Senate committee passes Rio Grande del Norte Wilderness legislation

May 16, 2013

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument 

Bureau of Land Management
The Wilderness Society applauds the continued momentum and looks forward to a Senate floor vote

 

The Wilderness Society today applauded the U.S. Senate for passing  the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area Establishment Act out of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area Establishment Act (S. 241) – sponsored by Tom Udall (D-NM) and co-sponsored by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) – would protect as wilderness roughly 13,500 acres of the Cerro del Yuta and 8,000 acres of the Rio San Antonio areas. 

In response to the community’s longstanding support for conservation, President Obama recently designated the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, but only Congress has the ability to designate wilderness.

“The Wilderness Society applauds Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich for working with the Obama administration to protect the Rio Grande del Norte region,” said Michael Casaus, New Mexico Director at The Wilderness Society in Albuquerque.  “Protecting wilderness within the Rio Grande del Norte is a community-driven effort, as public lands boost New Mexico’s economy and protect our water, culture and way of life for generations to come.”

The mark-up is a further sign of continued momentum that The Wilderness Society is hopeful will mark a stark difference between the 112th and 113th Congress. The 112th Congress was the first Congress since 1966 to not protect a single acre of wilderness. It was also the first Congress since World War II to not protect a single new acre of public land as a park, national monument, or wilderness area.

Michael Casaus
(505) 417-5288