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2015

  • Click here for PDF: Wolf Advisory Letter

    Wolf Advisory Letter Page 14

    Wolf Advisory Letter Page 22

  • Click here for PDF: Wolf Advisory Letter

    Wolf Advisory Letter Page 14

    Wolf Advisory Letter Page 22

  • Erminio Martinez for the Taos News

    My family has lived in the Taos area for eight generations. We have a long history of raising cattle in the Columbine Hondo. So I would like nothing better than to see my grandchildren and their children be able to live and work in this region, like our previous generations have.

    I am grateful that Congress has answered the request from ranchers like me to preserve Columbine Hondo. Just a few weeks ago, Congress voted to protect roughly 45,000 acres of public land in the Columbine Hondo as wilderness. The president signed that bill into law on Dec. 19.

    What this means is our traditional way of life can continue without the risk of seeing these lands carved up for mining, timber harvesting, or other unnecessary development.

    U.S. Sens. Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, and former Sen. Jeff Bingaman, and Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham deserve praise for being champions of this cause. They have worked with our community for many years to safeguard the Columbine-Hondo. Their leadership has been essential to the success of this effort.

    It’s telling that in a time where Congress can hardly agree on anything, they came together in a bipartisan way and voted to ensure that this land in our Sangre de Cristo Mountains should be preserved as wilderness. That means these lands will remain available for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations of Americans. It is also telling that Columbine-Hondo was protected during the same year the nation came together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act – a law that was dreamed up right here in New Mexico and still holds special meaning for those of us who call the Land of Enchantment home.

    The Sangre de Cristo Mountains offer more than agricultural benefits. The lands include the headwaters of the Red River and the Río Hondo, so protecting this essential watershed protects our water quality and gives us a sustainable supply of clean drinking water locally and downstream for the rest of the state. These rivers are key tributaries to the upper Río Grande.

    Columbine Hondo also offers important habitat for our native plants and for wildlife such as the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, bighorn sheep, pine marten, black bear, deer, and elk. That’s one of the reasons why these lands attract visitors from across New Mexico and from across the U.S. who appreciate these mountains for hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing.

    Of course, visitors to Columbine-Hondo provide our local economy with tourism dollars and tax revenue on top of everything else. The wilderness protection will give businesses in our community the ability to plan and invest in this region knowing that they can count on the permanent preservation of these lands.

    Support for the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act runs deep. Our local business owners, acequia parciantes, Native American Tribes, mountain bikers, veterans, and conservationists support it. Designating the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Area represents many years of meeting and collaborating and working to find common ground in our community to protect lands that we all treasure.

    While many things about New Mexico have changed, here is an example of a land with a wealth of traditions that can be preserved the way they are. The community support and collaboration for Columbine Hondo mirrors the efforts surrounding the designation of the Río Grande del Norte National Monument. And as our state faces more seasons of drought, we recognize that we must look for new opportunities to safeguard our precious land and waters in Northern New Mexico, like the roadless areas surrounding the Pecos Wilderness.

    Our community’s culture and way of life are bound to the land and water in these mountains. We want our children to grow up with a shared appreciation for the land with clean air to breath and clean water to drink. Congratulations to the community for ensuring that we can preserve this tradition.

    http://www.taosnews.com/opinion/article_4bc3ce3a-b308-11e4-8c56-db20be8b3713.html

  • Erminio Martinez for the Taos News

    My family has lived in the Taos area for eight generations. We have a long history of raising cattle in the Columbine Hondo. So I would like nothing better than to see my grandchildren and their children be able to live and work in this region, like our previous generations have.

    I am grateful that Congress has answered the request from ranchers like me to preserve Columbine Hondo. Just a few weeks ago, Congress voted to protect roughly 45,000 acres of public land in the Columbine Hondo as wilderness. The president signed that bill into law on Dec. 19.

    What this means is our traditional way of life can continue without the risk of seeing these lands carved up for mining, timber harvesting, or other unnecessary development.

