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 42 miles, it is the second longest cave in New Mexico, the 10th 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.

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
575-627-0272

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.