The National Historic Landmarks Committee in Washington D.C. has voted to add the Trujillo Homesteads in the San Luis Valley as a National Historic Landmark. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, is expected to sign the recommendation. The Trujillo Homesteads encompass two 19th century ranching properties located within The Nature Conservancy’s 103,000 acre Medano Zapata ranch, adjacent to Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado.
“We believe this designation will strongly enhance our future conservation, education and outreach efforts, “says Peter Ericson, Western Colorado Program Director for the Conservancy. “The homesteads have incredible archaeological values including a carefully reconstructed log home and many artifacts including a hand grinding stone, kerosene can and square nails, illustrating the history of sheep ranching by the Trujillo family in the San Luis Valley. The Medano Zapata Ranch is also home to rare plants such as the Slender spiderflower and insects such the Great Sand Dunes tiger beetle, found nowhere else in the world!
Since purchasing the Medano Zapata Ranch in 1999, The Nature Conservancy has collaborated with community members and a variety of partners including the National Park Service and University of Colorado’s College of Architecture and Planning, to protect its many historic characteristics. Additionally, the Conservancy has raised money to help preserve significant properties on Zapata Ranch including the Pedro Trujillo homestead.
“The Conservancy is optimistic this recognition will not only protect this spectacular and important landscape,” adds Ericson. “It will open doors for more educational opportunities for students, partners and community members. In light of the rich history of the Trujillo Homesteads, we’re excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.”
The 35.2acres include the 1865 Teofilo and Andrellita Trujillo Homestead and the 1879 homestead of their son and his wife, Pedro and Sofia Trujillo. Teofilo was one of the first Hispanic ranches to settle in the San Luis Valley and was one of the area’s largest sheep raisers. He became the target of Anglo-American intimidation and his house was burned to the ground. In 1897, following the destruction and sale of his father's property, Pedro Trujillo established his homestead.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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