    U.S. Sens. Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, and former Sen. Jeff Bingaman, and Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham deserve praise for being champions of this cause. They have worked with our community for many years to safeguard the Columbine-Hondo. Their leadership has been essential to the success of this effort.

    It’s telling that in a time where Congress can hardly agree on anything, they came together in a bipartisan way and voted to ensure that this land in our Sangre de Cristo Mountains should be preserved as wilderness. That means these lands will remain available for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations of Americans. It is also telling that Columbine-Hondo was protected during the same year the nation came together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act – a law that was dreamed up right here in New Mexico and still holds special meaning for those of us who call the Land of Enchantment home.

    The Sangre de Cristo Mountains offer more than agricultural benefits. The lands include the headwaters of the Red River and the Río Hondo, so protecting this essential watershed protects our water quality and gives us a sustainable supply of clean drinking water locally and downstream for the rest of the state. These rivers are key tributaries to the upper Río Grande.

    Columbine Hondo also offers important habitat for our native plants and for wildlife such as the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, bighorn sheep, pine marten, black bear, deer, and elk. That’s one of the reasons why these lands attract visitors from across New Mexico and from across the U.S. who appreciate these mountains for hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing.

    Of course, visitors to Columbine-Hondo provide our local economy with tourism dollars and tax revenue on top of everything else. The wilderness protection will give businesses in our community the ability to plan and invest in this region knowing that they can count on the permanent preservation of these lands.

    Support for the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act runs deep. Our local business owners, acequia parciantes, Native American Tribes, mountain bikers, veterans, and conservationists support it. Designating the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Area represents many years of meeting and collaborating and working to find common ground in our community to protect lands that we all treasure.

    While many things about New Mexico have changed, here is an example of a land with a wealth of traditions that can be preserved the way they are. The community support and collaboration for Columbine Hondo mirrors the efforts surrounding the designation of the Río Grande del Norte National Monument. And as our state faces more seasons of drought, we recognize that we must look for new opportunities to safeguard our precious land and waters in Northern New Mexico, like the roadless areas surrounding the Pecos Wilderness.

    Our community’s culture and way of life are bound to the land and water in these mountains. We want our children to grow up with a shared appreciation for the land with clean air to breath and clean water to drink. Congratulations to the community for ensuring that we can preserve this tradition.

    http://www.taosnews.com/opinion/article_4bc3ce3a-b308-11e4-8c56-db20be8b3713.html

  • Erminio Martinez for the Taos News

    My family has lived in the Taos area for eight generations. We have a long history of raising cattle in the Columbine Hondo. So I would like nothing better than to see my grandchildren and their children be able to live and work in this region, like our previous generations have.

    I am grateful that Congress has answered the request from ranchers like me to preserve Columbine Hondo. Just a few weeks ago, Congress voted to protect roughly 45,000 acres of public land in the Columbine Hondo as wilderness. The president signed that bill into law on Dec. 19.

    What this means is our traditional way of life can continue without the risk of seeing these lands carved up for mining, timber harvesting, or other unnecessary development.

    U.S. Sens. Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, and former Sen. Jeff Bingaman, and Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham deserve praise for being champions of this cause. They have worked with our community for many years to safeguard the Columbine-Hondo. Their leadership has been essential to the success of this effort.

    It’s telling that in a time where Congress can hardly agree on anything, they came together in a bipartisan way and voted to ensure that this land in our Sangre de Cristo Mountains should be preserved as wilderness. That means these lands will remain available for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations of Americans. It is also telling that Columbine-Hondo was protected during the same year the nation came together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act – a law that was dreamed up right here in New Mexico and still holds special meaning for those of us who call the Land of Enchantment home.

    The Sangre de Cristo Mountains offer more than agricultural benefits. The lands include the headwaters of the Red River and the Río Hondo, so protecting this essential watershed protects our water quality and gives us a sustainable supply of clean drinking water locally and downstream for the rest of the state. These rivers are key tributaries to the upper Río Grande.

