New Mexico BHA continues to work towards attaining permenant wilderness protection for the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Study Area. The following letter, expressing our New Mexico BHA's support was submitted November 7th to Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall. If you would like to get involved in this effort, please let us know.
November 7, 2013
The Honorable Tom Udall The Honorable Martin Heinrich
U.S. Senate U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senators Udall and Heinrich:
On behalf of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, we write to offer our thanks and support of the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act (S. 776). Our members, who wade these streams and hike these ridges, depend on landscapes like these to carry-on their hunting and angling traditions. This legislation will ensure these sporting traditions, and the wild backcountry habitat upon which they depend, are permanently protected for future generations.
The Columbine Hondo Wilderness area is a destination for hunters who seek to pursue the area’s wild populations of mule deer, elk, Rocky Mountain big horn sheep, grouse, bear and mountain lion. Anglers are attracted to the area in pursuit of the native, Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout that inhabit the area’s cool, clean waters. It is opportunities to pursue fish and wildlife species like these that prop-up the region’s strong outdoor-based economy.
For sportsmen who value the challenge, solitude and overwhelming reward that hunting and angling wild landscapes provide, designating the Columbine-Hondo as a wilderness area just makes sense. It will ensure that future generations of sportsmen have the same opportunities to hear a buck breath without the overpowering noise of motors; or watch two majestic, half curl rams fight on the Hondo’s steep talus slopes; or catch a wily native Rio Grande Cuthroat in the Hondo’s gin clear water. It is experiences like these that keep us alive with wonder, that drive us to go that extra mile at work, and that build a deep appreciation for the wild public lands, water and wildlife we all depend on.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers commend you for recognizing the value of this landscape and we sincerely thank you for your support of this community-driven effort. As you know, we are just one of the many public land users and businesses that support this legislation. We thank you for recognizing this and working to help accommodate the will of the community.
We look forward to working with you to ensure this legislation moves forward. Please let us know if there is any way that we can help.