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New Mexico Wild Applauds Introduction of Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Mexico Wild Applauds Introduction of Bill to Enhance and Protect New Mexico’s Rio Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monuments

Contact: Mark Allison, Executive Director, New Mexico Wild, 505-239-0906, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Albuquerque, NM, January 30, 2018 - New Mexico Wild applauded today’s introduction of the America’s Natural Treasures of Immeasurable Quality Unite, Inspire, and Together Improve the Economies of States Act of 2018 (“The ANTIQUITIES Act” of 2018) in the United States Senate. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) sponsored and introduced the bill and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) co-sponsored the legislation.

This legislation would legislatively protect 51 national monuments that were designated by executive authority dating back to 1996, including those threatened by President Trump’s national monument review.

New Mexico Wild has always asserted that a president does not have the authority to rescind, harm, or amend previous presidential proclamations made under the 1906 Antiquities Act. Last year, New Mexico Wild announced its intention to bring legal action against President Trump if either of New Mexico’s national monuments named in the review, Rio Grande del Norte (RGDN) or Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks (OMDP), were harmed. New Mexico Wild is filing an amicus brief in solidarity with the All Pueblo Council of Governors for the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, which President Trump shrunk by 85 percent in December.

While New Mexico Wild will continue to stand ready to take additional legal action if necessary, we welcome New Mexico’s Senators' leadership in taking steps to enhance these national monuments, including expanding protections for the Bears Ears National Monument.

Moreover, New Mexico Wild and our thousands of supporters throughout the state are elated that the bill would designate over 249,000 acres of federal public lands in New Mexico as Wilderness, consisting of lands within the RGDN and OMDP national monuments.

“These areas have a special place in the heart of New Mexicans and this legislation recognizes the desire to keep them wild and free for this and all future generations” said Mark Allison, Executive Director of New Mexico Wild. “New Mexicans are rightly proud of the importance of these areas to our natural and cultural heritage.”

Designated in 2013 and 2014 respectively, both RGDN and OMDP enjoy overwhelming community support from diverse coalitions of business owners, sportsmen, tribal leaders, local and elected officials, faith leaders, and the general public. During the recent comment period for the Department of Interior national monument review process, New Mexico had the most comments submitted per capita of any state with nearly 98 percent of those for RGDN and 93 percent of the comments received for OMDP wanting no changes. New Mexicans support protection of these areas as sources of clean water; areas to practice traditional uses such as hunting, fishing, and as ceremonial sites; places to recreate; and for the health of New Mexico’s economy.  

“This bill recognizes and responds to the extreme attacks President Trump has leveled against the nation’s bedrock conservation laws, our national monuments, and public lands in general,” said Allison. “Once again, Senators Udall and Heinrich have demonstrated the vision and leadership to go to bat for New Mexicans and protect the Land of Enchantment. They are doing what we all want the rest of Congress to be doing – offering solutions.”

 

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ABOUT THE NEW MEXICO WILDERNESS ALLIANCE: The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance or “New Mexico Wild” is a non-profit 501 (C)(3), grassroots, conservation organization dedicated to the protection, restoration and continued respect of New Mexico’s wildlands and Wilderness areas. Founded 20 years ago with staff and supporters throughout the state, the organization is aligned with our nation’s landmark Wilderness Act of 1964 and is dedicated to the rights and the value of citizen involvement in protecting increasingly rare wild places within public lands. Just as freedom is every American’s birthright so too is Wilderness.

Cerros del Norte Conservation Act passes U.S. Senate

Christmas Miracle! Cerros del Norte Conservation Act passes U.S. Senate

Senate passes measure to protect special areas as wilderness within Río Grande del Norte National Monument

                                                                     

Contact: 

John Olivas, (505)379-5551, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TAOS, NM (December 22, 2017) – Just days before Christmas, the U.S. Senate passed the Cerros del Norte Conservation Act (S. 432).  A diverse coalition of business owners, sportsmen, tribal leaders, local and federal elected officials, grazing permittees, and more applauded the passage.