    Columbine Hondo also offers important habitat for our native plants and for wildlife such as the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, bighorn sheep, pine marten, black bear, deer, and elk. That’s one of the reasons why these lands attract visitors from across New Mexico and from across the U.S. who appreciate these mountains for hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing.

    Of course, visitors to Columbine-Hondo provide our local economy with tourism dollars and tax revenue on top of everything else. The wilderness protection will give businesses in our community the ability to plan and invest in this region knowing that they can count on the permanent preservation of these lands.

    Support for the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act runs deep. Our local business owners, acequia parciantes, Native American Tribes, mountain bikers, veterans, and conservationists support it. Designating the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Area represents many years of meeting and collaborating and working to find common ground in our community to protect lands that we all treasure.

    While many things about New Mexico have changed, here is an example of a land with a wealth of traditions that can be preserved the way they are. The community support and collaboration for Columbine Hondo mirrors the efforts surrounding the designation of the Río Grande del Norte National Monument. And as our state faces more seasons of drought, we recognize that we must look for new opportunities to safeguard our precious land and waters in Northern New Mexico, like the roadless areas surrounding the Pecos Wilderness.

    Our community’s culture and way of life are bound to the land and water in these mountains. We want our children to grow up with a shared appreciation for the land with clean air to breath and clean water to drink. Congratulations to the community for ensuring that we can preserve this tradition.

    http://www.taosnews.com/opinion/article_4bc3ce3a-b308-11e4-8c56-db20be8b3713.html

  • Click here for PDF of the full

    New Guide to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

    RGDN TourGuide 4 17 15 Page 01

    RGDN_TourGuide-4-17-15_Page_02

    RGDN TourGuide 4 17 15 Page 09

  • Click here for PDF of the full

    New Guide to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

    RGDN TourGuide 4 17 15 Page 01

    RGDN_TourGuide-4-17-15_Page_02

    RGDN TourGuide 4 17 15 Page 09

  • Click here for PDF of the full

    New Guide to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

    RGDN TourGuide 4 17 15 Page 01

    RGDN_TourGuide-4-17-15_Page_02

    RGDN TourGuide 4 17 15 Page 09

  • We will send out updates weekly or as necessary. If you e-mail or call your legislators,  identify the bill by its number to make tracking more certain.

    House Transfer of public lands bill

    • HB 291 (Herrell): First committee hearing (Agriculture and Water) Wednesday 2/11/15 at 8 a.m. in Room 315 of the Capitol
    • Would create study into public land transfer to state: this is the same bill we have seen the last 3 years, which has not yet passed.
    • $100,000 appropriation
    • Creates 17-member advisory panel
    • NM Wild strongly opposes this bill because the transfer of public lands to the state is unconstitutional; other states have already done studies and found the idea to be bad economically, legally, and practically; state lands do not have the same environmental protections as federal lands, meaning these lands would be left with less environmental oversight; public access to these lands would be diminished; and New Mexico does not have the financial resources to care for these lands.
    • Has been assigned, but not yet scheduled, to two other committees
    • Ag and Water Committee site
    • Please come voice your opposition to this bill on Wednesday, and if you can’t make it, please e-mail the committee members and tell them to vote NO!

    Senate Transfer of public lands bill

    • SB 483 (Sharer)
    • Senate version of Rep. Herrell’s bill
    • Assigned, but not scheduled, to Senate Rules committee
    • NM Wild opposes this bill for the same reasons listed for HB 291
    • Link to Rules committee

    Anti-Pecos wilderness memorial

    • SM 40 (Griego): Introduced.
    • Assigned to Senate Rules committee, not yet scheduled
    • Memorial to oppose any additional wilderness adjacent to the Pecos
    • NM Wild opposes this Memorial because it is not founded on facts, science, or public opinion.
    • While it would not create a law, we do not believe this sort of sentiment should come out of the legislature.
    • Link to rules committee

    Gila diversion bills

    SB 455 (Cervantes)

