Press Release: Governor Richardson Leads the Nation
- Creates First State Wild Horse Sanctuary
- Advocates for Wild Horses in Placitas NM
Governor Richardson has taken a bold step toward protecting the nation’s remaining wild horses and wildlife with his 9/16/2010 announcement that the State of New Mexico is purchasing the 12,000 acre Ortiz Mountain Ranch to create a wild horse sanctuary. This is a strong message in opposition to the Secretary of Interior Salazar’s current plan that removes wild horses – our living heritage – from the West, to holding pens, at great and unnecessary on-going cost to tax payers.
Richardson’s plan provides great opportunity for rural economic development through tourism, New Mexico’s and the nation’s, largest private sector employer.
At the same time, Governor Richardson in his September 6th 2010 letter to the BLM, signed by Energy Secretary Jim Noel, has strongly advocated for the nearby, beautiful, free roaming, Wild Horses of Placitas. These wild horses are also on the north end of the Sandia Mountains . Governor Richardson effectively has asked that they be preserved and protected where they exist.
With each of these acts, and in unison, he has also taken significant action toward the protection of the Wildlife Corridor of the Sandia Mountains , as well as the overall Rocky Mountain Wildlife Corridor from Canada to Mexico . Richardson has long worked to protect this corridor as chair and member of the Western Governors Association.
Richardson’s list of accomplishments for the wild horses of New Mexico is long, which go alongside his many renown accomplishments for the protection of New Mexico’s environment and animals, wild and domestic:
In 2007 Governor Richardson signed SB655, carried by the honorable Senator Komadina, which gave New Mexico ’s state wild horses legal status with commensurate protections on certain state lands.
In 2006 Governor Richardson wrote a letter to the USDA Forest Service Regional Manager to stop the round up at the Jicarilla Carson National Forest, advocating to maintain a herd size to preserve genetic viability and to preserve New Mexico’s last sizeable wild horse herd for Eco -Tourism. He even asked for the return of those horses already removed.
(2004 – 2007) Governor Richardson also presided over the New Mexico State Legislature during the unanimous passage of three Memorials in 2 years (2006, 2007) asking the BLM, USDA Forest Service, and First American Nations of New Mexico, to protect and preserve New Mexico’s wild horses where they exist, to utilize the Wild Horses for Eco-Tourism, and to utilize PZP, an immuno – contraceptive for population management. Another Wild Horse Study Memorial was passed under his auspices in 2004.
WHOA and wild horse advocates across the nation celebrate Governor Richardson’s action, bold leadership, and advocacy for this nation’s living legacy- our symbol of freedom – the Majestic Wild Horse.
For the Open Spaces and the Wild Ones that grace them,
Patience O’Dowd President WHOA