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Please take a moment to thank New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation to express your support.

This just in: Senators Udall and Heinrich as well as Congressman Ben Ray Lujan have just introduced legislation that would permanently protect the Columbine Hondo as a wilderness area! Please take a moment to thank them for this critical first step in getting this special area the protection it deserves.

The Columbine Hondo Wilderness Study Area (WSA) deserves wilderness designation to protect its many values, including local traditional culture, watershed quality, wildlife habitat, as well as recreation and tourism.

There is overwhelming local support for this designation with Taos County, the Town of Taos, the Village of Questa, Taos Pueblo, several local land grant, acequia and neighborhood associations and over 300 local businesses having endorsed the concept.

The area contains headwaters of two major Rio Grande tributaries–the Red River and the Rio Hondo. Local acequias and agriculture rely heavily on both the quantity and quality of water coming from these and other streams that have headwaters in this area.

Columbine Hondo provides some of the best habitat in Northern New Mexico for fish and game. Designating it wilderness would safeguard coldwater fisheries and a fragile high alpine ecosystem, including important seasonal habitat for wildlife such as elk, bighorn sheep and migratory birds. Intact habitat in wilderness areas means healthy populations of fish and wildlife for hunters and anglers, both in wilderness areas and in nearby and downstream non-wilderness areas.

Please put in a quick phone call to New Mexico’s Senators and Rep. Lujan and tell their staff:

  1. I want to thank (member’s office you are calling) for introducing the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Act (also, tell them why this is important for you personally)
  2. Please let him know I want him to continue to work on this legislation to make sure it is enacted this Congress so that Columbine Hondo gets the protection it deserves.

Senator Tom Udall: (202) 224-6621

Senator Martin Heinrich: (202) 224-5521

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan: (202) 225-6190

For more information, visit: www.columbinehondo.org

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