National Park Service’s Pueblo Parks Group Implements Stage II Fire Restrictions

Due to the increased risk of wildfire in the region, the Pueblo Parks Group, which includes Bandelier National Monument, Fort Union National Monument, Pecos National Historical Park, and Valles Caldera National Preserve, will enter Stage II fire restrictions on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 8:00 AM. These restrictions are necessary to help land management agencies reduce fire risk and prevent wildfires.
Under Stage II restrictions:
• All fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal grills, and coal and wood stoves. The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, propane grills, or heating devices is allowed three feet or more from flammable material such as grasses or pine needles.
• Smoking is prohibited, except in enclosed vehicles or buildings.
• Welding or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame is prohibited.
• Operating or using any internal combustion engine off paved or graveled roads is prohibited. Generators are allowed if equipped with an approved spark arresting device and used in an area that is barren or clear of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the generator.
• The use of all firearms and explosives are prohibited, including but not limited to, fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and tracers or incendiary ammunition.
• The operation of motor vehicles off established roads, motorized trails or established parking areas is prohibited, except when parking in an area devoid or vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.
Several criteria are used to determine when to implement fire restrictions, including fire activity levels, current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, and the availability of firefighting resources. Fire restriction criteria are routinely evaluated, and restrictions could be upgraded or downgraded at any time. Therefore, visitors should check the park’s website for alerts. Know before you go. Fire restrictions in New Mexico can be found at www.firerestrictions.us/nm and fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at https://www.nmfireinfo.com.

Pecos NHP Offers Free Lecture: The Battle of Glorieta Pass: Gettysburg of the West?

Pecos, NM:  At first glance, the similarities are intriguing; Both Gettysburg and the Battle of Glorieta Pass involved Confederate invasions of Union territory, occurred over a three-day period, and resulted in Union strategic victories.

Civil War Glorieta Battlefield
Photo credit: Stan Ford – fotosbyford.com

Both Glorieta and Gettysburg are Class A battlefields, a designation given only to sites of decisive conflicts. Despite all this, is it possible that their differences are more significant than their similarities? Let’s talk about it on Thursday, March 26th at 7:00 p.m. at the Vista Grande Public Library!

Dr. Claudia Floyd is retired Professor of History at Stevenson University in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a volunteer at Monocacy National Battlefield and is now a volunteer at Pecos National Historical Park and a guide at the New Mexico History Museum.

Please note, this program will take place at the Vista Grande Public Library, which is located at 14 Avenida Torreon, Santa Fe, NM 87508.  Space is limited, so please arrive early.

For more information about the park contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like on us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).

2020 Civil War Encampment – March 28th

2020 Civil War Encampment

Schedule of Events and Location

Pecos, NM:  The annual Civil War Encampment at Pecos National Historical Park will take place Saturday, March 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This free, family-friendly event will bring to life the experience of the Civil War in New Mexico.  Interact with living history participants, take a ride in a horse-drawn wagon, witness black powder demonstrations, and hear speakers share their expertise on life during the Civil War in the West.  Children of all ages can make crafts, play historical games, and meet the snakes from the American International Rattlesnake Museum.

Schedule of Events:

Black Powder Demonstration

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

See, hear and experience the power of black powder weapons like rifles, cannon and muskets.

Kids’ Activities

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Stop by the kids’ tent to create and decorate a 19th century optical illusion toy called a thaumatrope, re-create the Pecos Valley during the Battle of Glorieta with Lincoln Logs, toy soldiers, and horses or have a friendly competition playing the popular Civil War-era game of quoits.

Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Civil War Encampment at Pecos National Historical ParkTravel back in time as you enjoy a free horse-drawn wagon rides between the Visitor Center and the encampment field. The horse rides are a popular attraction, so be sure to arrive early!

 Lecture: Field Artillery of the Civil War

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Field artillery provided a heavy punch with a long reach to both Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Ken Dusenberry of the Artillery Company of New Mexico will break down the basics of how and why artillery was used in the 19th century with a specific emphasis on the types of artillery used in the Battle of Glorieta and the Battle of Valverde.

 

Live Snakes!

12:00 p.m. -12:45 p.m.

Join the American International Rattlesnake Museum for a live snake presentation.  Learn more about the vital role that snakes play in this rugged environment, the challenges they face, and what we can do to be safe around our slithering neighbors.

 Black Powder Demonstration

Civil War Encampment at Pecos National Historical Park

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

See, hear and experience the power of black powder weapons like rifles, cannon and muskets.

 

All events are free and open to the public.  From I-25 N: Take the Pecos/Glorieta Exit, #299. Left onto overpass, right onto Route 50; proceed on Route 50 for eight miles. At the village of Pecos, take a right at the four-way stop onto Route 63. In two miles, the park will be on your right. From I-25 S: Take the Rowe Exit, #307. Follow signs. From Highway 63, the park will be on your left. Please be sure to check in at the information tent upon arrival to confirm event locations and times.  

