In creating the Valles Caldera National Preserve from a unique parcel of land in north-central New Mexico, and by creating the Valles Caldera Trust as a wholly owned government corporation to manage the preserve, the Valles Caldera Preservation Act of 2000 established a 20-year public-private experiment to operate the preserve without continued federal funding. The Trust is charged with achieving a number of goals, including becoming financially self-sustaining by the end of fiscal year 2015. This report, GAO's second and last mandated by the Preservation Act, examines (1) the Trust's progress since 2000; (2) the extent to which the Trust has fulfilled certain of its obligations as a government corporation; and (3) the challenges the Trust faces to achieve the Preservation Act's goals. GAO analyzed documents, financial records, and other Trust information and interviewed current and former members of the Trust's Board and staff, as well as representatives of local interest groups and stakeholders.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Valles Caldera Trust||To help further the Trust's efforts toward becoming a financially self-sustaining government corporation, the Trust's Chairman of the Board and Executive Director should work with the relevant congressional committees to seek legislative remedies, as appropriate, for the legal challenges confronting the Trust.|