    • Requires financial report of diversion before diversion
    • Currently in Senate Conservation Committee, but not scheduled
    • NM Wild supports this bill because studies have shown that diversion would cost New Mexico up to a billion dollars. The Interstate Stream Commission decided on pursuing the diversion in spite of the high cost estimates and despite widespread public disapproval. This bill would require a fiscal impact report before the diversion is actually authorized.
    • Senate Conservation Committee site

    SB 461 (Morales)

    • In the Senate Conservation Committee, not scheduled
    • Would require non-diversion alternatives
    • NM Wild supports this bill because the Gila should not be diverted! There are other ways to increase water supply in the Gila area and to conserve the water that is there without diverting the river. The Gila is one of the last free-flowing rivers in the United States, and is one of New Mexico’s greatest treasures. We can have secure water without ruining it, and without spending New Mexican tax dollars.
    • Senate Conservation Committee site

    Oil and gas as official state resource

    • SB 335 (Sharer)
    • Currently in Senate Rules Committee, not scheduled
    • Would designate Oil and Gas as New Mexico’s official State Resource, alongside our state bird, flower, etc.
    • NM Wild opposes this bill because we have better possibilities for an official state resource! We have sunshine, mountains, wilderness, outdoor recreation. If New Mexico needs an official state resource, it should be something that affects its beauty.
    • Senate Rules Committee site
  • Extra virg petrus oil Page 2

  • Click the link below to hear an interview with our staff attorney 
    Judy Calman by Melissa Williams (13:25). 

    Collected Words Podcast

    DID YOU KNOW!?

    NMWilderness Alliance is suing the US Department of Justice for not protecting Mexican Gray Wolves that are rereleased in our wild areas. Listen to staff attorney, Judy Calman talk about our Wolf Recovery Program in the Gila area and the updates to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s rules regarding wolf recovery.

    She also talks to Melissa about rules and regulations on oil and gas in New Mexico. While Susana Martinez signs away the protections of our natural lands, the NM Wilderness Alliance fights tooth and nail to keep toxins out of our air and ground water.

    Click Here for more information on our work with Oil and Gas

    Click Here to learn more about protecting the Mexican Gray Wolf

    wolf stamp sample for newsletter 190x250

    Buy This Stamp Stamp

  • Josie Ortegon, Josie Ortegon, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    POSTED: 10:07 PM MDT Mar 15, 2015

    Nearly a year after President Obama proclaimed the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks a national monument, the designated area now has a sign to showcase its significance.

    Volunteers with “Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks,” officials with the Bureau of Land Management and other local groups, worked together Sunday to install and unveil the sign.

    “This will be the first sign that we install. It’ll be a sign that says Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks,” Bill Childress, District manager for the Las Cruces Bureau of Land Management, said.

    Volunteers tell Abc-7 the sign is a product of their hard work.

    “This is a culmination of 12 years of a lot of folks trying to get protection for the Dona Ana County Community,” Angel Pena, with “Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks,” said.

    It was indeed a rocky road to designation. Critics were upset about the potential change. Some were afraid it would restrict local law enforcement agencies along the border. Supporters believed it would help preserve the area.

    Finally, in May of 2014–President Obama signed a proclamation to secure the federal land.

    “it makes a decision that these peaks will be retained in federal ownership and managed for public use and variety of uses. We still have multiple uses, but we will not dispose of the land and the lands will be set aside for mineral development,” Childress said.

    More than 500-thousand acres of land are considered part of the monument, including the Dona Ana mountains, Picacho Peak, the Robledos, Sierra de Las Uvas, the Potrillo mountains and the Organs.

    “We’lll have these signs within the four distinctive areas,” Childress said.

    The installation itself took no more than an hour. Together, volunteers shoveled dirt, laid cement and added the finishing touches to secure the sign–symbolic of their journey to secure the federal land.

    “The Organ Mountains are so iconic in this community and now it’ll be protected…forever and ever,” Childress said.

  • Josie Ortegon, Josie Ortegon, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    POSTED: 10:07 PM MDT Mar 15, 2015

    Nearly a year after President Obama proclaimed the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks a national monument, the designated area now has a sign to showcase its significance.

