TPL Receives “Four Cs” Award for NM Work

Taos, NM, 5/10/04: In recognition of their outstanding collaborative effortsto protect beautiful landscapes in Northern New Mexico, the Bureau of LandManagement (BLM) presented the prestigious Four Cs Award to the Trust forPublic Land (TPL), a national non-profit land conservation organization.The award was presented during a ceremony Friday, May 7, atthe Orilla Verde Recreation Area near Taos.

BLM Director Kathleen Clarke presented the award on behalf of theBLM. “The Four Cs Award recognizes those within the BLM and outside ouragency whose performance exemplifies Department of the Interior SecretaryGale Norton’s Four Cs philosophy of consultation, cooperation, andcommunication all in the service of conservation,” stated Clarke. “I ampleased to recognize the Trust for Public Land for their exceptionalpartnership with the BLM in protecting public lands in New Mexico.”

TPL worked with BLM and the Taos Land Trust to complete a multi-yeareffort to preserve the breathtaking 2,581-acre Taos Valley Overlookproperty bringing one of New Mexico’s most spectacular-andthreatened-landscapes into permanent protection. TPL negotiated theoriginal purchase agreement in 2001 with the former landowner that enabledthe BLM to acquire the property over several phases. Through theassistance of TPL, the BLM was able to purchase the property atapproximately $5 million less than the appraised value.

TPL’s endeavors to protect the Taos Valley Overlook also resulted inthe return of almost 10,000 acres of culturally significant land to the SanFelipe Pueblo and almost 7,500 acres of culturally significant lands to theSanto Domingo Pueblo. TPL recently extended its national Tribal LandsProgram to New Mexico, with these two complex BLM exchanges representingthe first successful tribal project closings in the State. In addition tothe land exchanges, funding for the acquisition was made available throughthe Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The partnership between TPL, BLM, and the Taos Land Trust alsocompleted the successful first phase of a multi-year effort to preserve thebeautiful 14,344-acre Ute Mountain property on the New Mexico-Coloradoborder. TPL conveyed 7,924 acres of the Ute Mountain property to the BLM.Upon completion, the Ute Mountain property will be forever protected fromdevelopment, leaving open a critical migratory wildlife corridor and addingapproximately seven miles of the Rio Grande to the recreation area system.

Both areas are located within the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic Rivercorridor, the BLM will manage the land to protect its open space,recreational, and wildlife habitat values.

“TPL’s efforts have brought wonderful additions to our public lands,said Linda S.C. Rundell, State Director of the BLM in Santa Fe.”Protecting these special landscapes and opening them to the public willallow present and future generations to enjoy these natural treasures.”

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.5 million acres of land in 46 states. TPL depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve land for people mission.