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San Luis Valley preservation powwow set for Jan. 4

The National Park Service recently completed a reconnaissance survey of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and San Luis Valley region.

Feds, state and local officials eye preservation and recreation opportunities in the San Luis Valley

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The San Luis Valley has been identified as one of three priority areas in Colorado for the Obama Administration’s Great Outdoors initiative, and this week, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet will host a meeting to discuss ongoing efforts to conserve the area’s natural and cultural resources.

Specifically, federal, state and local officials will discuss potential for National Park historic and cultural designations, a trail system proposal and landscape-level conservation and management opportunities.

The goal is for federal and state agencies to work with local stakeholders, private landowners and other partners to help conserve healthy lands and waters and promote tourism in the San Luis Valley and the Rio Grande River Corridor.

During the meeting, Secretary Salazar will discuss the recommendations in the recently released National Park Service’s San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report.

The report, requested by Salazar, identifies nationally significant American Latino heritage sites that reflect the history, culture, and traditions of the American Southwest Frontier. From Colorado’s oldest documented town to the oldest church, the report covers over 3,264,000 acres located within the San Luis Valley and central Sangre de Cristo Mountains of south-central Colorado and northern New Mexico.

The meeting will be open to the public and members of the media.

WHO: Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado
Mark Udall, U.S. Senator
Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator
WHAT: San Luis Valley Community Conversation
WHEN:  Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012
9:30 a.m. MDT  Opening Remarks
11:00 a.m. MDT  Breakout Sessions
12:30 p.m. MDT  Media Availability
*a more detailed agenda is forthcoming
WHERE: Adams State College
208 Edgemont Boulevard
Alamosa, CO 81102
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