Civil War Encampment Many thanks to park partners including the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park, Western National Parks Association, the Artillery Company of New Mexico, the 9th Texas Infantry Unit, 4th Texas Mounted Volunteers, the Civil War Ladies League  and the 3rd NM Volunteers Living History Unit from Fort Union National Monument for their invaluable help with this event.

 For more information about the park in general, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like on us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or follow us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).

Save the Date: Farolito Walk and Las Posadas at Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos, NM:– Join us this December for a two-night holiday event at Pecos National Historical Park. Together with the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park, St. Anthony’s Parish, and Western National Parks Association, the park will offer a Farolito Walk on Monday, December 16th and Las Posadas festivities on Tuesday, December 17th.  Both events are free.

Farolito Walk

Monday, December 16th

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

This laid-back evening will offer visitors the opportunity to leisurely take in the magic and ambiance of more than 3500 farolitos. Enjoy the peace and quiet of a winter’s evening as you follow the illuminated 1-mile trail to the Spanish Mission Church and pueblo. Start your visit at the event tent that will be located outside the E.E. Fogelson Visitor Center.  There you will find refreshments, warming stations, and the trailhead.

Las PosadasLas Posadas - Pecos National Historical Park

Tuesday, December 17th

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

This evening offers a more traditional Las Posadas experience.  Horse-drawn wagon rides will begin at 5:15 p.m.  The procession will begin at the remnants of the 18th century church and convento at 6:00 p.m. and wind down the trail to the visitor center with the group singing traditional hymns and holiday songs in both English and Spanish. More than 3,500 farolitos will illuminate the trail. Free hot beverages and biscochitos will be served at the event tent.

In Spanish, las posadas means “inns” or “shelters,” and represents the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and their search for shelter. St. Anthony’s Parish in Pecos carries on this northern New Mexico tradition every December. Pecos National Historical Park will be just one stop during this novena, or nine-day event.

Please note, these events are almost entirely outdoors; appropriate winter clothing and flashlights are highly recommended.

The Western National Parks Association bookstore, which is located inside the Visitor Center will be open both evenings until 8:00 p.m.  The bookstore, which will be offering a holiday sale during both events, features arts and crafts from local artists, a large selection of books, and a new line of educational earth science games.

For more information, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco.

Glorieta Pass Battlefield Monument Clean Up

There have been many discussions between Park Superintendent Karl Cordova and Friends President, Bill Zunkel about how to improve the Battlefield monument site on NM 50.  It started with the contributions of the Friends Group to seek funding to erect a stone and bronze monument honoring the brave volunteers of New Mexico who fought in the Battle of Glorieta Pass.  Then discussions of ways to improve the aesthetics of the site, since it was previously surrounded by unmanaged dirt.  Bill Zunkel suggested that enhancing this site with youth would be a win-win activity.  Karl suggested that it would make an excellent Eagle Scout project for our local Boy Scout troop. Karl was able to talk Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Cordova to take on this project. It should be mentioned that he did a biographical report on Manuel Chaves and his role in the Battle while in the 5th grade, Ryan is now going into the 10th grade.  The original plan was to have Ryan and his fellow scouts complete this project in June or July, 2019.
In April, 2019, Pecos NHP was contacted by the National Park Trust asking us to consider hosting a “Kids in the Park” Day along with their Junior Ranger Ambassador, Brian Wilson on May 18.  The National Park Trust is a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization who supports the National Park Service mission in many different ways. One of their new programs is the Junior Ranger Ambassador program, where they select youth from across the country to advocate for kids becoming more involved with parks. Brian was selected due to his visits to over 160 NPS units and level of media attention that follows him and his blog site.  Brian elected to choose Pecos NHP as his first Ambassador program.  There are several requirements from the National Park Trust, and one of them includes Brian participating in a conservation project. At the time that we were asked to participate in Brian’s program, we only had one conservation project that was applicable to kids and this was the Civil War Monument site enhancement project. We had to quickly complete the required compliance and planning and develop a youth oriented conservation day, with Ryan’s help. Park staff assisted the project with procuring and installing a low rock wall and providing some supplies and material. Ryan organized and supervised the labor staff using scouts, leaders and Brian.  Ryan developed a site plan, list of materials and a labor plan to accomplish the project by 1 PM that day.  The goal was met with the hard work and dedication of youth and leaders.
Another requirement of the Junior Ranger Ambassador Day, is that the park and Brian must host fun and educational activities for local and visiting youth. With the cooperation of Brian and his family, the park suggested hosting a raptor education program to be conducted by the New Mexico Wildlife Center, and the New Mexico State Museum staff cooperated by providing a primitive hunting workshop, and traditional jewelry making demonstrations at the park visitor center. These were all accomplished with great success and with very little time for planning and coordinating.  Additionally, a television program “Travels with Darley” requested to capture the conservation project along with an interpretive/on camera ranger presentation to be an upcoming episode on her program. The “Travels with Darley” program airs on PBS and Amazon Prime.

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Starry Nights and Intro to Night Photography at Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos, NM:– Join us for an evening under the wonderful Western sky on Saturday, May 4th at Pecos National Historical Park near the 18th century mission church.

