Calling All Cowboys: Valles Caldera Needs a Cattle Wrangler

The National Park Service issued a call to action on Tuesday, announcing that it needs cattle wrangler services in the Valles Caldera National Preserve for the upcoming season. 

In a press release, Jorge Silva-Bañuelos, the superintendent at Valles Caldera, explained that the New Mexico federal preserve needs wrangler services for at least one day a week (or twice every other week) from May 20 to Nov. 8, 2024.

According to the job description, the role will require not just rounding up cattle but also herding them into designated corrals in the park and notifying park law enforcement once they’re corralled. 

Silva-Bañuelos called the role “an important service” that will work alongside the U.S. Department of Agriculture to repair fences and establish a virtual fence. 

He explained that “having consistent trespass cattle round-ups to minimize resource impacts will allow us to meet our obligation of preserving and protecting this special public space for everyone to enjoy.”

According to the park’s website, the Valles Caldera area has been a prime spot for cattle grazing for more than 100 years. However, illegal grazing has been a sore spot for the park in recent times. 

Last year, park officials told reporters that they planned to hire wrangler services to round up trespass cattle after multiple incidents and growing concern by conservation groups. 

In November, groups like the Western Watersheds Project threatened to sue the Park Service if they didn’t take action to protect sensitive wildlife habitat from trespass cattle. 

As far as pay goes, it’s actually a contract role, so applicants will have to submit bids to the Department of Interior — the parent agency of the Park Service — by noon Mountain time on April 30, 2024.