New Mexico public lands, habitat would be conserved in new wilderness bill

Bicameral introduction of the Cerro de la Olla Wilderness Area Establishment Law Praised by hunters and fishermen, bill would conserve habitat for elk, mule deer, mountain lion and black bear

WASHINGTON – Senator Martin introduced a bill today in the US Senate and House of Representatives that would preserve 13,000 acres of public lands in New Mexico as wilderness, including elk migratory corridors and habitat for moose. a variety of big game species. Heinrich (D-NM) and Representative Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM).

The Cerro de la Olla Wilderness Establishment Act would designate 13,000 new acres of wilderness within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico, further cementing protections for the landscape while maintaining current routes and access public.

The New Mexico chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers supported the legislation during its initial filing in the 117th Congress and praised today’s bicameral filing in the 118th.

“We applaud the reintroduction of the Cerro de la Olla Wilderness Establishment Act by Senator Martin Heinrich and Representative Teresa Leger Fernández,” said Mike Farrington, vice president of BHA NM. “With the support of athletes, this legislation would permanently preserve more than 13,000 acres of public land in the Rio Grande do Norte National Monument. A unique caldera, this landscape is an important migration corridor for elk and provides habitat for other game species such as mule deer, mountain lions and black bear.”

Established in 2013, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument provides habitat ranging from high-elevation sagebrush plains to some of the country’s first designated segments of the Wild and Scenic River System. In 2019, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act designated both the Cerro del Yuta Wilderness and the Rio San Antonio Wilderness within the monument.

“Wilderness areas offer unencumbered landscapes, healthy habitat and a solitude that is becoming all too rare in our world,” said John Gale, BHA vice president of policy and government relations. “BHA members crave the hunting and fishing opportunities that only nature provides. Senator Heinrich and Congressman Leger Fernández not only appreciate these values; they also acknowledge the broad support of New Mexicans and others for preserving them. We thank you for your leadership and urge your colleagues in Congress to support the Law to Establish the Cerro de la Olla Wilderness Area.”

Last Congress, the Cerro de la Olla Wilderness Establishment Act was reported by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by voice vote, the only wilderness bill in the 117th Congress to do so.

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