Alibi V.13 No.16 • April 15-21, 2004 

Feature

Plundering a New Mexico Treasure

Houston-based El Paso Corporation hopes to use close ties to the White House to gain drilling access to Valle Vidal. But not without a fight.

Talk to anyone who's spent at least an hour there, or to many of the area residents who have spent decades exploring the area, and they'll tell you the Valle Vidal is one of the most beautiful places in New Mexico. It's got 2,500 elk. It's got wild turkeys. Its got Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout, the second largest Bristlecone Pine Tree in the world, and has even been ranked third best camping area in America (according to GORP.com). It's got excellent mountain biking, an awesome geological feature known as the rock wall, forested peaks, flowing meadows and clear mountain streams. It's got 750,000 Boy Scout alumni with memories of a 12-day outdoor adventure there or at the neighboring Philmont Boy Scout Ranch. More than 2,700 people from around the world apply for a chance to hunt elk there every year.

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