Almost 275,000 acres in New Mexico would be designated a wilderness area under a public lands package passed by the U.S. House on Tuesday night.
Two of the wilderness areas designated by the National Resources Management Act are within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, while 10 areas are within the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
The two areas within Rio Grande del Norte National Monument are the Cerro del Yuta (Ute Mountain) and Rio San Antonio. The package also includes the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Area comprising approximately 7,242 acres and a 2,250-acre expansion of the existing Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area near the Four Corners region. A total of 273,000 acres were designated wilderness areas in the state.
All three U.S. Representatives from New Mexico – Deb Haaland, Xochitl Torres Small and Ben Ray Luján – voted in favor of the package, which now goes to President Donald Trump for consideration. It passed the House by a 363-62 vote.