Monday, August 07, 2017

Monuments harm Hispano culture

By Ted J. Trujillo / Member, Northern New Mexico Stockman's Association
The July 14 commentary by New Mexico LULAC titled “National monuments key to Hispanic culture” is a gross overstatement. The proliferation of national monuments in New Mexico is merely the continuation of several decades of land loss that the Hispano community has endured, beginning with the U.S. War on Mexico in 1846 and continuing through the present. These national monuments represent a net loss to the surrounding communities, especially to the native Hispano, as a land-based people.

Traditional Hispano culture is fundamentally rooted in the numerous villages and rural communities of New Mexico, especially in the mountainous areas of the state. There you will find the uniqueness of the native Hispano experience in “El Nuevo Mexico,” deeply rooted in its traditional land use practices. Its long history, unique dialect, written literature and oral stories, legends, epic journeys, and pioneering presence have kept generations of scholars busy in its historic documentation. The New Mexico Hispano culture is truly without parallel in this country and even among its counterparts throughout Latin America.

Juan de Oñate’s founding of San Gabriel del Yunque near present-day Española in 1598 predates the failed Jamestown colony of Virginia by a decade, and more importantly, it never failed. The Spanish colonization of New Mexico was well-documented, including numbers and inventory of livestock – horses, mules, donkeys, cows, sheep, goats and swine – in a caravan miles long. Many native Hispano ranching families are direct descendents of these original founders of the livestock and ranching industry in the USA. It is these Hispano ranchers who constitute the “Northern New Mexico Stockman’s Association,” sponsor of this commentary. Today, northern New Mexico remains a repository of valuable crops, including several varieties of native chiles, squashes, maize, apples, pears and grapes, as well as many of the pit fruits. This legacy did not happen by chance but by the hand of successive generations of Hispanos living and surviving on the land in their numerous villages. This legacy includes the numerous “acequias,” incorporated from Spanish/Moorish tradition into the native landscapes in the mountain ranges of New Mexico, both north and south, enabling an environment for all life to thrive.

The rural Hispano population has long opposed the far-left environmentalist agenda that puts their unrealistic goals ahead of the rural communities of New Mexico...

 In creating these national monuments, President Obama overlooked the statutory requirements involved in designating a national monument...NNMSA urges (Interior) Secretary (Ryan) Zinke to drastically roll back the acreage in these two designations in order to provide the land base for the next generations of New Mexicans.

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