U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Welcome to Wilderness Wednesday, our weekly posting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
This week we are highlighting the Chain of Craters Wilderness Study Area (WSA). Here, a line of more than 25 volcanic cinder cones were created when magma found a weak spot in the Earth’s crust long ago. The lower elevations are dominated by piñon and juniper woodland and give way to forests of ponderosa pine at higher elevations.
This is an area where multiple values have been recognized and received Congressional protection. The Chain of Craters WSA, El Malpais National Conservation Area, and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) all overlap here. These Congressionally-designated areas are managed through the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System - established by Congress to conserve, protect, and restore nationally-significant landscapes. We suggest a long, 6½ mile hike of the CDNST to reach the Chain of Craters WSA. The CDNST was designated to provide high quality, scenic, primitive hiking and horseback-riding experiences. The hike is entirely within the El Malpais National Conservation Area, which was designated to protect nationally-important geological, archaeological, ecological, cultural, scenic, scientific, and wilderness resources.
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|Last updated: 08-20-2014|
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