New Mexico’s Division of Outdoor Recreation is a monumental opportunity to connect New Mexicans to our beautiful outdoor spaces and public lands. As we work to bolster this burgeoning industry, we are also seeking to ensure that young people and communities of color are part of this discussion – and that is why we established the Outdoor Equity Fund.
New Mexico is a sacred state filled with rich history and diverse cultures, and the Division of Outdoor Recreation will invest in local economies across the state – from our tribes and pueblos to our villages and cities. Together, we are working to share the stories of New Mexico’s sacred sites, our stories and our cultural identities. The Outdoor Equity Fund, the first in the country, will provide micro-grants to so many of our communities in order to get our youth outdoors.
As New Mexicans, we come from many walks of life – nations within nations – and yet we find common ground when it comes to respecting our land, water and air. These are New Mexico values.
The Land of Enchantment originated from indigenous communities, and at each step of developing this legislation, we have worked with the tribes, pueblos, and nations to ensure they have a seat at the table. Our tribes and pueblos helped to create this framework utilizing indigenous knowledge and values to complement the outdoor recreation and tourism destinations as we work to take care of our unique environment and cultural assets.
It’s paramount that we leave behind a Land of Enchantment to be proud of for our youngest. How and what we leave behind for our children will be a reflection of us and what we think of them. This is a great opportunity to create outdoor recreation, activities and tourism, while caring and protecting special and sacred sites and providing an educational backdrop.
The Outdoor Equity Fund within the Office of Outdoor Recreation will bring our families back to these public lands. It’s time that all of our families and children experience the outdoors and the potential of our state.