New Mexico tribe closes access to cultural landmark

COCHITI PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico Native American tribe has shut down access to a cultural and geological landmark amid concerns of “visitor abuse.”

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports ( that Cochiti Pueblo recently closed access to La Bajada that includes an abandoned stretch of Route 66 and El Camino Real, the Spanish colonial road linking Mexico City and Santa Fe.

Jacob Pecos, the pueblo’s natural resources director, says the tribe wants to protect its borders from the deterioration.

But the closure has upset nearby residents who visited the area to hike or take photographs.

Pecos said he expects the area to remain closed indefinitely but the tribe might issue permits for select users.

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