Joseph M. Maestas, former Mayor of Espanola, discusses in the Santa Fe New Mexican why declaring Chimney Rock a national monument was the right thing to do, and why extending the same protection to Rio Grande del Norte should be next on President Obama’s agenda.
From the Santa Fe New Mexican:
In fact, in the words of Lilia Diaz of Santa Fe, who was featured in a recently published book about New Mexicans speaking out for protection of the Rio Grande del Norte (see www.RioGrandedelNorte.org/book), “this ancient area has enriched the minds, bodies, hearts and souls of New Mexicans for generations. Protecting this land will mean the enhancement of many more lives to come.”
The Rio Grande del Norte proves that our heritage need not be an artifact in a museum or a footnote in a history book to be worthy of our admiration and protection. Our community — like my family — values this place as our legacy to the next generation. These lands have been here for thousands of years. We call on President Obama to help ensure they remain protected for a thousand more for our spiritual, cultural, economic and community well-being.