“My livelihood depends on the backcountry within the Río Grande del Norte National Monument,” said local outfitter/guide Stuart Wilde. “The passage of the Cerros del Norte Bill reflects the value that New Mexican’s place on wilderness and wild places. In a time when our public lands are under constant threat, this reaffirms our community’s commitment to the protection and conservation of our most special places.”

The legislation would provide extra protection for special areas contained within Río Grande del Norte National Monu­ment by designating two new wilderness areas –Cerro del Yuta and Río San Antonio.  The national monument was designated by President Obama in 2013 after Congress failed time and again to move legislation supported by the local community.  Because only Congress can designate Wilderness, Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall introduced the Cerros del Norte Conservation Act following the national monument designation to protect these critical areas.

 

“Wilderness areas provide the best wildlife habitat for the numerous land and water species that call this area home.  These two wilderness designations will ensure that future generations of hunters and anglers will always have true backcountry areas to visit in northern New Mexico. I want to thank Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall for their steadfast leadership in safeguarding our natural heritage,” added Nick Streit, owner of Taos Fly Shop.

Grazing would continue in the already-existing areas and water rights would not be impacted. Additionally, the proposed wilderness areas within the national monument serve as one of the world’s great avian migratory routes. It is also home to important game species like pronghorn and elk.  The legislation would also safeguard world-class recreation opportunities already enjoyed within the national monument, such as hiking, hunting, and fishing. 

Erminio Martinez, a grazing permittee, said, “My family has been ranching in Northern New Mexico for over 400 years, and we want future generations to have these same opportunities. The national monument designation has not impacted our operations, and neither will preserving Cerro del Yuta and Río San Antonio as wilderness. Our cattle depend upon clean and abundant water, and wilderness will help preserve the resource protecting the time honored tradition we value so deeply.

 Wilderness designation within the national monument will boost local businesses:

The two proposed wil­derness areas in the Cerros del Norte Conservation Act will comprise 21,540 acres of the 242,500-acre national monument northwest of Taos, New Mexico.

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Mexican Wolf Stamp Contest - 2018

WOLF STAMP

About The Contest:

The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance invites submissions for the 2018 Mexican Wolf Conservation Stamp.  Artists worldwide are invited to enter two-dimensional drawings, paintings, or photographs featuring the Mexican gray wolf.  The winning artwork will be featured on the 2018 stamp that will be sold to raise funds to support Mexican wolf conservation and education projects.  All artwork must be scalable to the size of the stamp, 4.5-inches wide by 5.5-inches tall.  Please submit electronic images of original artwork by March 1, 2018 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About The Stamp:

The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance issued its first Mexican Wolf Conservation Stamp in 2011. This collectible stamp is similar to the US Fish and Wildlife’s duck stamp, which funds wetlands conservation– but the stamp is in no way related to hunting. All proceeds from sales of the wolf stamp directly benefit activities to support Mexican wolf conservation and education projects. The 4.5×5.5 inch full-color stamp is sold exclusively through NM Wild and is a framing-quality print for collectors.

Congress Considering Bill Riders Which Undermine the Roadless Rule

An assault on roadless areas was recently launched in Congress. Riders attached to a federal spending bill would introduce logging and road-building to some of our national forests, undermining the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. The Roadless Rule, one of the most popular land conservation measures in US history, protects most remote and wild parts of the National Forest System by prohibiting road construction, timber harvesting and other development, which provides habitat to wildlife and provide safe drinking water to millions of Americans, in addition to their primitive recreational value.

The particular riders discussed so far target two national forests in Alaska, the Tongass and the Chugach national forests, but if allowed to pass, could trigger additional forest-by-forest or state-by-state exemptions from this national conservation policy, leading to construction and logging in remote wild forest areas across the U.S., including in New Mexico's five National Forests, which contain 1,505,894 acres of inventoried roadless areas.  

Congress will need to pass another short-term spending bill in the next few weeks, so now is a critical time for Senators to hear from their constituents that they oppose all efforts to open protected forest areas to logging and additional roads.

We will post updates as they become available

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