Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Subcommittee Chairman Opposes Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Following Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s visit to Taos last month to discuss protecting the Rio Grande del Norte, a Utah congressman announced his opposition to creating a national monument around the area, The Taos News reported. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., has proposed legislation to protect a 236,000-acre area including the Rio Grande Gorge, Ute Mountain and San Antonio Mountain in Taos and Rio Arriba counties, and both Bingaman and Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., have called on President Barack Obama to create a national monument to protect the area, The News said. Two days after Salazar’s visit to Taos, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, who chairs the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, issued a statement opposing the designation, the paper reported. “It’s nice that Secretary Salazar held a meeting on Saturday, but many would argue that the gathering failed to provide sufficient opportunity for real public input and participation from the community, stakeholders and local leaders,” said the statement from Bishop’s office. “This is not the appropriate course that should be taken when considering new policies and land designations that affect so many livelihoods.”...more

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