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As a member of the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, I was thrilled to hear about President Barack Obama’s decision to designate Rio Grande del Norte as a National Monument.
Rio Grande del Norte is a northern New Mexico hotspot for recreation and tourism, offering a wide range of outdoor opportunities including hiking, hunting, fishing, rafting, and wildlife spotting and photography. Its 240,000 acres of public lands — including the Rio Grande Gorge, Ute Mountain, and the Taos Plateau — provide a combination of majestic scenery and a rare diversity of wildlife.
It is truly one of the natural wonders of the Land of Enchantment. And now that it is a national monument, it is protected from harm for all time.
Too often we forget that recreational pursuits related to tourism attractions like a national monument often mean a direct increase in revenue and jobs for New Mexicans.
From hotels to outfitters to outdoor guides to the restaurants that show off New Mexico cuisine, this designation will be a major boon for the local economies of Taos and Rio Arriba counties.
A recent study performed by BBC Research and Consulting found that approximately 325,000 people visit the Rio Grande del Norte annually.
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