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New Mexico Wild Celebrates Expanded Access to Sabinoso Wilderness Area

Contact: Mark Allison, Executive Director, New Mexico Wild, 505-239-0906

Albuquerque, New Mexico (November 9, 2017) -- The Department of Interior announced today the addition of approximately 3,600 acres to the 16,030-acre Sabinoso Wilderness east of Las Vegas, New Mexico. Created in 2009, Sabinoso has been surrounded by private property, making it the only “landlocked” wilderness area in the country. Today’s announcement not only marks the first expansion of a wilderness area in the country by the Trump administration but also the culmination of a nearly decade-long effort to provide access to the public.

Today’s announcement was made possible by the Wilderness Land Trust which purchased the Rimrock Rose Ranch for the purpose of donating it to the public to own in perpetuity. The area will be managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Sabinoso Wilderness is a rugged backcountry area that is characterized by its remoteness, red rock canyons, archaeological sites and solitude. It is home to elk, mule deer, mountain lions, and wild turkey. The headwaters of the Canadian River run through Cañon Largo. Cañon Largo was a well-traveled route used by native people for centuries and by cavalry traveling from Fort Union to Fort Bascom in the 19th century.

Interest from residents of San Miguel County and throughout New Mexico has been high and New Mexico Wild is gratified that the public will finally be able to visit this beautiful area to hike, backpack, photograph, hunt and ride horses. “This is a dream come true for many New Mexicans who worked for years to permanently protect this wild and spectacular place. Our supporters have been hungry to visit Sabinoso since its designation and we are elated that the public will finally be able to enjoy this northern New Mexican treasure,” said Mark Allison, Executive Director of New Mexico Wild.

New Mexico Wild organized dozens of volunteers who donated nearly 1,000 hours to make the former ranch ready for transfer to the National Wilderness Preservation System by removing fencing, corrals and other structures.

“During a time when we see corporate special interests attempt to undermine and privatize our public lands, it is welcome news indeed to see the Wilderness Land Trust work to strengthen and add to them. Having a private owner willingly donate these spectacular lands to the American people and ensuring that they will be protected for future generations is more than generous, it is patriotic,” said Allison.

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ABOUT THE NEW MEXICO WILDERNESS ALLIANCE: Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017, New Mexico Wild is a statewide, independent, grassroots non-profit 501 (C)(3), advocacy organization dedicated to the protection, restoration and continued respect of New Mexico’s wildlands and Wilderness areas. www.nmwild.org

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