Vista Ranch; the resulting ability to import prefabricated the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in favor of architectural elements. Built in 1887, it Transforming the Environment: the descendants of the Hispano settlers. Protecting and Preserving the was one of the ﬁ rst major buildings to Environment Numerous owners of the Vermejo Park 34 Descriptions of the Colorado resources are from the website of History Colorado, Colorado Oﬃ ce of Archaeology Ranch and the Trinchera Ranch have and Historic Preservation, http://www.historycolorado.org/ emphasized preservation of the landscape archaeologists/listed-properties
62 Appendixes be constructed on what would become operated as an important transfer point Howard Store (Hooper) – This well- Alamosa’s main street. for passengers, mail, and freight traveling preserved 1891 storefront with its false front between Denver, Creede, Santa Fe and is a textbook example of a small, 19th century American National Bank Building Durango. Agricultural development in the commercial building. The building is one (Alamosa) – Constructed in 1909 during valley made it essential for coordinating of the town’s oldest and longest operating a period of rapid growth in the San Luis crop shipments. Passenger and freight general merchandise establishments. Valley, the bank building reﬂ ects the use decreased in the 1950s, leading to the optimism associated with an important Husung Hardware (Alamosa) – Constructed station’s closure. The property is associated phase of downtown Alamosa’s commercial in 1936 with a terra cotta facade and stylized with the “Railroads in Colorado, 1858-1948” development. The brick building is a good ornamentation, the two-story brick building Multiple Property Submission. example of an Arcaded Block, a popular is considered one of the best small-town commercial building type during the early Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Locomotive expressions of Art Deco architecture in decades of the 20th century. The building No. 169 (Alamosa) – Built in 1883, this Colorado. functioned as a bank until 1951. narrow gauge, coal-ﬁ red, 10-wheeler steam Medano Ranch Headquarters (Mosca) – locomotive is one of the fastest narrow gauge Alamosa Post Oﬃ ce (Alamosa)– Constructed The Medano Ranch is one of the oldest engines built. It operated for more than 50 in 1935 by the Public Works Administration, continuously operated properties in the San years. In 1939, it was pulled out of storage the post oﬃ ce is an excellent example of the Luis Valley, and its buildings and structures and represented the D&RGW Railroad at Mixed Style, exhibiting elements of Art Deco, reﬂ ect the evolution of ranching as a large- the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. In Classical Revival, and the locally prevalent scale enterprise during the late 19th and 20th 1941, the railroad gave it as a gift to the city of Mission Revival. centuries. Architecturally, the buildings are Alamosa, where it now rests in Cole Park. classic examples of the variety of materials Bain’s Department Store (Alamosa) – First Baptist Church (Alamosa) – An and construction techniques found on Listed on the Colorado State Register, this asymmetrical composition consisting of a ranches of great longevity. Depression-era building opened as the variety of forms, texture and materials, the largest department store in the San Luis Mt. Pleasant School (Alamosa) – Built in 1911, church epitomizes the Queen Anne style. The Valley, oﬀ ering groceries and clothes as well the building epitomizes the rural schoolhouse building, the construction of which began in as household and farm goods. Owner Victor and served as the last one-room school in the 1907, also is the only ornamental concrete Bain made extensive use of recycled materials Alamosa vicinity. It not only was a center of block public building in Alamosa and is to minimize construction costs. education, but also a focus of community life, associated with the “Ornamental Concrete hosting a variety of activities. This property Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Depot Block in Colorado, 1900 to 1940” Multiple is associated with “Rural School Buildings in (Alamosa) – Built in 1908, this depot replaced Property Submission. Colorado” Multiple Property Submission. an 1878 depot destroyed by ﬁ re. The west section was added in 1930. The depot
63 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Alamosa) – Colorado: Conejos County railroading at its peak of national inﬂ uence See description under “Signiﬁ cant American Costilla Crossing Bridge (Antonito) – (roughly 1870 to 1930), when the network Latino Heritage Resources”. Completed in 1892, this pin/rigid connected, exceeded 254,000 route miles, was the country’s largest single non-agricultural St. Thomas Episcopal Church (Alamosa) – eight-panel Thatcher-through-Truss bridge employer, and provided 85 percent of all The building, which consists of a 1926 parish is signiﬁ cant for its unusual structural style, intercity transportation. The property is listed hall and a 1930 sanctuary addition, is an patented in 1884 by Edwin Thatcher, then on the National Register of Historic Places. example of the Mission Revival style. It is one chief engineer of the Keystone Bridge The National Historic Landmarks Committee of the few religious properties designed by the Company. It is the oldest vehicular truss of the National Park Service Advisory Board proliﬁ c Denver architectural ﬁ rm of William in southern Colorado. The property is will review its nomination as a National E. and Arthur A. Fisher. associated with the “Highway Bridges in