A bear cub rescued in May 1950 from a forest fire in the Capitan Mountains, located in Lincoln National Forest, became famous as Smokey Bear, living symbol of forest fire prevention. Named for Kit Carson, noted frontier scout, the Carson National Forest includes the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the highest point in the Southwest, Wheeler Peak. The Cibola National Forest encompasses four wilderness areas in central New Mexico: the Sandia Mountain, Manzano Mountain, Withington, and Apache Kid wildernesses. The Gila National Forest contains vast areas of rugged mountain ranges, little affected by civilization, and includes the Gila Wilderness Area. The Santa Fe National Forest is crowned by the spectacular Pecos Wilderness Area. Also in the state is the Kiowa National Grasslands and seven national wildlife preserves. Many migratory birds can be seen at the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge on the Río Grande in central New Mexico.
New Mexico has 33 state parks and recreational areas. The state parks at Bluewater, Bottomless, Conchas, Elephant Butte, Navajo, and Storrie lakes have facilities for a variety of water sports. City of Rocks State Park has a desert setting, and Hyde Memorial State Park is in a forest high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Ruins of old pueblos are found at Jemez and Coronado state monuments, both located northwest of the town of Bernalillo. The state maintains the Old Lincoln County Courthouse, from which Billy the Kid escaped in 1881. El Palacio State Monument, the Palace of the Governors, is in Santa Fe. This adobe structure, built around 1610, served as the seat of government during the successive periods of Spanish, Mexican, and finally U.S. territorial rule. "New Mexico" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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