The senate has just voted 89−11 to approve the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes public lands legislation creating the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP) and granting National Park Preserve status to the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP).
Both pieces of legislation have been years in the making. Senators Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, and former Sen. Jeff Bingaman were sponsors of both pieces of legislation. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan helped sponsor the MPNHP legislation in the House.
On Dec. 11. Heinrich delivered statements supporting the inclusion of several public lands bills in the NDAA. He stated,
"None of this would be possible were it not for years of effort and support from the local communities that helped craft these bills. Thanks to their work, New Mexico's critical public land based economic engine will continue to grow in the energy, tourism, sporting and recreation sectors."
Lujan also issued a statement after the House passage of the bill last week, stating that establish the MPNHP