Río Grande del Norte celebrates 5th anniversary

Volunteers sought for Saturday cleanup, trail work projects


The Río Grande del Norte National Monument is turning five years old and the RGDN Coalition that helped win the federal designation is celebrating. The 242,555-acre monument was designated by former President Barack Obama on March 25, 2013, after years of negotiations and collaboration between ranchers, tribes, public land advocates, federal land managers, river guides and more.

For a Saturday, March 24 cleanup, interested volunteers can meet at the Taos Junction Bridge Group Shelter in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area (State Road 570).  The volunteer time is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to:

• Install tree wraps with chicken wire and T-post around young cottonwoods near the Taos Junction Bridge and near the springs site close to Taos Junction Bridge and Lone Juniper campground. The tree wraps prevent beavers from chewing down the trees that provide shade at the campgrounds.

• Clean out around critical water drainage areas at the Taos Junction Bridge by removing brush and cutting back overgrown vegetation around the culverts.

• Cutting back overgrown vegetation around the Taos Junction Bridge launch site and bathroom.

• Minor trail maintenance, tread repair and removing brush.

Volunteers should bring work gloves, sunscreen, long pants, long-sleeve shirts, and sturdy footwear. Come prepared for all types of weather. Bring water and snacks.

Lunch, drinks and a celebratory cake will be provided to all volunteers.

RSVP to volunteer: John Olivas, New Mexico Wild, or your respective RGDN Coalition Member, john@nmwild.org or call (505) 379-5551.

The RGDN Coalition will host a series of service projects in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, Taos Field Office-Orilla Verde Recreation Area to celebrate the anniversary. BLM staff and the coalition also will provide the latest information regarding the recent national monument review mandated by President Donald Trump as it relates to the RGDN.