A herd of cattle in a grassy valley
A herd of cattle in a valley


Grazing continues a 100+ history of ranching in the Valles Caldera area, but must be managed to protect the purposes and values of Valles Caldera National Preserve established by its enabling legislation.

Excerpt from Enabling Legislation:

Public Law 113-291, Sec. 3043

"(6) Grazing.--The Secretary shall allow the grazing of livestock within the Preserve to continue--(A) at levels and locations determined by the Secretary to be appropriate, consistent with this section; and (B) to the extent the use furthers scientific research or interpretation of the ranching history of the Preserve."

Grazing Program Information

According to historical data, the grasslands within Valles Caldera National Preserve had a historical fire return interval of 3-12 years. Therefore, to mimic natural fire behavior to improve grassland health and forage quality for both wildlife and livestock, the NPS rests and burns the preserve’s grazing areas every ten years, during which time grazing is suspended. The NPS also monitors the preserve’s grasslands to prevent overgrazing, and if conditions become too dry, the livestock program may be delayed or cancelled for the year.

Because the park has been unable to find a suitable window to conduct prescribed burns in its grazing areas, the grazing program is suspended for the 2024 season.


Last updated: February 28, 2024

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 359
Jemez Springs, NM 87025


Ranger Station (for general park information)

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