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Contact: Bridget Litten, 505.785.3024
Carlsbad Caverns National Park Superintendent John Benjamin announced today that the park would unveil The Secret Behind the Enchantment, an exhibit commemorating all of New Mexico’s national park units and the centennial of the Antiquities Act.
The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorized the President to designate areas of historic or scientific interest as national monuments. The Act was passed in response to growing concerns over looting of Native American archaeological sites, such as Bandelier and Chaco Canyon, and made it possible for such areas to be granted immediate protection by the President without having to be designated as national parks by Congress.
Many large national parks, including Carlsbad Caverns, were first designated as national monuments and therefore owe their original protected status to the Antiquities Act. Carlsbad Caverns was designated as a national monument on October 25, 1923. It was not until May 14, 1930, that the area became a national park.
New Mexico’s other national park units include Aztec Ruins National Monument, Bandelier National Monument, Capulin Volcano National Monument, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, El Malpais National Monument, El Morro National Monument, Fort Union National Monument, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Pecos National Historical Park, Petroglyph National Monument, Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument and White Sands National Monument.
The Secret Behind the Enchantment will be unveiled on Monday, April 10, at 8:30 a.m., in the park visitor center. Because New Mexico is “The Land of Enchantment” and because much of the enchantment stems from its 13 national park units, the Antiquities Act can be seen as “the secret behind the enchantment.” Everyone is invited to attend the unveiling; refreshments will be provided.The exhibit will also be set up at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park, in Carlsbad, on Saturday, April 8, as part of March for Parks and Earth Day activities.
The exhibit, created by park interpretation and education division staff, will only be at Carlsbad Caverns for a short time, then it will travel on to New Mexico’s other national park units and various other locations around New Mexico over the course of the year.
For more information, please contact Amy Eberhart Roemer at 505.785.3141 or Terry Burton at 505.785.3139.