NPS Digest announced yesterday that Big Spring Creek has been named as the newest National Natural Landmark. The creek runs along the western portion of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, approximately 30 miles north of Alamosa, Colorado.
Few spring-fed creeks exist in the area and Big Spring Creek is unusual in that it still maintains a natural flow pattern. The meandering creek and surrounding eolian landforms at this site provide excellent examples of natural geologic and hydrologic patterns. The new designation provides increased educational value and added consideration for these special resources during planning efforts as the National Park Service strives to achieve a model standard of excellence in natural resource stewardship.
Big Spring Creek is the 13th NNL within Colorado and brings the total number of NNLs designated nationwide over the past 50 years to 594. The NNL program was established in 1962 by Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall as a way to highlight the diversity of natural features that comprise our nation’s natural heritage. The NNL program is the only nationwide natural areas program that recognizes significant biological and geological features in both public and private ownership.
The NPS works in partnership with NNL landowners and honors the dedication of the various federal, state, county, municipal, tribal and private landowners that wisely steward their lands, which carry the NNL designation. Through advocacy and technical assistance, the NPS is pleased to be a part of supporting the conservation of these nationally significant sites for the past half-century.
For more information about recent designations and the NNL Program, please visit the NNL program website.