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Heinrich Statement on Biden Administration Proposal to Protect Buffalo Tract from Mineral Development

For more than a decade, Heinrich has stood with Pueblos, local community to champion efforts to protect Buffalo Tract from mineral development

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement welcoming a proposal from the U.S. Department of Interior to withdraw 4,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in southern Sandoval County, including the Buffalo Tract and the Crest of Montezuma, from any mineral development for 50 years. Heinrich and U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) introduced the Buffalo Tract Protection Act and have called on the U.S. Department of Interior to withdraw the area from mineral development. 
“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. 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. 
“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.
 “This proposal by the administration will provide key protections for this landscape 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.” 
This proposal follows years of advocacy by Heinrich to protect the Buffalo Tract permanently from mineral development.
  • March 2023: Heinrich, Stansbury Call on Interior Department to Withdraw Buffalo Tract From Mineral Development During Community Event
  • May 2022: Heinrich, Stansbury lead a letter requesting that the U.S. Department of Interior administratively withdraw over 4,200 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land near Las Placitas, New Mexico from mineral development.
  • November 2021: VIDEO: Heinrich Bill To Protect Buffalo Tract Passes Out Of Committee 
  • October 2021: VIDEO: Heinrich Legislation To Protect Buffalo Tract Gains Support Of BLM In Key Hearing 
  • February 2021: Heinrich, Luján Introduce Buffalo Tract Protection Act 
  • February 2019: Heinrich, Udall Reintroduce Buffalo Tract Protection Act 
  • July 2016: Heinrich, Udall Introduce Buffalo Tract Protection Act