President Obama took a step toward protecting the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Southwest by designating Chimney Rock in Colorado a national monument. He should maintain that momentum to protect wonderful places in New Mexico as well.

El Río Grande del Norte is home to some spectacular wildlife. Bald eagles, falcons, and hawks cover the sky in the summer, migratory birds, such as herons, merlins, and sandhill cranes stop here on the way to the Bosque del Apache, and pronghorn antelope and elk roam the land.

Ute Mountain, standing prominent on the horizon, is covered in piñón, ponderosa, aspens, and white pines. In addition, New Mexicans hunt, fish, hike and swim in the area.

We are fortunate to live in the Land of Enchantment. I encourage President Obama to protect special places in New Mexico, like El Río Grande del Norte, so future generations will be able to enjoy them as we do.

Sanders Moore

Director, Environment New Mexico

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