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Northern New Mexico Wilderness Bill Heads to Senate Floor

For Immediate Release
Date: December 16, 2009
Contact: John Olivas
Phone: (575) 387-2665
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Conservationist Group Cheers Senate Committee for Approving Measure

The Río Grande del Norte National Conservation Area Establishment Act was approved by the Senate Energy Committee today, sending it to the full Senate for action. The measure, introduced by Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, will protect some 235,980 acres northwest of Taos, New Mexico, as a conservation area, including more than 21,420 acres of designated wilderness.

“Those who care about protecting what makes this state the ‘Land of Enchantment’ cheer the leadership of Senator Bingaman, and his work to ensure that our beautiful Río Grande area can stay forever just as it is today,” said John Olivas, Owner of JACO Outfitters, LLC and Northern Director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, based in Mora. “We thank the Senate Energy Committee for today approving this important legislation and for sending it to the Senate Floor for action.”

“This legislation will ensure that our New Mexico traditions like pinon and fire wood gathering; hunting and fishing; and ranching and grazing will continue, as will our ability to experience the rich scenery this land offers,” Olivas said. “The bill also recognizes the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, protecting the rights of our traditional communities for future generations.”

The area contains some of the most spectacular lands and habitat in the state, and is an important migratory flyway for a number of bird species. The Río Grande del Norte Conservation Area Establishment Act is supported by a broad cross-section of the community, including the Taos Chamber of Commerce, Mora Valley Chamber of Commerce, Taos County Commission, Wild Earth Llama Adventures, River and Birds in Taos, Taos Land Trust and the Taos Business Alliance along with more than 100 local businesses.

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