- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - A group of college students will be working over the next three months to improve trails at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

The park announced its partnership with the Student Conservation Association on Monday, saying the five-member trail crew will be clearing overgrown vegetation, installing trail markers and building cairns.

The crew will focus on Yucca and Juniper Ridge trails as well as trails in Rattlesnake and Slaughter canyons.

As part of the program, the students will camp in tents and live on small stipends.

Carlsbad Caverns hosts a half-a-million visitors annually with hundreds enjoying backcountry trails. Officials are expecting more hikers thanks to the newly established Guadalupe Ridge Trail, which connects the caverns to Guadalupe National Park and crosses miles of national forest and property managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

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