Concern Over 240,000 Acre Monument Designation

US - Ranchers have responded in outrage at news of President Obama's decision to designate a 240,000 acre area in New Mexico as a monument area.
calendar icon 27 March 2013
clock icon 2 minute read

The Rio Grande del Norte in  New Mexico- and four other sites- are set to be turned into 'national monuments' under the Antiquities Act of 1906. 

The act grants presidential authority to designate areas of public land boasting structures and landmarks of historical significance. 

Farm groups have challenged the 240,000 acre designation proposal saying its size violates the 'spirit of the law' and will cause problems for multiple use on the public land.

The Public Lands Council has objected that the law limits the extent of designated areas to be 'the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.’

 “Livestock producers disagree with the President’s use of the Antiquities Act in designating the sprawling Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico,” said NCBA President Scott George, a cattleman from Cody, Wyoming.

"We have long advocated the economic and environmental importance of multiple-use on our public lands in the West. In the past, similar such inappropriately large monument designations have a bad track record of putting in place tight restrictions that harm ranchers, local rural economies and the proper management of natural resources.”

Fronteras has reported that many support the motion due to the area's beauty and biodiversity. The area attracts tourists and with extra preservation some think the area's ecology and tourism with develop. 

However, ranchers are calling on Congress to respond to the proposal and give local communities a voice. 

Rew Wilson, New Mexico Cattle Grower's Association President and a rancher from Carrizozo enouraged the decision to go through elected state representatives. 

Further Reading

You can view more about the Antiquities Act by clicking here.

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