Thursday, June 01, 2006

Governor Bill Richardson Acts to Protect New Mexico Wilderness

Today, Governor Bill Richardson filed a petition for complete protection of 1.7 million acres of New Mexico wilderness – 1.6 million acres of roadless national forests in New Mexico, as well as 100,000 acres at the Valle Vidal. Governor Richardson today became the first western governor to petition the Bush administration for roadless area protection under a new rule established last year.

“Our roadless wilderness areas are truly cherished by the people of New Mexico as well as people who come here to fish and hunt,” said New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. “I am very proud today to help protect all 1.6 million acres of roadless territory in New Mexico’s national forests as well as the Valle Vidal, an outdoor jewel in Northern New Mexico. Roadless areas support significant and complex wildlife communities, they create valuable recreation opportunities, and roadless areas help support natural fire resistance.”

Included in the petition is a 100,000 acre area known as Valle Vidal in the Carson National Forest. The Valle Vidal, now at risk to oil and gas development, is prime habitat for elk and trout, which brings hunters, fisherman and tourists from all around the region to this place of rare beauty. The Valle Vidal was added to the National Forest System after the original roadless inventories were conducted and, to this day, lacks permanent protection.

“We commend Governor Richardson for using every tool at his disposal to protect New Mexico's roadless areas," said Robert Vandermark, director of the Heritage Forests Campaign. "His efforts, as well as those of the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, will help keep much of our nation's last wild forests intact until we can return to a national policy that protects all roadless areas, throughout the country, as so many citizens have demanded.”


Post a Comment

<< Home