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5th International Mexican Gray Wolf Stamp Released

For Immediate Release
April 6,2015

Contact: Tisha Broska
505-843-8696, ext. 104

NM Wilderness Alliance launches 5th international Mexican gray wolf collector’s stamp

This year’s stamp—chosen from more than 50 entries—inspired by Albuquerque native wolf

 

2015 Wolf StampAlbuquerque—April 6, 2015— The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance just released its 5th international collector’s stamp commemorating the Mexican gray wolf.

Each year, artists from across the country submit their artwork to the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, who organizes the contest.

This year’s stamp design, inspired by a former Albuquerque resident Gypsy the wolf, was chosen from more than 50 entries.

Gypsy, a female Mexican gray wolf, was born in 2004 at the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque, as part of the Species Survival Plan and has been a resident of Wolf Haven International in Washington since 2005.

Says artist Skie Bender, “I’ve always been fond of Gypsy for her gregarious albeit shy and curious energy.”

The Mexican Wolf Conservation Stamp is a framing-quality conservation stamp. Native to the Southwest, the Mexican gray wolf—or lobo—was reintroduced to the wild more than 17 years ago through a captive breeding program, yet still struggles to survive with only 109 left in the wild. All proceeds from the stamp benefit Mexican gray wolf conservation and education efforts.

To purchase the 2015 stamp as well as previous years’ stamps, visit nmwild.org/purchasewolfstamp

About the artist: Bender is Education Outreach Specialist at Wolf Haven International, a nonprofit sanctuary for captive-born wolves, located in the small farming community of Tenino, Wash. Bender exhibits her artwork throughout the west and Pacific Northwest. She connects her love for animals with her passion for art by donating proceeds of her paintings to various animal rescue organizations.

Groundbreaking progress for New Mexico: U.S. House passes bill to create Columbine Hondo Wilderness

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2014

The legislation now moves on to Senate

The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NM Wild), part of the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Coalition, today celebrated the passage of the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act (S. 776/H.R. 1683), as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 3879). The defense bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. The Columbine Hondo provision in the legislation will protect 45,000 acres of incredible wildlife habitat, an important source of clean water, and a prized hunting and fishing destination.

The Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act was introduced by Senator Tom Udall and co-sponsored by Sen. Martin Heinrich. A House companion was introduced by Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM-3) and is co-sponsored by Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1).

The Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act passed along with several other wilderness bills that would protect almost 250,000 acres of wilderness in Colorado, Montana, Nevada, and Washington.

“Thank you to Senators Udall and Heinrich and Representatives Luján and Lujan Grisham for your hard work and dedication and for making Wilderness a priority,” said Mark Allison, executive director of NM Wild.

Community support for safeguarding the Columbine Hondo has been broad and deep. The Columbine Hondo Wilderness Coalition includes business owners, ranchers, sportsmen, Acequia parciantes, mountain bikers, elected officials, conservationists, and others who have worked together for years to preserve this natural treasure.

“NM Wild is proud to be part of a diverse coalition in Taos County that includes elected officials, Acequia partners, land-grant members and livestock grazing permittees,” said John Olivas, traditional community organizer for NM Wild. “We have worked for many years on the Columbine Hondo campaign, and it is wonderful to see each of us reach this historic milestone that will protect 45,000 additional acres in Taos County for future generations.”

“The Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act will forever protect our land and water that the people of Red River and other communities depend upon” said Mayor of Red River, Linda Calhoun. “It is a true bipartisan measure supported by people from all walks of life.”

Just north of Taos, the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is the last remaining portion of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to be designated as wilderness. It is crowned by 13 miles of high alpine ridges and peaks that tower above 11,000 feet, including its high point, Gold Hill at 12,711 feet elevation.

“My family has depended on the Columbine Hondo for years,” said Erminio Martinez, a livestock permittee in Columbine Hondo. “It is our responsibility to preserve our land and water, and I want to thank our Senators and Representatives for working so hard to pass the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Act this year.”

Columbine Hondo is home to elk, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mountain lions, black bear, pine marten, and Rio Grande cutthroat trout. This area is a significant clean water source for the central Rio Grande Corridor of New Mexico, supplying water to two of the larger Rio Grande tributaries – the Red River and the Rio Hondo. The water safeguarded in the Columbine Hondo area supplies many Acequias used by the local agricultural community.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, and I cannot think of a wilderness more deserving of protection than Columbine Hondo,” said Roberta Salazar, Executive Director of Rivers & Birds. “I am thankful that Congress listened to our community and safeguarded this amazing area.”

