Fire damage causes BLM to temporarily close Cottonwood Day Use Area

Carlsbad, N.M. – Due to fire damage, the Bureau of Land Management Carlsbad Field Office will temporarily close the Cottonwood Day Use Area, located within the BLM-managed Black River Recreation Area. On March 30, a brush fire started within the Black Rivers Recreation Area, causing damage to the Cottonwood Day Use Area. The fire destroyed approximately 150 acres of riparian habitat. Damage was done to the wildlife viewing platform, educational signage and many cottonwood trees. For public safety, the BLM will temporarily close the Cottonwood Day Use Area.

“The BLM team and our partners have worked tirelessly to maintain this popular recreation area,” said acting BLM Carlsbad Associate Field Manager Tye Bryson. “We will rebuild the areas that were damaged, which previously provided much-needed wildlife habitat and public recreational and educational opportunities.”

In addition to the BLM Pecos District Fire, the Lincoln National Forest, Eddy County Fire Department, and local volunteers assisted in containing the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown, and the investigation is ongoing.

To find alternative recreation opportunities in the area, please visit

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Carlsbad Field Office


Jillian Aragon