Colorado” Multiple Property Submission. Historic Landmark nomination in spring Superintendent’s Residence, Great Sand 2012. Dunes National Park and Preserve (Mosca)– Denver & Rio Grande Railroad San Juan Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Antonito Constructed in the Territorial Adobe Extension (Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Depot (Antonito) – Listed on the Colorado style, this building was the largest project Railroad) (Antonito) – The Denver & State Register, this 1880 depot served for undertaken by the WPA during its late 1930s Rio Grande Railroad San Juan Extension over 60 years as the junction point for the work at Great Sand Dunes. It represents (Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad) is a branch line to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the the Rustic Movement, championed by the 64-mile railroad that extends from Antonito, D&RG’s San Juan Extension from Alamosa National Park Service’s ﬁ rst director, Stephen Colorado to Chama, New Mexico. The 36” to Durango and Silverton. The depot was the T. Mather, who advocated the use of native gauge railroad, which was built by William westernmost station on the Denver & Rio materials and vernacular building traditions Jackson Palmer, is nationally signiﬁ cant as an Grande’s San Juan Extension. wherever possible. outstanding surviving example of the 1,000- mile “narrow-gauge” network that, between Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Trujillo Homesteads (Hooper) – See 1875 and 1900, made possible settlement and Engine No. 463 (Antonito) – Built in 1903 description under “Signiﬁ cant American access to natural resources throughout much by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Latino Heritage Resources”. of Colorado, northern New Mexico and parts Philadelphia, Engine No. 463 is one of only of Utah. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Zapata Ranch Headquarters (Mosca) – two remaining locomotives of the K-27 San Juan Extension also is signiﬁ cant as the Zapata Ranch is one of ﬁ rst and largest series originally built for and operated by the country’s most complete and representative cattle ranches in the area; it also served as Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. The surviving example of early twentieth century a stage coach stop and post oﬃ ce. Some K-27 series was a departure from the design of its buildings date to the 1870s, and all of the historic ranch buildings are of log construction.
64 Appendices most prevalent on Colorado’s narrow gauge Palace Hotel (Antonito) – This hotel was built Colorado: Costilla County lines, resulting in a locomotive with one and in 1890 at Antonito, an important trade center Barlow & Sanderson Stagecoach (Fort one-half times more power. at the junction of the Rio Grande Railroad’s Garland) – Listed on the Colorado State line to Chama, Durango, and the San Juan Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad Register, this Barlow and Sanderson Mountains, and its branch to Santa Fe. Combination Car No. 60 (part of the stagecoach provided basic transportation Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad) – Listed Pike’s Stockade (Sanford) – See description throughout the San Luis Valley of Colorado on the Colorado State Register, this railroad under “Signiﬁ cant American Latino Heritage and New Mexico in the late 19th century. The car was built in 1897 for the Florence & Resources ”. stagecoach is a rare example of an Abbot- Cripple Creek Railroad, the ﬁ rst railroad Downing mud wagon type built around 1871. San Rafael Presbyterian Church (Mogote) – to reach the gold mines of the Victor and See description under “Signiﬁ cant American Fort Garland (Fort Garland) – See description Cripple mining districts. One of only two Latino Heritage Resources”. under “Signiﬁ cant American Latino Heritage surviving F&CC passenger coaches in the Resources”. United States, it is the only surviving example La Sociedad Proteccion Mutua de of a combination passenger-baggage car from Trabajadores Unidos (SPMDTU) Concilio Plaza de San Luis de la Culebra Historic the railroad. Superior (Antonito) – See description under District (San Luis) – See description under “Signiﬁ cant American Latino Heritage “Signiﬁ cant American Latino Heritage La Capilla De San Antonio De Padua Resources”. Resources”. Listed under “Culebra River (Lasauses) – See description under Villages of Costilla County” Multiple “Signiﬁ cant American Latino Heritage Warshauer Mansion (Antonito) – This large Property Submission. Resources ”. 1912 brick and stucco home, with a red tile roof, was built for Fred B. Warshauer, Rito Seco Creek Culvert (San Luis) – This La Jara Depot (La Jara) – Located on part a German immigrant who rose to county steel multi-plate arch culvert consists of of the San Juan Extension of the Denver prominence in the sheep business. Denver two 18-foot spans, faced with local volcanic and Rio Grande Railroad between Alamosa architect George F. Harvey drew the plans ﬁ eldstone. Constructed in 1936, the culvert and Silverton, this 1911 depot served as a according to Warshauer’s speciﬁ cations. remains intact as a good example of one shipping point for area ranchers and farmers. Unusual for the period, the house boasts a of the smaller bridges built by the Works In 1970, the town acquired the building central vacuum cleaning system and a ﬁ re Progress Administration. Listed under and transformed it into the town hall. The control system. “Highway Bridges in Colorado” Multiple property is associated with the “Railroads Property Submission. in Colorado, 1858-1948”, Multiple Property Submission.