    Volunteers with “Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks,” officials with the Bureau of Land Management and other local groups, worked together Sunday to install and unveil the sign.

    “This will be the first sign that we install. It’ll be a sign that says Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks,” Bill Childress, District manager for the Las Cruces Bureau of Land Management, said.

    Volunteers tell Abc-7 the sign is a product of their hard work.

    “This is a culmination of 12 years of a lot of folks trying to get protection for the Dona Ana County Community,” Angel Pena, with “Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks,” said.

    It was indeed a rocky road to designation. Critics were upset about the potential change. Some were afraid it would restrict local law enforcement agencies along the border. Supporters believed it would help preserve the area.

    Finally, in May of 2014–President Obama signed a proclamation to secure the federal land.

    “it makes a decision that these peaks will be retained in federal ownership and managed for public use and variety of uses. We still have multiple uses, but we will not dispose of the land and the lands will be set aside for mineral development,” Childress said.

    More than 500-thousand acres of land are considered part of the monument, including the Dona Ana mountains, Picacho Peak, the Robledos, Sierra de Las Uvas, the Potrillo mountains and the Organs.

    “We’lll have these signs within the four distinctive areas,” Childress said.

    The installation itself took no more than an hour. Together, volunteers shoveled dirt, laid cement and added the finishing touches to secure the sign–symbolic of their journey to secure the federal land.

    “The Organ Mountains are so iconic in this community and now it’ll be protected…forever and ever,” Childress said.

  • Josie Ortegon, Josie Ortegon, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    POSTED: 10:07 PM MDT Mar 15, 2015

    Nearly a year after President Obama proclaimed the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks a national monument, the designated area now has a sign to showcase its significance.

    Volunteers with “Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks,” officials with the Bureau of Land Management and other local groups, worked together Sunday to install and unveil the sign.

    “This will be the first sign that we install. It’ll be a sign that says Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks,” Bill Childress, District manager for the Las Cruces Bureau of Land Management, said.

    Volunteers tell Abc-7 the sign is a product of their hard work.

    “This is a culmination of 12 years of a lot of folks trying to get protection for the Dona Ana County Community,” Angel Pena, with “Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks,” said.

    It was indeed a rocky road to designation. Critics were upset about the potential change. Some were afraid it would restrict local law enforcement agencies along the border. Supporters believed it would help preserve the area.

    Finally, in May of 2014–President Obama signed a proclamation to secure the federal land.

    “it makes a decision that these peaks will be retained in federal ownership and managed for public use and variety of uses. We still have multiple uses, but we will not dispose of the land and the lands will be set aside for mineral development,” Childress said.

    More than 500-thousand acres of land are considered part of the monument, including the Dona Ana mountains, Picacho Peak, the Robledos, Sierra de Las Uvas, the Potrillo mountains and the Organs.

    “We’lll have these signs within the four distinctive areas,” Childress said.

    The installation itself took no more than an hour. Together, volunteers shoveled dirt, laid cement and added the finishing touches to secure the sign–symbolic of their journey to secure the federal land.

    “The Organ Mountains are so iconic in this community and now it’ll be protected…forever and ever,” Childress said.

  • pecos Deines 640x480

    Pecos Serpent Lake Eastwood

    Pecos fall river Jeanne Lambert 361x640

    Pecos - Carol Johnson

    Irises

    HamiltonMesa

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  • Legislative bills could require NM public lands to be transferred to the state
    By Marielle Dent for the Daily Lobo
    February 5, 2015

    Mark Allison, executive director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, spoke with the Daily Lobo about the debate surrounding the transfer of public lands. NM Wild is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting New Mexico wilderness.

    If the bill is passed, what are the most likely outcomes?

    “Rep. Yvette Herrell introduced HB 291, the ‘NM Federal Land Management Study Commission’ (on Wednesday). Bills were introduced in 2013 and 2014 in the New Mexico State Legislature which would have required 23 million acres of public land in New Mexico to be transferred to the state. The bills did not make it out of committee in either year. However, this year there is of course a new Republican majority and committee structure in the House. HB 291 would appropriate $100,000 to create a commission to study the transfer of national public lands to the state.”

