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The announcement of a national monument designation has come in response to considerable input from the community and nearly the entire New Mexico congressional delegation.

The Río Grande del Norte National Monument will boost economic growth in Northern New Mexico while permanently protecting our heritage, our water and 242,000 acres of natural areas and wildlife habitat in the region.

Esther García, Mayor of the Village of QuestaPresidential Proclamation – Río Grande del Norte National Monument

Statements from Community Members

Hispano leaders and organizations, small business owners and the Taos and Mora Valley Chambers of Commerce, sportsmen and ranchers, Native American Pueblos and elected officials, and conservation organizations have come together to thank President Obama for protecting Río Grande del Norte National Monument.

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Big Step forward as Cerros del Norte Conservation Act clears Senate committee

Bill to protect special areas as wilderness within Río Grande del Norte National Monument now ready for full senate vote

Contact:
John Olivas, (575) 387-2665, avidelksman@yahoo.com

TAOS, NM (July 30, 2015) – A diverse coalition today applauded the mark-up of the Cerros del Norte Conservation Act (S. 1240) in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The legislation can now move to a vote on the Senate floor.

The Act would provide extra protection for special areas contained within Río Grande del Norte National Monu¬ment by designating two new wilderness areas – Ute Mountain (Cerro del Yuta) and San Antonio Mountain (Rio San Antonio). Designated in 2013, Río Grande del Norte National Monu-ment was supported by business owners, sportsmen, tribal leaders, local and federal elected officials, and grazing permittees. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich introduced the Cerros del Norte Conservation Act following the national monument designation to protect these special areas.

“My livelihood depends on the wild places within the Río Grande del Norte National Monument,” said Nick Streit, owner of Taos Fly Shop. “People come near and far for the natural beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and of course the fishing. Safeguarding wilderness within the national monument will protect businesses like mine throughout the region. Thank you Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall for protecting our economy, traditions, and way of life.”

The proposed wilderness areas within the national monument serve as one of the world’s great avian migratory routes. It is also home to important game species like pronghorn and elk. The legislation would also safeguard world-class recreation opportunities already enjoyed within the national monument, such as hiking, hunting, and fishing. Grazing would continue in already-existing areas, and water rights would not be impacted.

“The proposed wilderness areas within the Río Grande del Norte National Monument safeguard precious water that is vital to our wellbeing,” said Ester Garcia, President of the San Antonio del Rio Colorado Land Grant in Questa. “Waters that flow to our acequias are protected by the wildest lands within the national monument. I want to thank Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall for protecting our lifeblood-our water.”

In March, 2013, President Obama designated Rio Grande del Norte as a national monument. The two proposed wil¬derness areas in the Cerros del Norte Conservation Act will comprise 21,420 acres of the 242,500-acre national monument northwest of Taos, New Mexico.

  1. Ah, Wilderness for Río Grande del Norte National Monument Comments Off
  2. Opinion: President Obama should seek conservation legacy in New Mexico Comments Off
  3. Taos Pueblo passes resolution supporting Rio Grande del Norte proposals Comments Off
  4. Sportsmen show support for monument proposal Comments Off
  5. Audubon New Mexico’s Executive Director discusses protecting Rio Grande Gorge region Comments Off
  6. More support for Rio Grande del Norte monument Comments Off
  7. Audience at Taos public meeting expresses overwhelming support for Rio Grande monument Comments Off
  8. A view of the Rio Grande del Norte Comments Off
  9. Taking a family trip to the Taos Plateau Comments Off