Albuquerque, NM – President Obama is expected to designate five national monuments on Monday including Rio Grande del Norte near Taos, New Mexico. These designations will permanently protect this landscape from development.
“Environment New Mexico eagerly awaits President Obama permanently protecting Rio Grande del Norte,” said Sanders Moore, director of Environment New Mexico. “This is exciting news for the hikers who explore Ute Mountain, a free-standing former volcano in Rio Grand Del Norte, and the wildlife that live there.”
Rio Grande Del Norte is home to thousands of plant and wildlife. The region is home to bald eagles and falcons; migratory birds, such as herons; and, elk and pronghorn antelope, the only surviving species of its family in the world.
The designation has strong local support by the public. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, former Senator Bingaman and Congressmen Lujan, and the Mayors of Questa and Taos all expressed their support for Rio Grande Del Norte.
“Rio Grande del Norte is just another reason why New Mexico is known as the ‘Land of Enchantment’,” said Moore. “Thanks to President Obama, we’ll be able to enjoy these regions for generations to come.”
Rio Grande del Norte will be designated as a national monument under the Antiquities Act. Signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the Act has been used by nearly every president since to permanently protect federally owned land from development. Currently only about one third of our public lands are permanently protected as wilderness, parks, refuges or other protected areas.