Heinrich Welcomes New Effort To Expand Public Access To The Sabinoso Wilderness

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 8, 2019) – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, welcomed an announcement that The Trust for Public Land has received a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Acres for America Program to fund the protection of the 8,914-acre Cañon Ciruela property in eastern New Mexico. The Trust for Public Land plans to donate the land to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) so it can be added to the Sabinoso Wilderness. The donation is expected to be completed before the end of the year. The land donation would expand public access to the wilderness, and open up new outdoor recreation opportunities for hunting and fishing.

The rugged Sabinoso Wilderness in San Miguel County, between Las Vegas and Mosquero, is home to a variety of wildlife, including mule deer, elk and wild turkey. Its dramatic landscape includes the 1,000-foot-deep Canyon Largo and striking rock formations.

"With its narrow mesas and rugged canyons, the Sabinoso Wilderness is one of New Mexico’s most spectacular landscapes. The Trust for Public Land has been a dedicated partner in conservation efforts and expanding access to public lands, and this generous land donation to the American people would be a major achievement,” said Heinrich. “Our public lands belong to all of us. Traditions like hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping are among the pillars of Western culture and a thriving outdoor recreation economy. Through this collaborative effort to improve access to the Sabinoso Wilderness we will ensure that outdoor enthusiasts from near and far can experience all that this special area has to offer.”

Sportsmen, recreation groups, local residents, and small business owners support expanding access to the Sabinoso Wilderness, which represents a major economic opportunity for Las Vegas and the surrounding communities.

"Adding this incredible property to the magnificent Sabinoso Wilderness will permanently protect the critical wildlife habitat it provides while also opening it to public access for hunting, camping, hiking, wildlife photography and other outdoor recreation. After having been land-locked for many years, the New Mexico Wildlife Federation was instrumental in securing public access to the Sabinoso Wilderness in 2017. That was a huge victory for New Mexico sportsmen and women. Growing this designated wilderness by nearly 9,000 more acres of pristine land is another step to ensuring future generations of New Mexicans will always have wild places to enjoy," said Jesse Deubel, Executive Director, New Mexico Wildlife Federation.

In 2017, Senator Heinrich supported a similar land donation from the Wilderness Land Trust that provided the public with access to the wilderness for the very first time. Senator Heinrich championed the HUNT Act, which was signed into law earlier this year, to improve access to public lands wherever hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation are permitted.