Columbine Hondo Worth Preserving

Aluquerque Jounal
Mayor Linda Calhoun
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It is fitting that Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich along with Congressman Ben Ray Lujan chose the week we celebrate Earth Day to introduce legislation to permanently protect the pristine Columbine-Hondo area as wilderness. This backyard treasure in our community has long been the place to take our children to scramble up their first mountain, enjoy a family picnic at Middle Fork Lake, or experience a field of wildflowers. As a mother and now grandmother, I appreciate that this bill will ensure that Columbine Hondo will stay forever as it is for future generations to experience and enjoy. As a public official, I commend the bill’s sponsors for recognizing that preserving this special place will attract visitors, who will stay in our motels, eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores — boosting our local economy.

Sens. Udall and Heinrich and Congressman Lujan deserve special thanks for working with varied stakeholders to find common ground that will allow access to an amazing high mountain trail for mountain bikers who want to explore these steep rugged mountains. Safeguarding Columbine-Hondo will also help keep our air clear, our water clean, and add to the quality of life in our community. Protecting a piece of our precious Earth just makes good sense, and I hope to see it become law very soon.

LINDA CALHOUN

Mayor, Red River