    How would the lands and New Mexico citizens be affected if the bill passed?

    “I’d start by noting that these public lands are American places and are the birthright of all Americans. And just as we inherited them, we want to pass them along to future generations.

    Most immediately, if lands were actually transferred to the state, New Mexicans would see their ability to access the places they know and love restricted. We are used to camping, backpacking and snowshoeing and fishing, for example, on our national lands, whereas state lands typically require permits and fees or outright prohibit these kinds of activities. Our heritage and traditions would be at serious risk. If the lands were privatized — say, bought by a wealthy out-of-state land owner — you can kiss that place goodbye because you won’t be seeing it again.

    Another thing people should know is that state lands do not have the kinds of environmental protections that national public lands do, which would put these lands at much greater risk to development and degradation.”

    Why is it unconstitutional?

    “It is well established in the U.S. Constitution, state constitution and by the Supreme Court that the federal government is entitled to retain jurisdiction over public land and that no attempt by a state to supersede it is legitimate. The main thing to know is that these kinds of bills are part of a larger effort across the West that are hostile to our national public lands. Spending money on a commission to “study” the idea or spending millions of dollars to litigate a transfer at the expense of taxpayers, like Utah is currently doing, is an absolutely terrible idea.”

    What will it take to succeed legislatively in securing protection of the lands?

    “I think it is important to note that a large majority of Americans do not want federal public land transferred to state control. Across political parties, 78 percent of New Mexicans state consistent support for public land and 74 percent believe that these lands belong to all Americans. New Mexicans are the most likely of any respondents from any other Western state to reject the sale of federal public lands as a means to reduce the federal deficit. 75 percent of New Mexicans said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who proposes the sale of federal public lands.”

    In a recent interview with KSFR, Republican Representative Herrell said that New Mexico would save money by gaining management of public lands. New Mexico sends more money to the federal government by way of land management fees and gas and oil royalties than it would spend owning the land, she said. She also said the state would never privatize the land and has no reason to. What is your response?

    “I’d say talk is cheap, but this transfer idea sure isn’t. New Mexicans would see a hit to their wallets. For New Mexico to manage the land at the same level as it is now, the state would need to hire at least 2,000 more state employees, costing an additional $218 million annually. This estimate does not include additional funds for fire suppression — a single wildfire can cost $100 million to fight. These are costs which would be borne by New Mexican taxpayers.

    As far as her guarantee that they would never be privatized, sales and transfers of state land in New Mexico have already reduced the state land trust to 9 million acres, from the 13 million it was granted at statehood. There is nothing in these bills that would require the state to retain the lands for the public’s use. In fact, since our state requires a balanced budget, it is easy to see how the state would be forced to raise taxes or auction off these lands to the highest bidder — or both.”

    What can concerned citizens and students do to become involved?

    “Emails and phone calls to your district legislators really do make a difference. Tell them you vote and you are watching. Tell them that HB 291 is a horrible idea. Write a letter to the editor. Check out our website at www.nmwild.org to learn more, or better yet, become a member and help us fight for the permanent protection of our special public lands. Join us in Santa Fe at the Roundhouse on February 11 for Wildlands Lobby Day. Stop by our table to say hello and pick up some materials. We need your help.”

  • Santa Fe New Mexican

    By Ray Rasker 

    At the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act last year, it is encouraging to learn that lands set aside for conservation can also have tremendous economic value. Wild places are key to attracting entrepreneurs as well as a tidal wave of retiring baby boomers. And, more obviously, wild places create jobs in outdoor recreation, now a $646 billion industry.

    Simply put, people care about quality landscapes, and it influences where they live, play and do business.

    A number of studies bear this out. For example, non-metro Western counties have, on average, a per capita income $4,360 higher for every 100,000 acres of protected public lands.

    But a question for today’s policymakers remains: Will the protection of wild places on public lands — in the form of wilderness, national parks, wildlife refuges and national monuments — automatically lead to economic well-being?

