Bureau of Land Management speaks on Tent Rocks closure

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Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument has been closed for three years and remains closed.

The road to the monument runs through Cochiti Pueblo and access is currently limited to tribal members.

“That is Highway 22, or New Mexico 22, and that remains closed because Pueblo de Cochiti has their community closed to the public due to those COVID-19 restrictions,” said Jamie Garcia, outdoor recreation planner with the Bureau of Land Management.

Right now, the Cochiti golf course and lake are open to visitors, but Tent Rocks is not.

“Out of respect for their tribal sovereignty, we are not going to push them to reopen at any time,” Garcia said. “We want to make sure that they feel comfortable bringing the public back to these areas and their community.”

BLM reps said they’ve been negotiating with Cochito Pueblo officials since this past winter. Talks revolved around reopening, staffing, and over-use issues.

“We have worked on a business plan to propose increased fees as well as a reservation system,” Garcia said.

Garcia said fees haven’t increased since Bill Clinton designated it a national monument in 2001.

There is now a Tent Rocks page on recreation.gov. Timed ticketing or capping the number of visitors are all options on the table.

“We are thinking of all of this very holistically and trying to reopen in the best way possible to provide the best visitor experience possible,” Garcia said.

KOB 4 reached out to the governor of Cochiti Pueblo, but did not receive a response.