Columbine-Hondo, New Mexico (PHOTO: Jan Stedebaker)
"The Columbine-Hondo is treasured by the community of northern New Mexico and many years of hard work have been dedicated to ensuring its protection. Designating this landscape as wilderness will help guarantee that it remains a treasure and a destination for New Mexicans and visitors to enjoy for generations to come." –U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich
The Columbine-Hondo, located in the high country of northern New Mexico, is one of the most treasured places in the state and a key attraction for the local tourism economy. People come to these mountains for recreation, solitude, and to spend time with their families, and invariably they leave with their wallets a little lighter. The Columbine-Hondo offers some of the best hunting and fishing opportunities in the state, with high-elevation coldwater fisheries, and unparalleled habitat for elk, deer, and antelope.
U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich introduced the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act, on April 22, 2013. U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham introduced a House companion bill the following month. The Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act resolves the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Study Area, which has been in need of a permanent status since Congress designated the WSA in 1980. The legislation also conveys land to the towns of Red River and Taos Ski Valley for public purposes and modifies the boundaries of Wheeler Peak Wilderness, which completes a popular mountain biking route.
Senators Udall and Heinrich successfuly fought to include a provision to designate Columbine-Hondo as wilderness in the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.
There is strong, bipartisan support at the local level for the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act.
February 10th, 2015
December 2nd, 2014