- Category: Pecos Wilderness
- Published: Friday, 13 November 2015 06:25
Celebrating the Pecos
Iconic Lands with Deep Roots
The Pecos Wilderness encompasses 223,637 acres, spanning the Carson and Santa Fe national forests in northeastern New Mexico, and is the source of the Pecos, Mora, Rio Pueblo and Gallinas rivers. Its 150 miles of streams and more than 15 lakes are part of a watershed that is essential to surrounding communities and the acequia systems that irrigate the lands.
A landmark of New Mexican culture and tradition, the Pecos is of tremendous value to surrounding towns, neighboring tribal groups, acequia organizations, land grant communities, sportsmen, ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The Wilderness straddles the Sangre de Cristo mountain range and is critical habitat for elk, deer, bear, turkey, cougar and one of America’s most robust herds of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Its waters are home to rainbow and brown trout, and the state fish— the Rio Grande cutthroat trout.
While part of the Pecos is protected, there are surrounding forest lands without roads (known as roadless areas) that are threatened by unchecked development. These are areas that many of you no doubt know and love; perhaps you may have even thought they were already protected. Incorporating these roadless areas into the Pecos Wilderness or designating some areas as Special Management Areas would protect 120,000 acres of lands and waters that Santa Fe, San Miguel, Taos, Mora and Rio Arriba counties depend upon for clean air, fresh water and recreation. It would also protect critical habitat and a touchstone for New Mexican culture and tradition.
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is proud to be a part of a broad and growing coalition—including sportsmen, elected officials, pueblo leaders, business owners, hikers and conservationists—that cares about these special places and wants to see them forever protected from roads and industry. We hope you’ll join us.
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