Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

land in recovery.(Journal North)

Byline: Patrick Miller For the Journal

Wounded by excessive mining, property in Ortiz Mountains is turned into a preserve

Archaeological evidence suggests that humans first passed through this rugged land as far back as 12,000 years ago, but recent human history has put this 1,350-acre preserve in the Ortiz Mountains on the map.

The Cerrillos Hills are home to some of the oldest gold and lead mines in the United States, and the preserve is chock-full of abandoned mine shafts, tunnels and the infrastructure that kept the industry humming from the early 1800s through the 1980s. The tunnels and shafts have been sealed or cordoned off, but the land still bears the scars of what Todd Brown, a docent for Santa Fe Botanical Garden, which runs the preserve, calls "gold fever. …

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