Carson National Forest
|Carson National Forest|
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Carson National Forest
|Location||New Mexico, USA|
|Nearest city||Taos, NM|
|Area||1,391,674 acres (5,631.90 km2)|
|Established||July 1, 1908|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
Carson National Forest is a national forest in northern New Mexico, United States. It encompasses 6,070 square kilometers (1.5 million acres) and is administered by the United States Forest Service. The Forest Service's "mixed use" policy allows for its use for recreation, grazing, and resource extraction.
The forest was once inhabited by the Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) people, who left ruins of adobe dwellings and other artifacts at an archaeological site now called Pot Creek Cultural Site. Some areas of the forest were formerly lands granted to settlers by the Spanish monarchy and the Mexican government. After the Mexican-American War, the national forest was established, and was named for American pioneer Kit Carson. In 1967, the Alianza Federal de Mercedes, an organization dedicated to the restoration of Spanish and Mexican land grants, occupied Echo Amphitheater, an area of the forest in an attempt to recreate a historic land grant community. The occupants were evicted for overstaying camping permits. In 1982, the forest grew by 405 square kilometers (100,000 acres) when the Pennzoil corporation donated the Valle Vidal Unit to the American people.
- Chama River Canyon Wilderness (mostly in Santa Fe NF)
- Columbine-Hondo Wilderness (proposed)
- Cruces Basin Wilderness
- Latir Peak Wilderness
- Pecos Wilderness (mostly in Santa Fe NF)
- Wheeler Peak Wilderness
The forest is located mainly in Rio Arriba (63.4% of acreage) and Taos (34.65%) counties, but smaller areas extend eastward into western Mora and Colfax counties. Forest headquarters are located in Taos, New Mexico. There are local ranger district offices in Bloomfield, Canjilon, El Rito, Penasco, Questa, and Tres Piedras.
- "Land Areas of the National Forest System". U.S. Forest Service. January 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- "The National Forests of the United States". ForestHistory.org. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- USFS Ranger Districts by State
- Davis, Richard C. (September 29, 2005), PDF (341 KB), Forest History Society
- Carson National Forest - US Forest Service