    The answer depends largely on location. In big cities, the effect of protected lands is difficult to measure because these economies are too complex to measure the effect of one variable. In remote rural counties there is a positive association, yet there is little job growth because beautiful landscapes by themselves are not enough; good schools, medical facilities and access to markets also are needed.

    The sweet spot are counties with a rural, scenic setting and with a nearby airport with daily service to major cities. In these “connected” counties, there is a measurable positive association between wilderness, national parks and other protected lands and economic well-being.

    These places include Santa Fe; Bend, Ore.; Bozeman, Mont.; Durango; Colo.; Flagstaff, Ariz., and others like them — places that in the last few decades have been discovered and redeveloped because they are wonderful places to live and do business.

    Since 1970, the vast majority of new jobs have been created in service industries, and the race is on to capture the high-wage component of this growth. Communities with protected public lands have a competitive advantage in attracting the engineers, architects, software developers, doctors, lawyers, researchers and others.

    More than 100 economists, including three Noble laureates, sent a letter to President Barack Obama to ask for increased protection of public lands. They stated the situation like this: “Increasingly, entrepreneurs are basing their business location decisions on the quality of life in an area. Businesses are recruiting talented employees by promoting access to beautiful, nearby public lands. This is happening in Western cities and rural areas alike.”

    In addition, the big trend to watch is the retiring baby boomers. Their investment, retirement and other age-related payments now account for 41 percent of personal income among counties in the West and 60 percent of net new personal income in the last decade. This money in turn stimulates health care, construction and other sectors. According to USDA’s Economic Research Service, members of this so-called baby boomer tsunami consistently migrate to counties with high natural amenities.

    Americans clearly care about quality landscapes. A survey from earlier this year found that “69 percent of Westerners are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports protections for some public lands.”

    While the economic role of protected lands is not the same in all places, 50 years after the first federal wilderness, protected lands still matter and play an important economic role.

    Ray Rasker, Ph.D., is the executive director of Headwaters Economics in Bozeman, Mont.

  • Published October 22, 2015

    News From the Santa Fe National Forest: Click Here for Official websitestelprd3791437

    Welcome! The Forest Plan is an important document that governs all of our management actions. It is time for us to revise our existing plan. We invite you to work with us to develop a new plan that promotes a healthy, diverse, and productive Santa Fe National Forest. Our goal is to remain inclusive and efficient as we move through the collaborative planning process.

    Are you interested in or affected by the way that Santa Fe National Forest is managed? We want to hear from you!

    There will be several opportunities for you to participate in the revision process, beginning in 2014. We also plan to consult with area Tribes as well as local, state, and federal agencies to get their feedback.

    The revision process involves three phases:

    1. Assess the condition of forest resources
    2. Develop a revised plan
    3. Monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the plan

    Click Here to Get Involved

    The Forest Plan Revision process is expected to take several years. You will have many opportunities to engage during that time, from public meetings and workshops to virtual communication. Upcoming meetings and events will be posted here. Please stay tuned!
    Symposium Meeting Agenda

    The Symposium on October 23rd,  at the Santa Fe Community College from 8:30am to 3pm, will follow the release of the Draft Assessment on October 20th.  The Symposium is a chance for you to hear from the specialists who wrote the Draft Assessment, which includes your input and evaluates current ecological, economic, and social conditions.

    Fall 2015 “Need-for-Change” Meetings Dates and Locations

    10 Need-for-Change meetings, October 26th to November 17th, throughout the Santa Fe National Forest.  Need-for-change statements recommend changing 1987 Forest Plan as new Forest Plan develops.  Public input needed to propose need-for-change statements as well as edit proposed statements.
    Meeting Schedule:

