Wild Legacy

A Legacy of Conservation in the Pecos

The history of protection for the Pecos dates as far back as 1892, when President Harrison proclaimed the upper Pecos a Timberland Reserve for watershed protection. Then, in 1933, the Chief of the Forest Service established the Pecos Primitive Area; and on September 3, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act, creating the Pecos Wilderness.  In 1980, the New Mexico Wilderness Act added 55,000 acres to the Wilderness.

Protection of the prime watersheds of the Pecos has long been a priority for many rural and urban communities, including land grant and acequia organizations and the cities of Santa Fe and Las Vegas.  The wilderness contributes to both the Pecos and Rio Grande Watersheds, with many streams, tributaries and headwaters originating in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.