- November 15, 2017

Private Land Donation Gives Access to NM Wilderness

by Jackson Hole. Media

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and the Bureau of Land Management are pleased to announce that the Sabinoso Wilderness – which contains some of the most pristine habitat in the country for elk, mule deer, and other wildlife – is for the first time ever accessible to the public for hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities. The 16,000-acre Sabinoso was previously wholly surrounded by non-federal land, making it inaccessible to the general public. However, a donation of 3,595 acres (formerly known as the Rimrock Rose Ranch) that are adjacent to Sabinoso Wilderness was accepted by the Secretary and is now public.

“I’m happy to announce today the Sabinoso Wilderness Area is finally open and accessible to hunters and all members of the public for the first time ever,” said Secretary Zinke. “Expanding access to hunting, fishing, and recreation on federal lands is one of my top priorities as Secretary. I originally had concerns about adding more wilderness-designated area, however after hiking and riding the land it was clear that access would only be improved. Thanks to the donation of a private organization, we we continue to move toward delivering this nonpartisan win for sportsmen and the community.”

“The BLM strives to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve, and along with our partners we are pleased to better connect the public to the Sabinoso,” said Acting BLM Director Michael D. Nedd. “This action will provide folks with exceptional opportunities for hunting and fishing, as well as outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and backcountry camping in a pristine environment.”

“The Mule Deer Foundation commends Secretary Zinke on the completion of this project which will go a long way toward expanding and enhancing opportunities to access otherwise difficult to reach lands,” said Miles Moretti, President/CEO of MDF. “This is yet another example of Secretary Zinke’s execution of a pro-sportsman policy agenda which he announced immediately upon being sworn in to his position.”

“For years, hunters and anglers have called on Congress and federal agencies to help us gain access to landlocked public lands. We applaud Secretary Zinke for his commitment to this priority and look forward to ‘unlocking the gate’ so that America’s sportsmen and women can experience what the Sabinoso has to offer by truly ‘Making Public Lands Public’,” said Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

Encompassing approximately 16,000 acres in northeastern New Mexico, the Sabinoso Wilderness previously was fully surrounded by private land, making it inaccessible to the public. However, by adding the donated land – approximately 3,500 acres formerly known as the Rimrock Rose Ranch – the Sabinoso now connects with neighboring BLM-managed land, making it publicly accessible for the first time since its Congressional designation as a Wilderness Area in 2009.

Now that the area is fully accessible, the BLM invites the public to experience the Sabinoso’s unique and wild beauty. However, please be aware that Sabinoso is a wilderness area, and along with that designation the following items are prohibited: motorized vehicles and equipment, aircraft (including drones), and mechanical transport including off-road vehicles and bicycles.

For more information, please visit https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/new-mexico/sabi… or call acting BLM Taos Field Manager Brad Higdon at 575-758-1620.

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