65 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
A.A. Salazar House (San Luis) – Constructed within the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant, built Grande Railroad built it atop the 9,400-foot- in 1906, the house is an example of an the 32-mile San Luis Valley Southern (SLVS) high La Veta Pass to serve passenger trains ornamental concrete block residence. Railway. This trestle, an excellent example of bound to and from the San Luis Valley to Its Queen Anne detailing is an unusual timber stringer standard gauge railroad bridge the west. The building functioned until 1899 expression for concrete block construction construction, was built in 1910 and carried when the original narrow gauge line gave way and for Costilla County. Listed under freight and passenger service until 1939. It to a standard gauge replacement seven miles “Ornamental Concrete Block Building in is the only remaining SLVS trestle, and is to the south. Associated with “Railroads in Colorado, 1900 to 1940” Multiple Property associated with the “Railroads in Colorado” Colorado, 1858-1948” Multiple Property Submission. Multiple Property Submission. Submission.
San Acacio San Luis Southern Railway Depot Sociedad de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno Lamme Hospital (La Veta) – In 1909, the (San Acacio) – Listed on the Colorado State (San Francisco Morada, San Pablo Vicinity) – construction of the 2½-story sandstone Register, this depot was built in 1910 by See description under “Signiﬁ cant American hospital building took place, and it was the San Luis Southern Railway, a 32-mile Latino Heritage Resources”. continuously used as such up to 1944. After standard gauge railroad that served the towns 1944 the building was used as a private Colorado: Huerfano County and farms planned by the Costilla Estates (sites within survey area) residence up to 1980, when it was then Development Company. The two-story depot converted to a bed and breakfast inn. also served as railway headquarters until Francisco Plaza (LaVeta) – See description Veta Pass-Uptop Historic District (La 1950, and is all that is left in San Acacio to under “Signiﬁ cant American Latino Heritage Veta Pass, Old La Veta Pass, Uptop) – This represent the railroad and the company that Resources”. mountain village ﬁ rst became famous in created the town. La Veta Masonic Hall (La Veta) – Listed on 1877 as the location of the highest railroad San Luis Bridge (San Luis) – Completed the Colorado State Register, the Masonic pass and highest depot in America. In 1877, over Culebra Creek on the western edge of Hall, which was completed in 1889, is one with the arrival of the Denver & Rio Grande San Luis in 1911, this segmental, reinforced of the earliest extant examples of the stone Railroad into this area of Colorado, it was the concrete open spandrel arch is one of the construction that would become a prominent ﬁ rst place that a steam locomotive crossed earliest unaltered bridges of this type in component of La Veta’s architectural the Rockies. The community has continually Colorado. Listed under “Highway Bridges in heritage. It is one of the better preserved of reinvented itself as modes of transportation Colorado” Multiple Property Submission. the few two-story stone buildings in town, and it is the oldest two-part block commercial San Luis Valley Southern Railroad Trestle building. (Blanca) – The Costilla Estates Development Company, a business organized to sell lands La Veta Pass Narrow Gauge Railroad Depot (La Veta) – This simple L-shaped stuccoed stone depot dates to 1877. The Denver & Rio
66 Appendices reshaped access though the Sangre de Cristo provided for its inhabitants by their employer, Mountains, ﬁ rst as a railroad stop, then as the American Smelting and Reﬁ ning a community that supported a sawmill and Company. The property is associated with the processing of timber, and ﬁ nally as a the “Mining Industry in Colorado” Multiple destination for tourists. Property Submission.
