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NMSU Board of Regents approve renaming of Geothermal Drive to Tortugas Trail

Release Date: 27 Oct 2022
NMSU Board of Regents approve renaming of Geothermal Drive to Tortugas Trail

New Mexico State University’s Board of Regents recently approved a name change for Geothermal Drive to Tortugas Trail in acknowledgment of nearby Tortugas Mountain and its significance to the university and the community.  
 
The portion of the road being renamed begins east of Interstate 25 at Wells Street and extends all the way to the base of the Tortugas Mountain, also known to the NMSU community as “A” Mountain.  
 
During the NMSU Board of Regents meeting on Oct. 17, Scott Eschenbrenner, CEO of Aggie Development Inc., shared with the board that community input about this gesture was positive and briefed regents on the current status of the geothermal wells in the area for which the road was named, and which are currently capped and not being used.  
 
“It’s a geographic representation of that mountain,” Eschenbrenner explained. “Tortugas is turtle in Spanish, and when viewing the mountain from the south, that’s where it got the name. That was one of the reasons, just from a geographic standpoint. It has that recognition as being known as Tortugas Mountain. It’s also how the Bureau of Land Management recognizes that mountain. So really, it came about through talking to some of our community members and we felt like that was an appropriate gesture.”  
 
Chancellor Dan Arvizu emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusion at NMSU and of respect for the university’s relationship with the community, especially when it comes to cultural traditions.  
 
“In listening to our employees, faculty, and students, it became very clear to me that one symbolic gesture could be to acknowledge this roadway as Tortugas Trail,” Arvizu told the regents. “The mountain itself is of great importance to NMSU and our surrounding communities. We want to be respectful of that and this seemed like a reasonable proposition as our institution makes efforts to be respectful of both the past and the future.”  
 
The road’s renaming will not affect other NMSU properties or the golf course, and the land is still owned by and accessible to the NMSU Board of Regents.

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