The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to accept donation of the Rimrock Rose Ranch in northeastern New Mexico from The Wilderness Land Trust, to provide public access to the Sabinoso Wilderness.
The BLM also will purchase some of the ranch property. As part of its deal with the Wilderness Land Trust, the BLM will eliminate two grazing allotments in the area.
In a news release, the BLM said the donation would provide — for the first time — public access to the Sabinoso Wilderness, a roughly 16,000-acre area currently landlocked by private land about 40 miles east of Las Vegas, N.M.
...The ranch property, recently acquired by The Wilderness Land Trust, consists of about 4,176 acres adjacent to the designated wilderness. Of the total acreage, about 3,576 acres are proposed to be acquired through the donation, while the remaining acreage is proposed to be acquired by the BLM. The agency’s news release did not say what the purchase price would be or whether a price has been arrived at.
As part of this action, the BLM also is proposing to make two BLM livestock grazing allotments for which the ranch served as base property unavailable for grazing going forward, in order to protect riparian areas.
This part of the proposal, involving two allotments totaling 6,260 acres, is a condition placed on the donation by The Wilderness Land Trust.
“Therefore, in order to consider removing the availability of grazing from the allotments, an amendment to the Taos Resource Management Plan must be prepared,” says the BLM’s news release. “The remaining 16 (grazing) allotments in and around Sabinoso Wilderness would not be affected by this proposal."
This is from February 9, 2016:
The Wilderness Land Trust and the Wyss Foundation today announced a major milestone in the effort to unlock public access to the 16,000 acre Sabinoso Wilderness in New Mexico, an area that is currently impossible for the public to access without trespassing on private property.
Thanks to a $3,150,000 contribution from the Wyss Foundation, The Wilderness Land Trust has purchased the Rimrock Rose, a 4,176 acre property adjacent to the Sabinoso Wilderness that includes the remote and beautiful Canyon Largo. The Wilderness Land Trust will now work to transfer the Rimrock Rose to public ownership by donating it to the Bureau of Land Management so that it may be added to the Sabinoso Wilderness area to create public access.
...“We are proud to be able to help local leaders and The Wilderness Land Trust as they expand access for fishing, hunting, hiking, and recreation in New Mexico’s prized backcountry,” said Molly McUsic, President of the Wyss Foundation. “Everyone should have the opportunity to experience the wonder of the Sabinoso Wilderness and all of our nation's public lands.”
...Over the coming months, The Wilderness Land Trust will work with the Bureau of Land Management to donate the lands to public ownership so that the public may explore one of New Mexico’s newest and most stunning wilderness areas. Before the lands may be donated to public ownership, the Bureau of Land Management will need to conduct and complete a review of the areas to determine whether they are suitable for addition to the Sabinoso Wilderness and meet the agency’s criteria for accepting a donation.
And just in case you are interested:
Founded in 1998, the Wyss Foundation has long supported locally-led efforts to conserve public lands in the American West for everyone to experience and explore. The Foundation’s philanthropy has helped conserve and restore public lands from the Crown of the Continent in Montana and the Hoback Basin in Wyoming to the coastline of California and the rivers of Maine.
The Wilderness Land Trust is a small, highly specialized nonprofit organization established to buy and protect wilderness land. Since founded in 1992, the Trust has preserved 432 parcels comprising more than 47,000 acres of wilderness inholdings in 93 designated and proposed wilderness areas across 9 states. The Wilderness Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) organization, has offices in California and Colorado. For more information visit our website www.wildernesslandtrust.org.
Concerning the partnership agreement above, Senators Udall & Heinrich and Rep. Lujan issued a statement:
Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján welcomed a partnership between the Wyss Foundation and the Wilderness Land Trust to open up the Sabinoso Wilderness for public access.
Senator Udall said, "I'd like to thank the Wyss Foundation and the Wilderness Land Trust"; Senator Heinrich called the two organizations "dedicated partners" and said this was a "great achievement; and Rep. Lujan thanked them for their "efforts".
Concerning the outlawing of ranching on two allotments, do they "welcome" this requirement of the Wilderness Land Trust? Will Senator Udall and Rep. Lujan still "thank" them? Does Senator Heinrich still believe this is a "great achievement" by his "dedicated partners"?