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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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Opinion: President Obama should seek conservation legacy in New Mexico

Credit: Conservation Lands Foundation

In an op-ed printed in the High Country News, Ben Long of Resource Media argues the importance of balancing leasing with protection of our public lands, pointing out that while oil and gas production has soared under President Obama, public land conservation has lagged far behind.

Although President Obama currently sits behind President Reagan, President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush when it comes to protecting public lands – not exactly something to be proud of – Mr. Long points out that New Mexico presents the perfect opportunity to begin balancing the equation.

From the High Country News:

A great place for Obama to begin correcting this imbalance is in New Mexico, with the Rio Grande del Norte.  I was in New Mexico in the fall, working with some folks who love to hunt elk and mule deer and fish for trout in this region.

The land is impressive on its own – vast sagebrush plateaus, framed by ancient volcanic cinder cones and cleft by the narrow whitewater canyon of the Rio Grande. I was equally impressed by the broad swath of support from New Mexicans coming together to conserve this special place – not lock it up under glass, but to make sure it remains special and available for people to use and enjoy long into the future.

New Mexicans have drawn up a balanced, visionary proposal that would conserve about 250,000 acres of the Rio Grande del Norte. If Congress is too lost in Beltway politics to listen to the people, Obama should perk up his famous ears and act toward the future.

Check out the Center for American Progress for more on the need to balance leasing with conservation.

  1. Taos Pueblo passes resolution supporting Rio Grande del Norte proposals Comments Off
  2. Sportsmen show support for monument proposal Comments Off
  3. Audubon New Mexico’s Executive Director discusses protecting Rio Grande Gorge region Comments Off
  4. More support for Rio Grande del Norte monument Comments Off
  5. Audience at Taos public meeting expresses overwhelming support for Rio Grande monument Comments Off
  6. A view of the Rio Grande del Norte Comments Off
  7. Taking a family trip to the Taos Plateau Comments Off
  8. Secretary Salazar to hold public meeting in New Mexico on Río Grande del Norte Comments Off
  9. Conquering a Cliff by Protecting a Gorge Comments Off