Santa Fe City Board of Commisioners. Courtesy/HECHO
SANTA FE ― The City of Santa Fe voted unanimously Oct. 30 to pass a resolution supporting the protection of wildlife corridors in the upper Rio Grande Basin, as well as supporting pending legislation to protect wildlife corridors nationwide.
The City becomes the 10th jurisdiction in New Mexico to support such a resolution, joining Mora, Colfax, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe County, Taos County, as well as the Town of Taos, the Village of Pecos, and the City of Española.
The resolution encourages the U.S. Forest Service to adopt and establish management areas that provide wildlife with habitat connectivity as part of its forest plan revision, as well as the preservation of land-based uses and access. The Caja del Rio Wildlife and Cultural Interpretive Management Area has been proposed in the Forest Service’s draft forest plan. This area has profound cultural and historical significance and is critical to wildlife habitat and connectivity.
As wildlife habitats become fragmented due to the development of roads, fences, and other human-created barriers, migration has become increasingly difficult for species.
HECHO (Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting and the Outdoors) supports the protection of wildlife connectivity corridors. Advisory Board Member and Chairman Rock Ulibarri explained that the community depends on the protection of outdoor spaces for tradition, recreation, and sustenance.
“Wildlife plays an important role to many of our land-based cultural traditions, and a step to protect wildlife, is a step taken to preserve our ancient traditions,” Ulibarri said. “We hope that leadership in Washington D.C., as well as our forest planners, understand how important this issue is to New Mexican communities across the Upper Rio Grande.”
Public comment is being accepted for the Carson and Santa Fe National Forest management plans until Nov. 7, 2019. The public can find more information and submit comments at http://www.connectedcorridors.com