BLM New Mexico COVID-19 Information Update

The Department of the Interior’s current COVID-19 policy incorporates CDC guidance. As CDC science-based guidance changes, our policy will adapt. Visitors have always been encouraged by DOI to review CDC guidance when making their plans to recreate responsibly. CDC guidance indicates that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations. Unvaccinated people must wear a mask indoors in DOI buildings at all times and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained. All people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation and in healthcare settings on DOI lands. We will continue to ask visitors to follow CDC guidance to recreate responsibly.

The latest information on changes to facilities and services in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) is available here.

View the alert: BLM New Mexico COVID-19 Information Update

Fort Stanton–Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area

The Fort Stanton - Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area (NCA) was established in 2009 to protect, conserve, and enhance the unique and nationally important historic, cultural, scientific, archaeological, natural, and educational subterranean cave resources of the Fort Stanton - Snowy River Cave system.

The NCA was once known as the Fort Stanton Military Reservation.  In 1855, the U.S. Army established Fort Stanton as an Infantry and Cavalry post in the east-central New Mexico Territory to protect settlers in the region. 

Within the NCA is Fort Stanton Cave, at over 31 miles, it is the second longest cave in New Mexico, the 14th longest cave in the U.S., the 62th longest in the world, and the largest cave managed by the BLM.

Snowy River is a significant passage within Fort Stanton Cave, and is the longest cave formation in the world.  Today, approximately 15 miles of previously unknown passage have been mapped, without reaching the end. 

Quick Facts

Public Law

Created: March 30, 2009

Size: 25,080 acres of public land

Contact Information

Roswell Field Office
2909 West 2nd Street
Roswell, NM  88201-2019

White Nose Syndrome

Due to the threat of White Nose Syndrome (WNS), which has killed 8 million bats in the eastern and southern states, and has been identified nearby in Texas, the Fort Stanton Cave has been placed in a recreational caving moratorium pending research and monitoring of the unwanted arrival of WNS.