Lincoln National Forest
After the close of the Civil War, migrants from Texas moved into the Rio Penasco valley and the many canyons of the Sacramento Mountains, establishing sheep ranching, farming, orchards and truck gardening. The forest served as an important source of fence posts, firewood, and lumber for the farmers of the Pecos Valley. In 1899, the Eddy brothers tapped the timber resource of the Sacramentos by building a railroad from Alamogordo to Cloudcroft, providing easy access to the cool mountain climate for residents of sweltering El Paso and the hot Tularosa Basin. Tourism and lumbering, along with ranching, became the principal industries in Alamogordo, the area's largest city. A portion of the "Cloud Climbing Railroad" can be seen today on Highway 82, just west of Cloudcroft. The southern portion of Lincoln National Forest is the Guadalupe Mountains, with its spectacular canyons and world-renowned caves. They were the last stronghold of the Apaches before being settled by sheep ranchers in the 1880's.
In 1902 and 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt issued the proclamations that now comprise the Lincoln National Forest to protect this most important watershed and source of forest products in southeastern New Mexico. It serves a large population in two states and two nations as their nearest opportunity to enjoy winter sports and forest.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication