New Mexico Wilderness Area Grows by 50% After Largest-Ever Land Donation

20th August, 2021.      //   General Interest  // 

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After receiving the greatest donation in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) history, the Sabinoso Wilderness Area in New Mexico, which was an inaccessible and tiny refuge just five years ago, has increased by over 10,000 acres, or 50 percent of its entire area.

The Trust for Public Land, which works to establish public places from private contributions all throughout America, gave the Caon Ciruela property as a follow-up to a much smaller grant made in 2017 in an effort to expand Sabinoso beyond the boundaries of private landholdings that surrounded it.

Described as “a series of high, narrow mesas surrounded by cliff-lined canyons,” the land was referred to by the BLM, which oversees wilderness areas in the United States as “rugged country primarily [of] piñon pine and juniper woodlands with occasional clusters of ponderosa pine. A perennial warm season grass savanna is found on the mesa tops. Streams periodically flow in the canyon bottoms supporting riparian vegetation including willow and cottonwood.”

Among the smaller creatures found in the region are black bears, mountain lions, elk, mule deer, and turkey.

Debra Haaland, a Pueblo Tribal member and Secretary of the Interior, spoke about the donation at a remote piece of wilderness in New Mexico’s San Miguel County, citing the land’s history as a hunting place for numerous native tribes, including the Jicarilla Apache and northern Pueblos.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Secretary stated,“We’re here today because we recognize the importance of preserving this special place. ”

“We know that nature is essential to the health, well-being and prosperity of every family and every community,” they added.

The Caon Ciruela property adds to the wilderness area’s public access points, which were opened for hiking, primitive camping, hunting, and other activities under Ryan Zinke’s DOI in 2017.

Furthermore, the gift permanently safeguards a vital tributary watershed that feeds into the current wildness, ensuring that only natural forces will disrupt the life-giving waters flowing into the region.

President Biden is relying on the Trust for Public Lands to conserve 30 percent of America’s geographic area in its natural state as part of his commitment to combat climate change and as part of the America the Beautiful Act, which, rather than sweeping government penmanship, hopes to rely primarily on private landowners and donations to achieve the “30/30 goal.”