Brass Band Music and Night Sky Viewing

7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Kick off the evening with the Santa Fe Brass Quintet as they perform a star-themed 30-minute music session at 7:30! Afterward, park staff will bring out telescopes and binoculars to gaze at the stars and check out Venus, Jupiter, and other planets. Visitors are also invited to bring their own telescopes and spotting scopes to explore the night skies. This event is weather-dependent and red-bulb flashlights and appropriate clothing are strongly recommended. No reservations are required, but parking is limited to the first 40 vehicles for this event.

Introduction to Night Photography – Methods and Practice

6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Park volunteer and former Pecos National Historical Park artist-in-residence, Stan Pecos Mission - Kiva night view - Stan FordFord, will lead an introductory night photography session for a limited number of participants. Participants should plan to bring their own manual mode-enabled cameras, tripods, red-bulb flashlights, and weather-appropriate clothing. Reservations are required and space is extremely limited; please call the visitor center at 505-757-7241 to make reservations. The class will cover basic methods of nighttime photography at the Pecos Room by the Visitor Center starting at 6:30 and will be followed by practice at the Church area around 7:30.

The park entrance gate will open at 6:00 p.m. and will shut at 8:00 p.m. Please note that after 8:00 no further entry will be permitted. 

You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or follow us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).

 

Pecos NHP and National Park Trust Host Kids to Parks Day Events

Pecos, NM: Pecos National Historical Park is honored to have been selected to host a Kids to Parks Day event in conjunction with National Park Trust and Buddy Bison Student Ambassador Bryan Wilson. Kids to Parks Day is a nationwide celebration of the great outdoors organized by National Park Trust and is designed to connect kids and families with their local, state, and national parks and public lands. Together, we invite you to help us celebrate at Pecos National Historical Park on Saturday, May 18th.

Schedule of Free Family Events:

 Junior Ranger Activity Books

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Families and children of all ages are invited to earn their Junior Ranger badges, pins, and patches. Challenge yourself with the Junior Angler Book, Pecos Junior Ranger Book, the Not-So-Junior Ranger Activity Book, the Santa Fe Trail Junior Ranger Book, or the Wagon Master Junior Ranger. Junior Rangers will have fun rolling up their sleeves and trying their hands at fish printing and corn grinding with a mano and metate! Kids who complete any of the Junior Ranger Books will receive a free plush Buddy Bison from National Park Trust. (Supplies are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis).  All kids are encouraged to enter the free raffle to win wonderful prizes courtesy of Western National Parks Association.

 

New Mexico Wildlife Center Presents: Wild New Mexico

1:00 p.m. – 1:45p.m.

Join us as we meet some unique animal ambassadors from the New Mexico Wildlife Center including snakes and raptors.

 

 

Yucca Sandal Making Workshop with Mary Weahkee

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Come learn how to make yucca sandals in the style of the Ancestral Puebloans with Archaeologist Mary Weahkee, who is a member of both Santa Clara Pueblo and the Comanche Nation and is an Assistant Archaeologist for New Mexico’s Office of Archaeological Studies.

 

 

About Junior Ranger Ambassador Bryan Wilson

In May of 2018, Bryan Wilson was named a Buddy Bison Student Ambassador for the National Park Trust, one of four in the country, to promote public lands and share what he learns. He represents National Park Trust by supporting its mission and programs. He is a steward of our parks and loves to discover different public lands and waters and share what he learns with other kids. On May 18th, he will kick off his Kids to Parks Day event by partnering with Santa Fe Boy Scout Troop 414 and local Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Cordova on a conservation service project related to the park’s three Civil War Monuments.

 About National Park Trust

National Park Trust (NPT) is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. NPT is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of protecting national parks through land acquisition, and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by getting kids to parks. Since 1983, NPT has completed 70 land projects in 31 states, 1 US Territory, and Washington, DC. This school year, NPT will provide an estimated 25,000 under-served kids with park trips through their nationally recognized Buddy Bison Programs and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest, both of which support Title I schools. Learn more at www.parktrust.org.

 Many thanks to Eastern National Parks Association, Western National Parks Association, National Park Trust, New Mexico Wildlife Center, and Boy Scout Troop 414 for their invaluable assistance.

Park Offers Forked Lightning Ranch Open House

 Don’t miss your chance to visit one of northern New Mexico’s most iconic locations—the Forked Lightning Ranch.  On Saturday, May 11th, Pecos National Historical Park will open up the Ranch House from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for visitors to explore at their leisure.  The Forked Lightning Ranch, which overlooks a wild stretch of the Pecos River, is steeped in history.  Once home to such notable personalities as rodeo promoter Tex Austin and Hollywood actress Greer Garson, the ranch house transports you back to the formative years of dude ranching in the Southwest.  Rangers will be on site to help answer questions and to orient visitors to this architectural gem.

Please note, space is limited to a total of 50 vehicles.  Access to the ranch is down a 1.5 mile dirt road.  For safety reasons, parking reservations are required. For more information and to make reservations, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241.

For more information about the park in general, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like on us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).