Our Work

The Santa Fe New Mexican
December 18, 2012 

News that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was in Taos last Saturday to hear comments about how best to preserve the Rio Grande del Norte is sending hearts aflutter across Northern New Mexico. Traditionally, before land is set aside, a last, listening meeting takes place, meaning (cross your fingers) that before the end of 2012, the designation of the Rio Grande del Norte as deserving special protection will happen.

This status would protect some of Northern New Mexico’s most precious outdoors areas, whether for hunting, fishing, rafting, wood cutting, grazing or plain ol’ enjoying. A dream of a wide variety of norteños, this designation — some 236,00 acres of public land northwest of Taos — also is a fitting tribute to Sen. Jeff Bingaman, who is retiring after 30 years in the Senate. Indian, Hispanic and Anglo peoples of the north, outdoorsmen and conservationists, business owners and environmentalists all have worked together to show the benefits of preserving the area, which contains parts of the Rio Grande Gorge, Ute Mountain and the Taos Plateau; in other words, some of the most spectacular and wild places in New Mexico.

Because the current Congress has been so reluctant to preserve wilderness — this session likely will be the first since 1966 where lawmakers fail to set aside new areas for protection — it could fall to President Barack Obama to use his executive powers instead. Under the Antiquities Act, the president can designate this important recreational and wildlife area as a national monument. Instead of the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area, we could have the Rio Grande del Norte Monument. Either works.

We urge the president to follow in the footsteps of conservation pioneer President Teddy Roosevelt, and even President Richard Nixon, both of whom knew the value of the wild. It was Roosevelt who started the practice of setting aside land so the wild core of this nation would not be lost. Nixon was the president who returned the sacred Blue Lake to Taos Pueblo — a victory both for the rights of indigenous peoples and for the land itself. Today, more than ever, this country must preserve the wild, safeguard our water and protect people’s access to nature. Creating the Rio Grande del Norte Monument is in the best tradition of our nation and in the best interests of New Mexico.


NM Wild Supporters

Wilderness Protection Campaigns

  • Rio Grande del Norte

    Rio Grande del Norte The Rio Grande del Norte has shaped the lives of the people who have lived and visited the area for so many generations. Read More
  • Organ Mountains

    Organ Mountains The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument protects a New Mexico legacy spanning Pre-American, New Mexican, and American history. Read More
  • Pecos Wilderness

    The Pecos Wilderness, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, encompasses 223,637 acres spanning the Carson and Santa Fe national forests in northeastern New Mexico, and is the source of the Read More
  • Gila Campaign

    Gila Campaign The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance has been busy working on many fronts in and around the Gila Wilderness, the birthplace of the wilderness protection movement and our state’s largest wilderness. Read More
  • Victories

    Victories The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance has had several major victories since the organization was founded in 1997. Read more about our conservation victories below. Read More
  • Outreach and Education

    Outreach and Education In 2013, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance launched a pilot Wilderness Education project to test a model of environmental education. We tested a three-tiered approach for environmental education that begins in Read More
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Our Work

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News About Rio Grande del Norte

  • Thanks to feds working to preserve wilderness areas +

    Published in the Taos News, May 6, 2016

    An amendment added recently to a federal energy bill would create two

    Read More
  • Obama should look to New Mexico for conservation legacy +

    High Country News

    Ben Long | Jan 14, 2013

    Conservation is about balance: balancing the wants

    Read More
  • Help Us Protect Rio Grande del Norte. Donate today. +

    2015 10 22 15 17 54

    Read More
  • Worthy of preservation +

    The Santa Fe New Mexican
    December 18, 2012 

    News that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was in Taos last Saturday to

    Read More
  • New Guide to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument +

    Click here for PDF of the full

    New Guide to the Rio Grande del Norte National Read More

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