    Date

    Time Location Room Address
    10/23/2015 8:30am-3:00pm Santa Fe Community College Board Room (West Wing Room 223) 6401 Richards Ave.
    Santa Fe, NM 87508
    10/26/2015 6:00-8:00pm Rio Arriba County Rural Events Center Large Conference Room State Road 554 House #122-A
    El Rito, NM 87530
    10/27/2015 6:00-8:00pm Mora Independent School Board Room 10 Ranger Rd.
    Mora, NM 87732
    10/28/2015 6:00-8:00pm Eichwald Center Gym Martinez Drive
    Cuba, NM 87013
    11/02/2015 6:00-8:00pm Mesa Public Library Rooms 1, 2, and 3 2400 Central Ave
    Los Alamos, NM 87544
    11/03/2015 6:00-8:00pm New Mexico Highlands University STEC rooms 203 and 204 1031 11th Street
    Las Vegas, NM 87701
    11/09/2015 6:00-8:00pm Coyote Elementary School Gym St. Highway 96
    Coyote, NM 87012
    11/10/2015 6:00-8:00pm Pecos Elementary School High School Library 10 Panther Pkwy, Hwy 63 N
    Pecos, NM 87552
    11/12/2015 6:00-8:00pm Santa Fe National Forest Supervisors Office Conference Rooms A and B 11 Forest Lane
    Santa Fe, NM 87508
    11/16/2015 6:00-8:00pm Science and Education Center Jemez Springs Conference Room 090 Villa Louis Martin
    Jemez Springs, NM 87025
    11/17/2015 6:00-8:00pm UNM West Room 2222
    (2nd floor)
    2600 College Blvd. NE
    Rio Rancho, NM 87144

    Need-for-Change Meeting Agenda:

    • 6:00-6:20           Welcome and introductions
    • 6:20-6:35           Presentation on how “need-for-change” meeting fits into the Forest Plan Revision process
    • 6:35-7:45           Breakout sessions where the public creates and edits proposed “need-for-change” statements
    • 7:45-8:00           Summary and evaluation

    Draft Assessment

    The Assessment rapidly evaluates current conditions and trends on 15 topics on Ecological, Economic, and Social conditions, and does not provide any recommendations about what should be in the Forest Plan.  The Santa Fe National Forest Draft Assessment was released on October 20, 2015.

    Draft Assessment Volume 1. (Ecological Resources)

    Draft Assessment Volume 2. (Socioeconomic Report)

    Contact the Forest Plan Revision Team

    Santa Fe National Forest
    Forest Plan Revision Team
    phone:  505-438-5442
    E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    11 Forest Lane
    Santa Fe, NM  87508

    What’s New?

    The Symposium on October 23rd,  at the Santa Fe Community College from 8:30am to 3pm.

    10 Need-for-Change meetings, October 26th to November 17th, throughout the Santa Fe National Forest.

    Draft Assessment Volume 1. (Ecological Resources)

    Draft Assessment Volume 2. (Socioeconomic Report)

    View the Public Participation Plan which includes what we heard from the public over the last year, a timeline of Forest Plan Revision, and great opportunities for the public to engage.
     
    Click here for a summary of public inputs from the Forest Plan Revision Assessment Meetings that occured in April and May of 2014.
  • CLICK BELOW FOR

    Geothermal Scoping Comments 

    Appendix B2

    Appendix A2

     

     
     
  • Las Cruces Sun-News

    3/12/15

    LAS CRUCES >> U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials will host a sign unveiling Sunday in the Organ Mountains east of Las Cruces.

    The event runs from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Dripping Springs Natural Area, located about 10 miles east of Las Cruces at the east end of Dripping Springs Road, according to an event news release.

    Also, some of the new signs, which mark the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, will be installed.

    The signs installation is part of a “Friends Rendezvous” project of the Conservation Lands Foundation, a group that promotes protecting and restoring public lands. Some 200 project participants will be in the Las Cruces area between Friday and Sunday as part of the project.

    Meanwhile, a “community celebration” to mark the one-year anniversary of the national monument will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Alameda House, 526 S. Alameda Blvd., in Las Cruces, according to a news release. It will feature live music. Local dignitaries and elected officials are expected to attend. The public is invited.

    The national monument was designated on May 21, 2014.

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