As you may have heard on KUNM, the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Coalition is hoping Senator Jeff Bingaman will introduce legislation to protect 46,000 acres of wilderness near Taos in the next few months.
But that’s only the most recent in a slew of New Mexico conservation measures pending in Congress. There’s a nice summary on the Wilderness Society’s website, outlining bills that would create El Rio Grande del Norte Conservation Area, expand the boundary of Cibola National Forest in the Manzanos and protect the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces.
Also, tomorrow (March 22) Senator Bingaman will hold committee hearings on a measure to add the 5,000-acre Miranda Canyon property, south of Taos, to the Carson National Forest.
AND there’s been some speculation as to whether President Obama will step in to the ongoing battle over Otero Mesa and use his Antiquities Act powers to declare it a National Monument…and as of yesterday, that’s an official strategy for the Organ Mountains too. According to Senator Tom Udall, it’s unlikely any of that would happen until after the Presidential election…and we’re probably not going to know it’s coming until it’s upon us. But given the current state of Congress, that quick sweep of the pen may be the best hope some of this land has got.