My Public Lands

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    White Mesa Bike Trail Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument El Malpais National Conservation Area Ojito Wilderness

    APRIL IS THE MONTH OF THE MILITARY CHILD!

    To celebrate the military child, this month we will post photos and information about some of the BLM lands near or adjacent to military installations, places where military families can GET OUTSIDE and enjoy America’s Great Outdoors.

    Today, we share information about four areas managed by BLM-New Mexico  - all near Kirtland Air Force Base.

    Tucked away in rugged and scenic country southwest of the community of San Ysidro, New Mexico, is the White Mesa Bike Trails Area. Just to the west is the newly designated Ojito Wilderness. Both sites are a short distance from U.S. 550. This region is known for its geological, cultural and paleontological resources, as well as for its scenic qualities. The bike trail crosses a landscape of spectacular beauty and exceptional geology, meandering through the Pueblo of Zia, State of New Mexico, and public land managed by the BLM.

    The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument  is a remarkable outdoor laboratory, offering an opportunity to observe, study, and experience the geologic processes that shape natural landscapes.

    The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick.

    El Malpais translates to “the badlands” in Spanish. El Malpais NCA was established to protect nationally significant geological, archaeological, ecological, cultural, scenic, scientific, and wilderness resources surrounding the Grants Lava Flows.

    In addition to the two wilderness areas, the NCA includes dramatic sandstone cliffs, canyons, La Ventana Natural Arch, the Chain of Craters Back Country Byway and the Narrows Picnic Area. There are many opportunities for photography, hiking, camping and wildlife viewing within this unique NCA.

    Fossil remains of rare dinosaurs, plants and trees have been discovered in the Ojito Wilderness. They are found in the 150 million-year-old Jurassic Age Morrison Formation. Because these fossil remains of plants and animals provide critical information about life during this period, it is very important that they remain undisturbed in place until they can be collected and studied by professional paleontologists.

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