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Secretary Zinke Announces Movement on Opening of Sabinoso after Tour with NMWF

August 9, 2017

For Immediate Release:

ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico Wildlife Federation worked on the ground with the sportsmen and women of northern New Mexico for years to open up the Sabinoso Wilderness, the only inaccessible wilderness in the country. After touring the area in July with Secretary Ryan Zinke, Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and San Miguel County Commissioner Rock Ulibarri, NMWF is optimistic about today’s announcement that the Interior Department intends to accept the land donation.

Right now, the 16,000 acre area can only be accessed through private lands. Thanks to the hard work of Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and the hundreds of NMWF members who signed our petition calling on Zinke to open up access, the Interior Department announced its intention to finalize the land donation in the next few months. Created by Congress in 2009, the Sabinoso Wilderness is a backcountry area east of Las Vegas, New Mexico that is home to mule deer, turkey, elk, and a wide range of plant and animal species.

“Giving Secretary Zinke a tour of this area was an honor, and I thank him for coming to New Mexico and seeing the years of work that went into making this happen,” said New Mexico Wildlife Federation Executive Director Garrett Vene Klasen. “I’m glad the secretary intends to finalize this land donation. As a sportsmen himself, I knew once he saw the prime hunting and fishing opportunities in this area, he would understand how important this is to the sportsmen and women of New Mexico. I look forward to seeing this through so that hunters and anglers will have a rich new area to explore.”

Also in attendance on the Sabinoso Wilderness tour were our partners at Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, United Bowhunters of New Mexico, and JACO Outfitters.

We look forward to continuing to work with the secretary on public land access across New Mexico and the country.