Plans To Expand National Monument In San Luis Valley Debated

Plans to expand the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument northward from New Mexico into the San Luis Valley are getting more support and more opposition.

Supporters say the goal is to preserve traditional uses such as hunting, fishing and other recreational uses. The monument would also prevent the land from being sold or leased for mining.

Rio Grande Water Conservation District Board Member Dwight Martin says residents don't need the monument in Conejos County because it serves no purpose.

According to the Alamosa Valley Courier, the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument covers nearly 250,000 acres. The expansion would run north of the New Mexico state line into the southern part of the San Luis Valley and would add about 64,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land.