The last weekend in August a diverse group of 30 plus outdoor lovers gathered in the Valles Caldera National Monument to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and reconnect with nature.
The New Mexico Wildlife Federation was thrilled to be able to host this event with the help of NPS, the New Mexico Youth Conservation Foundation, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Trout Unlimited, and New Mexico Trout so families could come out and learn more about our park system and practice archery and fly fishing!
On Friday night, the group camped at Banco Bonito campground, showed a condensed version of Ken Burn’ National Parks: America’s Best Idea documentary, and made s’mores under the Milky Way. Saturday, the group, up bright and early smelling coffee and breakfast burritos being made by longtime member Julian Gonzalez. Afterward, it was time to head over the archery station, where NMYCF gave the kids a hunter safety lesson and practiced their aim. In the afternoon vans brought people into the backcountry of the Caldera to fly-tie, practice their fly-fishing skills, and enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. The group was very excited to have a representative from Senator Martin Heinrich’s office joining us on Friday night to camp and take a fly-fishing lesson on Saturday.
Learn more about why this was such a special event in the Los Alamos Monitor.
After the public event, the evening transitioned to our annual Sportsmen’s Summit where different organizations and agencies discuss the issues that matter to the sportsmen and women of New Mexico for the coming year. We were very excited to have representatives from the National Park Service and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish discuss candidly how they can work together to manage the park and make hunting and fishing more accessible to everyone. Almost 30 people from across New Mexico and from a variety of organizations attended, despite an intense rainstorm happening outside our tent – it was definitely one of the more exciting meetings.