Colorado: Las Animas County New Mexico: Colfax County (sites within survey area) (sites within survey area) Bridge over Burron Cañon (Madrid) – Catskill Charcoal Ovens (Vermejo Park Completed in 1936, the bridge consists Ranch) – The Catskill Charcoal Ovens, which of three skewed semicircular arches with are among the few remnants associated with multiplates, and features rusticated stone the lumbering and sawmill town of Catskill, facing and grapevined mortar joints, are now abandoned. The ovens are listed on trademarks of Works Progress Administration the National Register of Historic Places, as (WPA) workmanship in southeastern well as the New Mexico State Register. Colorado. The bridge is associated with the Cimarron Historic District (Cimarron) – See “Highway Bridges in Colorado” Multiple description under “Signiﬁ cant American Property Submission. Latino Heritage Resources”. Cokedale Historic District (Cokedale) Maxwell-Abreu and North (Martinez) – Cokedale is associated with the coal Houses (Cimarron vicinity) – See description mining and coke industry that served as the under “Signiﬁ cant American Latino Heritage predominant basis of the southern Colorado Resources”. economy around 1900. While most coal camps were dismantled as mines ceased operation in the Las Animas-Huerfano district after World War I, Cokedale continued to thrive as a company town until 1946. Constructed in 1906-1907, it was long heralded as a model camp, with housing, educational and recreational facilities
67 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
County Road T Approaching Crestone, Saguache County, Colorado
Bailey, R.G. 1995. Description of the Ecoregions Chronic, H. 1980. Roadside Geology of Support System Feasibility Study.” Prepared of the United States. 2nd Ed. Misc. Publ. Colorado. Mountain Press Publishing for CWCB by Riverside Technology inc, HRS, No. 1391. Washington, D.C.; USDA Forest Company, Missoula, Montana. Boyle. Service. Colorado Division of Wildlife [CDOW]. Cooper, D.J. and C. Severn. 1992. “Wetlands Bexﬁ eld, L.M. and S.K. Anderholm. 2010. 2010. Species ranges and use areas shapeﬁ les. of the San Luis Valley, Colorado: an “Section 10.-Conceptual Understanding Vector digital data. Colorado Division of Ecological Study and Analysis of the and Groundwater Quality of the Basin-Fill Wildlife, Fort Collins, Colorado. Hydrologic Regime, Soil Chemistry, Aquifer in the San Luis Valley, Colorado and Vegetation and the Potential Eﬀ ects of a Colorado Geological Survey [CGS]. 2011. New Mexico” in Thiros, S.A., Bexﬁ eld, L.M., Water Table Drawdown.” Unpublished report Oﬃ cial list of Colorado Fourteeners. Colorado Anning, D.W., and Huntington, J.M., eds., prepared for the State of Colorado Division Geological Survey, Colorado Department of Conceptual understanding and groundwater of Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Natural Resources, Denver, Colorado. quality of selected basin-ﬁ ll aquifers in the Rio Grande Water Conservation District. Southwestern United States: U.S. Geological Colorado Natural Heritage Program [CNHP]. Costilla County. Economic Development Professional Paper 1781. 288 p. Available: 2011. Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation Council. “The Sacred Circle Tour.” http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/studies/praq/ System (BIOTICS). Colorado State University, Brochure. San Luis Preservation. http://www. swpa/ Fort Collins, Colorado. sanluispreservation.com/2007/10/sacred- Bolyard, D.W. 1960. “Permo-Pennsylvanian Colorado. Sangre de Cristo Land Grant circle-2.html (accessed October 2011). Stratigraphy in the Sangre De Cristo Commission. “Sangre de Cristo Land Grant Doucette, Vicky Bunsen and Dana Mountains, Colorado.” Pages 117-120 in Commission Report.” [Denver?]:1993. EchoHawk. “Montoya Ranch National Guide to the Geology of Colorado, R.J. Weimer Register of Historic Places Registration and J.D. Haun eds., Geological Society