Bureau of Land Management Sites in New Mexico

  • Angel Peak National Recreation Area
  • Cabezon Peak Wilderness Study Area
  • Ignacio Chavez Special Management Area
  • Orilla Verde National Recreation Area
Fossilized footprint from Prehistoric Trackways National Monument
Dinosaur track from Prehistoric
Trackways National Monument

In the list of BLM sites below you will find Wilderness Areas and Wilderness Study Areas. For the most part, Wilderness Areas and Wilderness Study Areas forbid access by all motorized or mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes and hang gliders). That's because they are areas that retain an essential primeval character and are mostly undisturbed by the actions of modern man. Wilderness Study Areas have been determined to meet the basic criteria for designation as Wilderness Areas but Congress has yet to take action on formally making that designation. The Bureau of Land Management manages 4 designated Wilderness Areas and 59 Wilderness Study Areas in New Mexico.

There are quite a few BLM sites in New Mexico that are primarily for Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use. OHVs include dirt bikes, ATVs, rock crawlers, some motorcycles, etc. In New Mexico, that means if you aren't somehow exempted by the New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles, your vehicle must be registered and carry a license plate on it. Drivers must also have a valid driver's license or learner's permit, or be directly under the supervision of a licensed person at least 18 years old, or be certified by the state as being competent to drive OHVs as a result of passing a state approved operator's training program.

Anyone between the ages of 13 and 69 needs to have a Habitat Improvement Stamp in order to fish on BLM lands in New Mexico.

Bureau of Land Management Sites


Wilderness Study Areas

Most photos courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management
Some photos courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License

Geologic Time Scale

A view of the actual K-T Boundary embedded in the sandstone near Trinidad, Colorado
The K-T Boundary is that white band beneath the upper layer of sandstone
Subdivisions based on Strata/Age Radiometric Dates (millions of years ago)
Neogene 0-2
Paleogene 2-65
Laramide Orogeny 63-65
Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction Event 65
Cretaceous 65-145
Jurassic 145-210
Triassic 210-255
Permian-Triassic extinction event 251-260
Permian 255-280
Alleghenian Orogeny 260-325
Carboniferous: 280-360
Pennsylvanian 280-320
Mississippian 320-360
Devonian 360-415
Silurian 415-465
Ordovician 465-520
Cambrian 520-540
Precambrian Eons 541-4600
Proterozoic 541-2,500
Archean 2,500-4,000
Hadean 4,000-4,600

The table to the right gives a rough breakdown of the geological ages of Earth as used in modern Geology texts.

Much of the oil and gas we use comes from vegetative deposits made during the Permian and Pennsylvanian (late Carboniferous) ages. A lot of the coal we use (with its accompanying methane gas) comes from the great jungles and forests of the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian (early and late Carboniferous) ages in the Paleozoic era. Big reptiles and dinosaurs lived out their lives during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods of the Mesozoic Era.

It was at the end of the Cretaceous Age that the Laramide Orogeny was set in motion, the Colorado Plateau uplifted and the Ancestral Rocky Mountains built. That was also during the time when an asteroid impacted near the Yucatan Peninsula and tipped the environmental scale in a direction that wiped virtually all the dinosaurs from the face of the planet. The K-T Boundary is a thin layer of iridium that filled the atmosphere during that explosion, then fell back to Earth during the global fires and the atmospheric upheaval afterward. While there have been plenty of marine, insect, reptile, amphibian, plant and mammal fossils found from times since, there has never been a dinosaur fossil found from the years after that impact. The K-T boundary is accepted as the definitive marker between the Cretaceous and Tertiary Ages, the marker of the Jurassic extinction event.

The Permian-Triassic extinction event seems to have happened in two major pulses about 9 million years apart. During the Permian age many insect orders had grown huge. A rise in CO2 in the atmosphere led to a rise in temperature and to acidification of the oceans. Marine invertebrates with carbon-based skeletons suffered worst but this was also the only mass extinction that affected insects: eight or nine insect orders became extinct and ten more suffered greatly reduced diversity. Insects, however, had generally recovered by the late Triassic, everything but that giant size anyway. The second pulse seems to have occurred around the time of the Araguainha impact, an asteroidal impact in Brazil that was not large enough to set off catastrophic extinction by itself but it occurred in an area filled with oil shale and the resulting sudden rise in global warming from the fires that ignited may have begun the atmospheric cascade that led to ocean surface temperatures around 104°F (40°C). That high an ocean temperature meant it was too hot for many marine species to survive. When it was over, more than 70% of terrestrial species and almost 90% of marine species had died out. Some land ecosystems took 30 million years to recover.

Photo of the K-T Boundary courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 4.0 License