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Hiring delays force New Mexico preserve to limit hours

May 15, 2019

JEMEZ SPRINGS, N.M. (AP) — A shortage of seasonal workers is forcing Valles Caldera National Preserve to delay the start of its summer hours.

Preserve officials said Tuesday that a backlog in government background clearances has pushed back the arrival of the seasonal staff needed to operate the extended hours.

Until the workers arrive, Valles Caldera will remain under the winter hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Officials also say access to the backcountry is limited since spring runoff washed out a culvert on the main road through the center of the northern New Mexico preserve, making it impassable by vehicle.

Preserve Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos says Valles Caldera has received emergency funding from the National Park Service to repair the road.