Environment | National

Taos Pueblo leader attends signing of new national monument

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico. (Photo: Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management)

Samuel Gomez, the war chief for Taos Pueblo, was in Washington, D.C., on Monday as President Barack Obama proclaimed a new national monument near the tribe's reservation in northern New Mexico.

The Río Grande del Norte National Monument covers more than 240,000 acres of federal land. The site includes historic Pueblo sites and petroglyphs that date back thousands of years.

"This extraordinary landscape of extreme beauty and daunting harshness is known as the Río Grande del Norte, and its extraordinary array of scientific and historic resources offer opportunities to develop our understanding of the forces that shaped northern New Mexico, including the diverse ecological systems and human cultures that remain present today," Obama said in his proclamation.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be visiting the monument this Saturday, the Interior Department said in a media advisory. It's likely his last visit to New Mexico before he leaves the Obama administration.

Get the Story:
A Monumental Day (The Albuquerque Journal 3/26)
President Obama Establishes Five New National Monuments (White House Blog 3/25)
Obama designates 5 new national monuments in Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, NM and Washington state (AP 3/25)

An Opinion:
Our view: A monumental reason to celebrate (The Santa Fe New Mexican 3/26)

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