Protecting and Restoring Our Wilderness Legacy
When Spanish settlers first arrived in New Mexico four hundred years ago, they described rolling hills of auburn grass and cacti that came up to the stirrups of mounted horsemen. Later, Aldo Leopold, “the father of Wilderness”, wrote of this land of unparalleled biological diversity that the “…oak-dotted hills, …pine clad mesas, and lazy trout streams …come near to being the cream of creation.”
Sadly, today most of the rolling grasses are gone, the streams have long dried up, and many of the speckled mesas and hills have been sacrificed to economic development and motorized recreation. These lands, once treasured as some of the wildest in the west, are quickly dwindling.
There are well over 4.5 million acres of potential Wilderness in New Mexico. Aggressive wilderness advocacy campaigns are necessary to create the public demand to permanently protect these areas as Wilderness.
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is implementing an aggressive grassroots organizing and media outreach strategy to invigorate traditional supporters of wild lands protection, convince non-traditional constituencies of the values of Wilderness preservation, and motivate a new generation of Wilderness advocates. At the same time, we are working to provide interim protection for these wild places so that they can still be protected for future generations.