Albuquerque, NM - Today, Environment New Mexico applauded New Mexico Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Luján for their action to protect New Mexico’s open spaces. They re-introduced legislation to protect Rio Grande del Norte in Northern New Mexico, which will ensure the security of 236,000 acres of land, its critical water supply, and the habitats of the species dwelling there.
“Once again, we see Sens. Udall and Heinrich and Rep. Luján demonstrating their commitment to New Mexico’s environment,” said Rikki Seguin, field associate with Environment New Mexico. “Not only are they standing up for our land, but they are standing up for the thousands of New Mexicans who have demonstrated their support for protection of this critical landscape.”
Previous legislation to protect Rio Grande del Norte failed to pass in the 112th Congress – the first Congress who failed to protect a single acre of land since World War II.
Yesterday’s re-introduction of legislation to protect Rio Grande del Norte came in the wake of overwhelming public support, most notably of which December’s public listening session in Taos, where Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar heard New Mexicans voice their concern for this special place. Participants showed unanimous support for the protection of Rio Grande del Norte, which was amplified by support from Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, former Sen. Bingaman, Congressman Luján, and the Mayors of Questa and Taos.
Sens. Udall and Heinrich and Rep. Luján encouraged President Obama to permanently protect Rio Grande del Norte by using his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate it as a national monument.
“It is very encouraging to see our Congressional leaders prioritize the protection of this special place that holds meaning to so many New Mexicans,” said Seguin. “I look forward to seeing President Obama follow the lead of our Congressional delegation and permanently protect Rio Grande del Norte for the future enjoyment of all Americans.”