RIO ARRIBA COUNTY, NM (July 30, 2019) – Today, members of the Rio Arriba County Commission unanimously approved a resolution in support of the protection of wildlife corridors in the Upper Rio Grande Region. The resolution also urges Congress to support the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act that would protect wildlife corridors nationally.
HECHO (Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors), in collaboration with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, provided public comment during the county commission meeting supporting the resolution. County Commissioner and Chairman Danny Garcia sponsored the resolution.
The resolution represents the broad consensus that community members share for the protection of wildlife migration corridors. Rampant development of roads, fences, and other human-created barriers make it increasingly difficult for wildlife species to migrate safely across landscapes. With forest planning underway at the Santa Fe and Carson National Forests, the approval of the resolution signals to the U.S. Forest Service that the community cares about the preservation of connectivity corridors.
National Advisory Board Member and Chairman for HECHO, Rock Ulibarri, attended the meeting and believes protecting these important migration corridors will have lasting impacts for future generations.
“As an avid outdoorsman who takes great pride in my cultural connection to the land as well as my traditions, protecting wildlife corridors means that future generations will be able to enjoy the longstanding cultural traditions our ancestors have cultivated in these lands,” Ulibarri said. “Passing this Wildlife Migration Corridor Resolution sets a precedent, showing communities that our traditions, culture, and uses of these lands are valuable,” said Ulibarri.
Executive Director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Jesse Deubel, also spoke during the public comment period of the meeting. Deubel shared that the New Mexico Wildlife Federation has been working with other conservation organizations on migration corridors, and remarked on the positive impact migration corridors would have.
“The sustainability of our wildlife populations depends on the ability of animals to move across the landscape. Human development has already resulted in highly fragmented habitat, and we must protect and conserve the critical migration corridors that provide our wildlife with connectivity between these fragmented habitats,” said Deubel.
The resolution passed today is noteworthy in urging Congress to pass the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019. With Santa Fe and San Miguel counties having also unanimously passed the resolution at the beginning of July, Rio Arriba County joins a growing list of counties that will be sending resolutions to the state’s congressional delegation.