of Colorado. State Archives. “Spanish-Mexican Form.” [Colorado State] Review board draft. America, Rocky Mountain Association of Land Grants: A Brief Introduction.” Colorado Colorado: Manitou Springs, 2011. Geologists, Denver, Colorado. State Archives. www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/ archives/mlg/mlg.html (accessed September Foutz, D.R. 1994. “Geology of Colorado Bradfute, Richard W. “The Las Animas Land 15, 2011). Illustrated.” Your Geologist, Dell R. Foutz, Grant, 1843-1900.” Colorado Magazine 47, Grand Junction, Colorado. (winter 1970): 26-43. Colorado Water Conservation Board [CWCB]. 1998. “Rio Grande Decision
69 San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report
History Colorado. Oﬃ ce of Archaeology and Mondragón-Valdéz, Maria. “The Culebra Noel, Thomas J., Paul F. Mahoney and Historic Preservation. “National and State River Villages of Costilla County, Colorado, Richard E. Stevens. Historical Atlas of Register.” http://www.historycolorado.org/ National Register Multiple Property Colorado. Norman: University of Oklahoma archaeologists/listed-properties (accessed Documentation Form.” San Luis, Colorado: Press, 1994. September 2011). Valdez & Associates, 2000. Nostrand, Richard L. The Hispano Homeland. LeCompte Janet L. Pueblo, Hardscrabble, National Park Service. Denver Service Center. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992. Greenhorn. Norman: University of Oklahoma Manager. Memorandum to Regional Director, Rondeau, R.J., D. Saar, M.B. Wunder, P.M. Press, 1978. Southwest Region. “Task Directive for Review Pineda, and G.M. Kittel. 1998. “Saguache and Approval, Vermejo Ranch, New Mexico.” Legler, B.S. 2010. “A Floristic Inventory County, Closed Basin Biological Inventory November 9, 1978. of Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico and Volume 1: A Natural Heritage Assessment Colorado.” Masters Thesis, University of National Park Service [NPS]. 2011. “Great Final Report.” Colorado Natural Heritage Wyoming. Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve: Program, Colorado State University, Fort Nature & Science.” Website: http://www.nps. Collins, Colorado. Lindsey, D.A. 2010. “The geologic story of gov/grsa/naturescience/ Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Range.” U.S. Salas, D. E., J. Stevens, K. Schulz, M. Artmann, Geological Survey Circular 1349, 14 p. NatureServe. 2011. “NatureServe Explorer: B. Friesen, S. Blauer, E.W. Schweiger, and An online encyclopedia of life, version 7.1.” A. Valdez. 2010. “Vegetation classiﬁ cation Manzanares, Rick. “A Rationale for Federal NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available and mapping project report: Great Sand Recognition and Resources for the Sangre de online at: http://www.natureserve.org/ Dunes National Park and Preserve.” Natural Cristo Heritage Center of Costilla County.” explorer Resource Report NPS/ROMN/NRR— August 29, 2011. 2010/179. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Neely, B., P. Comer, C. Moritz, M. Lammert, Miggins, D.P., R.A. Thompson, C.L. Pillmore, Colorado. R. Rondeau, C. Pague, G. Bell, H. Copeland, L.W. Snee, and C.R. Stern. 2002. “Extension J.Humke, S. Spackman, T. Schulz, D. Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area. and uplift of the northern Rio Grande Rift: Theobold, and L. Valutis. 2001. “Southern “Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area.” Evidence from 40Ar/39Ar geochronology Rocky Mountains: an ecoregional assessment http://sdcnha.org/js/about-sangre-de- from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, south- and conservational blueprint.” The Nature cristo-national-heritage-area.html (accessed central Colorado and northern New Mexico.” Conservancy, Boulder, Colorado. September 2011). Pp 47-64 in Menzies, M.A., Klemperer, S.L., Ebinger, C.J., and Baker, J., eds., Volcanic Rifted Margins. Geological Society of America Special Paper 362, Boulder, Colorado.
