Army Corps to suspend recreation at Jemez Dam overlook

National Parks Valles Caldera
FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2010 file photo, the East Fork of the Jemez River cuts through Valles Caldera National Preserve, N.M. The National Park Service is preparing to take over the 140-square-mile preserve under legislation signed by President Barack Obama on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan,File)

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – Recreation will soon be off limits at the Jemez Canyon Dam overlook.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it’s temporarily closing the day-use area so the agency can assess the long-term viability for recreation while maintaining the area’s cultural resources and infrastructure.

The closure begins Nov. 30. It could be next fall before the situation is re-evaluated.

The overlook includes a picnic area with views of the Jemez Mountains. The access road also is popular among cyclists and motorcyclists.

Since the agency released the water that had been held behind the dam more than a decade ago, the costs associated with operation and maintenance of the day-use area increased disproportionately with visitation.

Officials say at least one recreation season is necessary to adequately assess the impact of the suspension.

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