Land Transfer Bill Killed in Santa Fe

For Immediate Release
March 5, 2015

NM Wilderness Alliance turns attention to legislation that would oppose new wilderness around the Pecos

Albuquerque—March 5, 2015—NM HB 291 sailed through its first committee two weeks ago, but a strong push from the conservation community helped table this bill on Monday.

Conservationists were heard loud and clear by the New Mexico House Judiciary Committee, who Monday voted 8-4 to table HB 291, which would have created a study commission to look into the transfer of public lands to the state.

Now, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NM Wild) turns its attention to Senate Memorial 40, which opposes any new wilderness in the Pecos. The organization also contests HB 457, which would make oil and gas New Mexico’s official state resource. Both Senate Memorial 40 and HB 457 will be heard in committee Friday, March 6.

On Monday before the vote, NM Wild’s members from across the state rallied to send hundreds of messages to members of the committee saying that this legislation was a bad idea.

“Because of our members efforts in calling and e-mailing representatives, the bill was voted down by both political parties, and was a win for New Mexico and the rest of the country,” said Mark Allison, executive director of NM Wild.

Aside from being unconstitutional, HB 291 was unnecessary and unwanted by New Mexicans.

“Had this bill been passed, New Mexico would have spent years wasting valuable time and resources pursuing an idea which would undoubtedly be litigated relentlessly by both sides, and which would, in the end, be ruled unconstitutional by a Federal court,” said NM Wild Staff Attorney Judy Calman.

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The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NM Wild) is a non-profit 501(C)(3), grassroots, environmental organization dedicated to the protection, restoration, and continued enjoyment of New Mexico’s wildlands and Wilderness areas. The primary goal of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is to ensure the protection and restoration of all remaining wild lands in New Mexico through administrative designations, federal Wilderness designation, and ongoing stewardship.

U.S. Senate Committee Sends Columbine Hondo to Floor for Consideration

For Immediate Release
November 13, 2014

TAOS, NM (November 13, 2014) – The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NM Wild) today applauded the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for passing the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act (S. 776) out of Committee. The Act now awaits passage on the Senate floor. The legislation would protect 45,000 acres of incredible wildlife habitat, an important source of clean water, and a prized hunting and fishing destination.
The clock is ticking for wilderness bills across the country. More than two dozen wilderness bills are pending in Congress, including the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act. NM Wild is hopeful Congress moves to protect Columbine Hondo during the Lame Duck session of Congress.

The Act was introduced by Sen. Tom Udall and co-sponsored by Sen. Martin Heinrich. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM-3) introduced a House companion (H.R. 1683) that is co-sponsored by Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1).

“I want to thank senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham for their leadership in moving the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act,” said Linda Calhoun, mayor of Red River. “Now it is time for Congress to follow our delegation’s lead and pass this bill into law this year.”

Community support for safeguarding the Columbine Hondo is broad and deep. The Columbine Hondo Wilderness Coalition includes business owners, ranchers, sportsmen, Acequia parciantes, mountain bikers, elected officials, conservationists, and others who have worked together for years to preserve this natural treasure.

“Protecting Columbine Hondo as wilderness will safeguard critical wildlife habitat loved by those who come hunt, fish, and view,” said Max Trujillo of New Mexico Wildlife Federation. “The sportsman’s way of life is a time-tested tradition in northern New Mexico, and I want to thank Senators Udall and Heinrich and Representatives Luján and Lujan Grisham for working to maintain our way of life.”

Just north of Taos, the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is the last remaining portion of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to be designated as wilderness. It is crowned by 13 miles of high alpine ridges and peaks that tower above 11,000 feet, including its high point, Gold Hill at 12,711 feet elevation.

“The Columbine Hondo has sustained my family for eight generations,” said Erminio Martinez, a livestock permittee in Columbine Hondo. “It is our responsibility to the ninth, tenth, and all future generations to preserve our land and water. I want to thank our Senators and Representatives for working so hard to pass the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Act this year.”

Columbine Hondo is home to elk, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mountain lions, black bear, pine marten, and Rio Grande cutthroat trout. This area is a significant clean water source for the central Rio Grande Corridor of New Mexico, supplying water to two of the larger Rio Grande tributaries – the Red River and the Rio Hondo. The water safeguarded in the Columbine Hondo area supplies many Acequias used by the local agricultural community.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, and I cannot think of a better time to preserve Columbine Hondo,” said Roberta Salazar, Executive Director of Rivers & Birds. “Wilderness protection in New Mexico has always been a steadfast American value and has bipartisan support on-the-ground. It is time for Congress to act.”


The Columbine Hondo Wilderness Coalition urges Congress to protect the Columbine Hondo as wilderness this year.

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