It is one thing to recognize the wildlife values of your land, but it is something altogether different to do something about it by taking action.
Three families that owned four properties totaling nearly 1,200 acres in northern New Mexico worked with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to transfer those properties into the public’s hands.
Previously private inholdings within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in the San Luis Valley, the acreage is now under the umbrella of the Bureau of Land Management and open to public access for hunting and other recreational pursuits.
The Taos Plateau, as locals call the landscape in the Upper Rio Grande watershed, is crucial for more than 10,000 elk that use it as a migration corridor for movement back and forth between New Mexico and Colorado. The migration route is prioritized by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
It is also important range for elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, black bears, mountain lions and many other smaller mammal and bird species.
Not only is the wildlife habitat now permanently protected, but so is the surrounding cultural significance of the area that dates back 14,000 years, representing early Native American and Hispanic cultures.