Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Secretary Haaland Highlights Public Lands Conservation, Investments in the Conservation Workforce in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland was in New Mexico this week to highlight recent actions and investments from the Department to conserve public lands and invest in Tribal communities throughout New Mexico and build a next-generation conservation workforce.

During her visit, Secretary Haaland met with members of the Barrio Youth Conservation Corps and the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps at La Plazita Institute in Albuquerque. Building on previous Departmental investments in conservation corps partnerships, Secretary Haaland launched the Indian Youth Service Corps program in June 2022, a partner-based program designed to provide Indigenous youth with meaningful, Tribally led public service opportunities to support the conservation and protection of natural and cultural resources. In September 2023, the Secretary committed $15 million from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to strengthen the Indian Youth Service Corps program and other corps programs for underserved communities.

As part of the funding commitment, Secretary Haaland announced a $250,000 grant to the Barrio Youth Conservation Corps to engage Native youth and young adults from the greater Albuquerque area in restorative justice programming and technical training in environmental conservation and natural resource management. The $15 million commitment is expected to grow corps partnerships by 30 percent, reaching over 5,000 young people, and advances the President’s American Climate Corps.

On Sunday, Secretary Haaland joined federal, Tribal, state and community leaders to celebrate the acquisition of approximately 3,700 acres of land adjacent to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument for recreational access. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acquired the property, located six miles southwest of Taos, from the Trust for Public Land, using funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. These new public lands will expand access to the national monument and the exceptional cultural and natural resources it protects. In addition to enhanced recreational opportunities, including access to a segment of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, the area is also home to critical wildlife habitat and special status species, raptors and other wildlife.

Approximately $40 million in investments from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and other funding sources have gone to the national monument and the surrounding area for land protection at iconic places like Ute Mountain and the Taos Valley Overlook. The expansion reflects the Department of the Interior’s commitment to President Biden’s America the Beautiful Initiative, a locally led and voluntary, nation-wide effort to conserve, connect and restore 30 percent of lands, waters and wildlife by 2030.

Secretary Haaland met with the All Pueblo Council of Governors to share news of the historic investments being made in New Mexico’s Tribal communities through the President’s Investing in America agenda. She also toured Taos Pueblo with members of Tribal leadership. Department leaders and the Intertribal Buffalo Council recently helped facilitate the release of ten Yellowstone genetic bison yearlings from the Colorado State University’s herd to the Taos Pueblo. Through its bison range activities, the Taos Pueblo is reestablishing native grasses through vegetation treatments that reduce the overgrown sagebrush canopy, which helps to advance the Department’s Grasslands Keystone Initiative, part of the restoration and resilience framework.


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 07/15/2024 00:26