Optimism remains that Congress will act before the year is up

Mike Matz, Director of the Pew Environment Group’s Campaign for America’s Wilderness, knows doing business in Washington can be difficult. Yet he remains optimistic that a host of public lands proposals – including one that would establish a Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area – will find their way to the Congressional finish line.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., at the end of a distinguished 30-year career, has offered proposals to establish a Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area, protect the Organ and Robledo mountains and nearby wilderness, and designate Columbine Hondo in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System…

By some counts, more than 160 memorials are in our nation’s capital. Yet some of the largest, and perhaps most-striking, testaments to the enduring accomplishments of U.S. political leaders can be found far outside Washington. And as the 112th Congress winds to a close, I hope outgoing members will take this unique opportunity to add their legacy to the collection of truly remarkable places preserved over the past 48 years as wilderness areas across America.

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