514 Acres Added to the Burnt Corn Special Recreation Management Area

The Trust for Public Land today announced that 514-acres has been added to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Burnt Corn Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) and the Burnt Corn Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The acquisition provides opportunity for future hiking trails on the property from adjacent open space, while permanently protecting a culturally-rich area. Public access is planned for the property after a site-specific management plan is completed.

Located in the Galisteo Basin between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the property adjoins Santa Fe County’s Thornton Ranch Open Space, along with other private conservation lands. This acquisition ensures connectivity within a larger landscape. The permanent protection of this property is a key component of ongoing multi-partner efforts to create a new long distance regional trail network within the Galisteo Basin.

“We at The Trust for Public Land are thrilled to grow the Burnt Corn Special Recreation Management Area, adding outdoor recreation opportunities to close to over a quarter of New Mexico’s population,” said Greg Hiner, project manager for The Trust for Public Land. “This project would not have been possible without the support of the New Mexico Congressional delegation and we are deeply appreciative of their support for The Land and Water Conservation Fund.”

The Galisteo Basin area represents an incredibly well-preserved record of a dramatic cultural transition over the past 10,000 years, including large prehistoric and historic pueblos, Native American rock art, and early Spanish Colonial Settlements. The Burnt Corn Pueblo is one of 24 sites included in the 2004 Galisteo Basin Cultural Sites Protection Act passed by Congress to preserve pueblos of the northern Rio Grande Valley.

“The Galisteo Basin is home to some of the most dedicated stewards of cultural resources, open space, and public lands that you will find anywhere in the country” said BLM Taos Field Manager Sarah Schlanger. “We are very pleased to work with this community to be able to provide additional protection to the Basin’s extraordinary ancestral pueblos, and we look forward to collaborating in the planning of a long-distance regional trail network for Santa Fe County. We thank all our partners for moving us closer to this goal.”

This project represents an exceptional partnership among the BLM, Santa Fe County, Santa Fe Conservation Trust, Galisteo Basin Preserve and other private conservation efforts. The result is a multi-partner collaboration to connect existing open spaces into a cohesive system of greenways to sustain natural systems and cultural resources, while providing recreation opportunities close to Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

The Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) made funding for the acquisition possible. The LWCF is funded by a small fraction of revenues generated by offshore oil and gas royalty payments; it is not supported with general taxpayer dollars. The Trust for Public Land negotiated and facilitated the transaction.

“This area is home to numerous sites with deep historical and cultural significance. By expanding the Galisteo Basin and conserving Burnt Corn Pueblo we can protect these historical resources, open up new land, and allow visitors from around the world to learn more about Native American and early Spanish settlement,” Senator Tom Udall, D-NM, said. “I want to thank the Trust for Public Land and the many federal, state, local and Tribal partners for their ongoing collaboration to conserve the Galisteo Basin and connect the network of sites. The LWCF continues to be critical to these cultural conservation efforts, and this project is just the latest example of why we must keep fighting for full, permanent funding.”

“The Galisteo Basin in northern New Mexico is rich in heritage with deep cultural roots,” said Senator Martin Heinrich, D-NM. “The addition of the Burnt Corn Pueblo property will allow for permanent protection of historical resources and for visitors to explore and learn more about the pueblo way of life hundreds of years before European contact. I am proud of the efforts and advocacy of pueblo leaders and community members who’ve worked with me for years to have this site preserved. LWCF is a valuable program that’s protected some of our most important public lands, and now we can add Burnt Corn Pueblo to that list. I will keep fighting for permanent reauthorization and full funding of LWCF so we can continue to conserve our heritage.”

“The Trust for Public Land along with their government and private partners are to be commended for their dedication to these important conservation efforts in the Galisteo Basin”, said Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM. “Conserving Burnt Corn Pueblo, located near modern urban communities, will make these rich cultural and historical resources accessible to visitors who come from far and wide to gain insight into Pueblo and settlement life in New Mexico. This site is part of the culture and heritage of Northern New Mexico and deserves to be permanently funded and preserved.”