Enhanced Access to New Rio Grande Del Norte Monument

April 15, 2013

The Trust for Public Land today announced it has protected 78 acres of land that will allow new routes into the southern end of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

The land is at the end of Taos County Rd 110. The Trust for Public Land bought the property from the First National Bank of New Mexico and sold it to the Bureau of Land Management.

President Obama recently signed an order creating five new monuments, including the Rio Grande del Norte. The land is popular for fishing, rafting, and hiking, and also has archeological features, including a number of petroglyphs.

"This is a good fit with our mission of protecting land for people, because it ensures that visitors will be able to more easily enter the southern end of this spectacular gorge," said Greg Hiner of The Trust for Public Land. "I would also like to thank The First National Bank of New Mexico, for its belief in this project and its support of our effort to make this happen."

"We are thrilled with this latest acquisition which adds a key parcel to one of our most cherished landscapes, the "Taos Valley Overlook', said Jesse Juen, BLM New Mexico State Director. "The parcel will also provide the public a future trail head and wonderful access into a portion of the newly designated Rio Grande del Norte National Monument."

The land cost $780,000 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Money for the fund comes from fees paid by oil and gas companies to drill offshore, and not taxpayers.

"This is a popular spot to access the southern end of the new Rio Grande del Norte National Monument," said Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. "I am pleased that this land will now be protected for the benefit of the surrounding communities and a new trailhead will be created to give the public an amazing opportunity to visit and hike these majestic lands."

"This acquisition is wonderful news for our state, and a good example of the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund," said Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. "Increasing access to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument will improve the quality of life for all who hunt, fish and float there, for all who benefit from the tourism dollars it brings, and for all who pass on New Mexico's many outdoor traditions--both old and new--to their children in such a magnificent setting."

"This important purchase illustrates why the Land and Water Conservation fund is so important," said Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M. "This parcel of land will provide enhanced access to the new Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument so that the public can enjoy this wonderful crown jewel of New Mexico."

Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.