The Buffalo Tract is clearly the wrong place for a gravel mine. The environmental impacts on a landscape that many New Mexicans treasure would be irreparable. That’s why I am pleased the Biden administration is heeding the calls of New Mexicans who have stood united in defense of the Buffalo Tract for well over a decade.
This public land is intermixed with residential communities and are important landscapes for the Pueblo of Santa Ana, the Pueblo of San Felipe, the people of Placitas, and the Merced De Comunidad De San Antonio De Las Huertas land grant. The Buffalo Tract also serves as a critical wildlife corridor between the Sandia Mountains to the south and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the north.
PHOTO: (From left) Sandoval County Commissioner Joshua Jones, Santa Ana Pueblo Governor Nathan K. Garcia, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury, and Placitas resident Mary Rose de Valladares at community event to protect the Buffalo Tract, March 17, 2023.
The U.S. Department of Interior announced a historic proposal
today to withdraw 4,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands in southern Sandoval County, including the Buffalo Tract and the Crest of Montezuma, from any mineral development for 50 years. My legislation—the Buffalo Tract Protection Act
—would make these protections permanent.
It is time we put an end to this years-long debate and withdraw these parcels from future mineral development.
United States Senator