According to a new study cited by the Taos County Chamber of Commerce, designating the Rio Grande del Norte as a national monument would have a “significant” impact on the local economy, resulting in an annual economic impact of approximately $15 million, and creating nearly 300 new jobs.
Those figures come from a new independent study by BBC Research and Consulting. By estimating current and future spending by national monument visitors, the study concluded that, “a public land designation, such as a national monument, may signal enhanced quality of a potential visitor experience, substantially increasing visitation.”
The Taos Chamber of Commerce also noted the recent letter sent to President Obama by U.S. Sens. Udall and Bingaman, requesting national monument status for Rio Grande del Norte and the Organ Mountains.
“Protecting Rio Grande del Norte as a national monument clearly makes good business sense,” said Brad Malone, Chairman of the Taos County Chamber of Commerce. “This study suggests that recognizing the area as a national monument should bring more folks from across the country and around the world here to visit. We know how spectacular this place is, but having such recognition will raise awareness of its value enormously. In addition, the national monument designation would protect wildlife habitat prized by hunters and anglers and a broad variety of archeological and historic resources for future generations.”