President’s message – October 2015

The end of September marked the transfer of the Valles Caldera from management by a trust to management by the National Park Service. It also marked the end of the Land and Water Conservation Fund as Congress failed to reauthorize it. Thus fund made purchase of the Valles Caldera possible. In its 50 year existence it provided funding for a wide array of projects including purchase of public access to trout fishing waters.
October is the month you can find out where the big browns are because they will be spawning. If you find a redd the trout will either be spawning on it or will be near it. You may be able to see those big ones that you suspected were in a section of stream and may even be able to catch one. However, they are very wary when spawning and will run for cover if they are disturbed.

October is also the month that we start having our monthly general meetings. As in past years the meetings will be held on the second Tuesdays of the month at Sandia Prep and will start at 7:00 pm. We have lots of good programs planned and lots of door prizes so plan on attending.

In my last epistle I wrote about the Valles Caldera and how it came to be what it is today. However I only wrote about half of the story. The rest of the story is as follows: After several years of negotiation between the Dunigan family, congress, and the Forest Service the family said they would accept the $101,000 million that the family had had the property appraised for. However, the General accounting Office had the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conduct an appraisal of the Ranch. This appraisal priced the Ranch at about half as much from what the family had it appraised for. The difference between the two appraisals was that the family’s appraisal considered private development of the property and the Service’s appraisal only considered existing uses, primarily grazing and elk hunting. This situation created an impasse that could have put an end to negotiations.<
However, the Dunigan boys met with New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici who had come up with the idea of having purchase of the Ranch, at the $101,000 million cost, contingent upon it being operated similar to the Presido Trust in California. On July 12, 2000, the House of Representatives passed by 377 to 45 margin The Valles Caldera Preservation Act that put the Ranch in public ownership and under the management of a nine member Board of Trusties appointed by the President of the United States.

Tight Lines,
Jerry Burton, President NMT

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