Simmons, Thomas H. and R. Laurie The Nature Conservancy [TNC]. 2001. Valdez, A.D. 1996. “The role of streams in the Simmons, Front Range Research Associates, Ecoregions of the United States of America. development of the Great Sand Dunes and Inc. to Christine Whitacre, National Park Vector digital data. The Nature Conservancy their connection with the hydrologic cycle.” Service. Memorandum. “San Luis NHL- - Conservation Science Division. Western Great Sand Dunes National Monument, Reconnaissance Survey Results and District Conservation Science Center, Boulder, Mosca, Colorado. Available: http://www.nps. Recommendations.” October 14, 2010. Colorado. gov/grsa/naturescience/upload/Trp2029.pdf
Simmons, Thomas H. and R. Laurie U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Western Regional Climate Center [WRCC]. Simmons. “Trujillo Homesteads National Department of Agriculture, and State of 2011. “Period of Record General Climate Historic Landmark Nomination.” Draft. New Mexico. Vermejo Ranch, New Mexico/ Summaries-Temperature, for Cimarron, Denver: Front Range Research Associates, Colorado: Study of Management Options. La Veta Pass, and Vermejo Park stations.” Inc., September 26, 2011. NPS: 1979. [website.] Available at: http://www.wrcc.dri. edu/summary/Climsmco.html Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project [SREP]. U.S. General Accounting Oﬃ ce. Treaty of “Linking Colorado’s Landscapes: A Statewide Guadalupe Hidalgo: Deﬁ nition and List of Assessment of Wildlife Linkages, Phase Community Land Grants in New Mexico. 1 Report. Southern Rockies Ecosystem Report to Congressional Requestors, GAO- Project, Denver, Colorado.” Available: http:// 01-951. Washington, D.C.: GAO, 2001. rockymountainwild.org/_site/wp-content/ U.S. House of Representatives. Oﬃ ce of the uploads/LCL-Phase-1-Report.pdf Clerk. Oﬃ ce of History and Preservation. Stoller, Marianne L. “Grants of Desperation, “Ruth Hanna McCormick.” Women in Lands of Speculation: Mexican Period Land Congress. http://womenincongress.house. Grants in Colorado.” In Spanish & Mexican gov/member-proﬁ les/proﬁ le.html?intID=163 Land Grants in New Mexico and Colorado, (accessed October 2011). edited by John R. Van Ness and Christine U.S. vs. Maxwell Land Grant Company. 121 Van Ness, 22-39. Manhattan, KS: Sunﬂ ower U.S. 325 (1887). University Press, 1980.
Tameling v. United States Freehold & Emigration Co. 93 U.S. 644 (1876).
71 Riders Pause before Descending from Music Pass in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Preparers
Reconnaissance Survey Team Publication Services Consultants National Park Service National Park Service National Park Service Intermountain Region Intermountain Region Intermountain Region Art Hutchinson, Program Manager, Planning Darcee Killpac, GIS Specialist John Wessels, Regional Director Greg Kendrick, Assistant Regional Director, Sage Wall, Geospatial Analyst Rick Frost, Associate Regional Director, Partnerships and External Relations Lori Kinser, Visual Information Specialist Communications and External Relationships Christine Whitacre, Program Manager, Alan Ragins, Program Manager, Rivers, National Park Service Heritage Partnerships Program Washington Service Ofﬁ ce Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) Lysa Wegman-French, Historian, Heritage Roger Johnson, Chief Cartographer, Land Partnerships Program Resource Division Joy Lujan, Community Planner, RTCA Shirl Kasper, Historian, Heritage Partnerships Glenna Vigil, Program Manager, Lands Program Heather Germaine, National Natural Michele D’Arcy, Landscape Architect, Landmarks Coordinator Planning National Park Service Colorado Natural Heritage Program Washington Service Ofﬁ ce Park Planning and Special Studies Karin Decker, Ecologist, Principal Investigator Patrick Gregerson, Program Manager Renee Rondeau, Ecologist and Conservation Tokey Boswell, Program Analyst Planning Team Leader Carol Cook, Program Analyst Michelle Fink, Landscape Ecologist / GIS specialist
73 As the nation’s principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for most of our nationally owned public lands and natural resources. This includes fostering sound use of our land and water resources; protecting our ﬁ sh, wildlife and biological diversity; preserving the environmental and cultural values of our national parks and historical places; and providing for the enjoyment of life through outdoor recreation. The department assesses our energy and mineral resources and works to ensure that their development is in the best interests of all our people by encouraging stewardship and citizen participation in their care. The department also has a major responsibility for American Indian reservation communities and for people who live in island territories under U.S. administration.
United States Department of the Interior / National Park Service