A map of the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area.

New legislation in Washington, D.C., would extend federal support for the Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area and continue the conservation of local cultural and historic resources through the year 2036.

Introduced by U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-NM, and U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández, D-NM, the legislation would extend support provided by the National Park Services for an additional 15 years. Without the reauthorization, introduced March 25, the area would lose its federal support.

"Our arts and culture in New Mexico are beautiful, complex and truly unique," said Heinrich. "The Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area draws visitors from around the globe and gives context and meaning to our New Mexican way of life."

The Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area, established in 2014, spans Taos, Río Arriba and Santa Fe counties, and covers more than 13,000 acres. The NRGNHA's mission is to sustain the communities, languages, cultures, traditions, heritage and environment of Northern New Mexico.

"Culture, land, water and history interweave in a landscape both stunning and fragile along the Río Grande of Northern New Mexico," said Leger Fernández. "As a 17th generation Nuevo Mexicana and former Vice Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, I deeply value the Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area and am proud to support the work to protect it."

"The Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area Reauthorization Act of 2021 preserves the area's vital resources so its stories can help enlighten New Mexicans and the world of the area's fragile beauty and fascinating history," said Leger Fernández.

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