Senator Bingaman reintroduces Rio Grande del Norte
Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation led by U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman yesterday re-introduced legislation cosponsored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) that would protect roughly 236,980 acres of the most scenic and ecologically significant lands in northern New Mexico. A House version was introduced by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D, NM-3), cosponsored by Rep. Martin Heinrich (D, NM-1).
Albuquerque Listening Session Provides Opportunity to Push for Increased Land and Water Protection and Restoration
Albuquerque (July 17, 2010) – The Obama administration’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative comes to New Mexico this Saturday in an effort to develop a new, smarter conservation and recreation agenda for the 21st century.
Senator Bingaman, along with members from the New Mexico delegation, reintroduced a bill to protect New Mexico’s Rio Grande Gorge. The legislation, Río Grande Del Norte National Conservation Area Establishment Act (S. 667/H.R. 1241), would protect around 235,980 acres of pristine wild lands in Northern New Mexico, including Ute Mountain -- the highest point on New Mexico BLM land -- and the Rio Grande Gorge -- one of the world’s great avian migratory routes. The legislation would also safeguard world-class recreation opportunities, such as hiking, hunting and fishing.
People seeking incredible outdoor experiences need not look any further than Northern New Mexico. In-state and out-of-state travelers come here to explore gorges, mountains, plains, rivers and view a variety of iconic wildlife.
We’ve said it once, and now we will say it again: Wilderness is good for our economy. And many more agree: A recent report from Audubon New Mexico and Headwaters Economics, “The Economic Benefits of Southern New Mexico’s Natural Assets,” finds that protecting and restoring our natural assets will benefit jobs and quality of life.
From rugged canyons to towering pinnacles, New Mexico’s wild public lands represent some of the wildest country left in the Rocky Mountain West. But these places also face a number of threats, including oil and gas drilling, off-road vehicle abuse, and urban sprawl.
Last month, we witnessed one of the most important milestones in our nation’s conservation history when over 2 million acres were added to the National Wilderness Preservation System with the passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act.
This week, a new chapter in wilderness protection began in New Mexico when U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D. N.M., introduced legislation that would protect 235,000 acres of the most scenic and ecologically significant lands in northern New Mexico.