ALAMOSA — When Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar comes to Adams State College on Jan. 4, he'll come armed with a report he hopes can convince Congress and the National Park Service that Southern Colorado's Hispanic heritage is worthy of their attention.
The 56-page survey argues that the settlement of a 5,100 square-mile area, once part of the Mexican frontier, made up a significant chapter in American history that has left a legacy found today in the region's, language, art, religion and agriculture.
The area includes parts of Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla and Saguache counties, reaches across the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to take in parts of Huerfano and Las Animas counties and extends south into two northern New Mexico counties.
It would be up to the Park Service, with direction from Congress,
to determine whether it would be feasible or suitable to bring the
area into the park system and whether it required direct management
from the agency.