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.

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.