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Oil well pad converted into campsite at NM national park

September 25, 2020 GMT

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A former oil and gas well pad has been converted into a campground for visitors to Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park in New Mexico.

The new campground will comprise 174,240 square feet (16,187 square meters) of land, with five RV spots and six spaces for tents, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported. Access to the campsite is free and available first-come, first-served.

Doug Neighbor, superintendent at the Carlsbad Caverns national park, said the camping facilities will provide an essential service to the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors to the area.

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“Pretty much most of the escarpment around here is Carlsbad National Park,” Neighbor said. “One thing we don’t have up there is a campground. This location is very important.”

The acting director of the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management, Steve Wells, said the project could bring new business during a pandemic that has seen a rise in outdoor recreational activity.