- Category: Pecos Wilderness
- Published: Saturday, 30 January 2016 18:23
I support permanently protecting these areas because…
Floyd Ricardo Fresquez
“I am a grazing permittee in the Santa Fe National Forest and Pecos Wilderness and run cattle in the Rio La Casa Allotment in Mora County. My family has run cattle and sheep in the area for three generations, years before New Mexico was recognized as a state. Maintaining these traditional ways of life is most important to me when looking at protecting the land my family has lived on for so many generations.
I was first inspired to protect this land at 18 when I built trails in the Santa Fe National Forest for the Forest Service. A forest ranger by the name of Ismael Mondragon (Mondragon Springs, located in the roadless area in Mora County, is named after Mondragon) said if I could ever be involved in an effort to protect this area, I should do anything in my power to do just that. I am grateful to be part of the Pecos Wilderness campaign and will encourage all my friends and family to be part of this effort.
I also am an heir and board member to the Santa Gertrudis de lo de Mora Land Grant. My family dates back to the mid 1500s on this land and keeping its rich historical and cultural values are most important to me and my family. Expanding the Pecos Wilderness to include the inventoried roadless areas in Mora County is vital to our existence as land-based people. Our water comes from the high mountain peaks of the Pecos Wilderness and expanding these areas will not only protect my allotment from development, but also will keep it available in its current state for my grandchildren and those who will follow.
I would encourage our federal delegation to move forward with increasing the size of the Pecos Wilderness by including all the inventoried roadless areas that have been identified in Mora, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Taos and Rio Arriba counties.”
Owner, Sierra Blanca Outfitters
Chacon, New Mexico
“As an avid hunter and fisherman in the Pecos Wilderness, I have grown to experience the land and I know the area better than most. The abundant wildlife, pristine streams and high mountain meadows are vital to the existence of my community and its people.
As owner and operator of Sierra Blanca Outfitters, I have had the opportunity to create a business that keeps me home and on the land. I am able to provide a living for myself and my family and keep them close to the land that my children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy.
The fall season allows for the sound of bugling elk to fill the air in and around the Pecos Wilderness. In the spring breeze, gobbling Merriam’s turkey light up the forest, providing an experience that very few experience. Expanding the Pecos Wilderness to include the inventoried roadless areas should make sense to everyone–doing so will allow anyone to walk the woods in April or September to hear the calls of the wildlife that is so abundant there.”
Livestock permittee of the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Study Area
“The Martinez family has lived in the Taos area for more than 400 years. My family has a long history in the northern mountains of New Mexico. My grandfather grazed this area before New Mexico even became a state. My father grazed in wilderness areas like the Pecos Wilderness.
For the past 10 years, I have been a livestock permittee on the Deer Creek Allotment, which lies within the Columbine Hondo and Wheeler Peak Wilderness areas. In the summer, most of the time, I am in that wilderness on horseback and in other pasturelands tending my livestock. This is a beautiful pristine area and it is a clean source of water for all of our surrounding villages. As a livestock permittee, I realize that wilderness designations actually provide assurance that our traditional grazing rights will always be protected. The Columbine Hondo Wilderness was designated in 2014, and I am in complete support of designating the Pecos Wilderness Roadless Areas as true wilderness. Designation is something that would guarantee our traditional way of life and that future generations would benefit from.
If this area is not protected, it is most likely that this mountain will be carved up for mining or timber harvesting. Our clean source of water and this rich habitat would then be lost forever.”
Owner, Kristy’s Korner Kafe
RV park, motel and restaurant
“I am a small business owner in Mora County and a lifelong resident of the area. Mora, a rural Northern New Mexico community that depends on pass-through tourism dollars, is vital to my family’s livelihood. Protected lands, like those in and around the Pecos Wilderness, attract people from across the globe to visit Mora County, including my business.
The fall season is a crucial time for small businesses like mine. Fall activities include hunting, cycle tours and viewing the changing of colors in the area. Due to the flow of outside monies into Mora County, my and many businesses remain open. The local grocery store, gas stations and restaurants depend on the revenue each year so we are able to provide a vital service to this area.
I represent three acequias in the Mora Valley, the main one being Acequia del Medio de Tramperos. The water that flows through the valley originates in the Pecos Wilderness and protection is key. Expanding protected areas around the Pecos Wilderness eliminates future development that would be detrimental to our most precious resource we depend on to water our crops, grow our food and replenish our underground aquifers. This effort is key to protecting the lifeblood of our community, OUR WATER!
Our federal delegation has the authority to introduce legislation that would protect large areas around the Pecos Wilderness. I support the expansion of adjacent Roadless Areas into the Pecos Wilderness and would ask our congressmen and senators to move forward with congressional legislation.”
Governor, Picuris Pueblo
“There are many culturally significant areas within the Pecos Wilderness that the people of Picuris Pueblo believe are sacred to them. This is the primary reason that the Pueblo of Picuris strongly supports the expansion of the Pecos Wilderness to protect and preserve our natural resources and our way of life for future generations.”
President, Back Country Horsemen of America Santa Fe Chapter of New Mexico, Inc.
“The incorporation of the Roadless Area would greatly expand opportunities for riding, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and enjoyment of the outdoors, something that is
more important now than ever with expanding demands for exploiting resources. We are passionate about the need to protect the finite supply of quality wilderness areas that remain.”
Executive director, Headwaters Economics
“Economists believe protected federal lands are an important factor in driving the economic growth of the region. Headwaters Economics conducted statistical analysis showing that for every 10,000 acres of protected federal lands there is an increase of $436 in per capita income.”
Author and conservationist
“All of us change when we fall in love, and part of the intoxication of romance is the way we come to love the changes our new relationships cause in ourselves. Up there in the high country, something like that was happening, and I was falling in love.
The Pecos Wilderness was seducing me. I was entering a state of love-struckness as irrational, more or less, as any other.”