Legislation sponsored by U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-1) to expand the Cibola National Forest passed the House of Representatives today by a unanimous vote. The bill, H.R. 491, would improve recreational access for local residents while ensuring that the land, located just east of the village of Placitas, is not subject to future mining and development.
"The Crest of Montezuma is the backdrop to Placitas," said. Rep. Heinrich. "As an active hunter and conservationist, I sponsored this bill to protect the high-quality wildlife habitat found on the Crest of Montezuma. My bill will ensure that these lands are protected from future development and improve recreational access for East Mountain residents."
The bill would also simplify management of the area by transferring a parcel of land known as the Crest of Montezuma from the Bureau of Land Management to the U.S. Forest Service.
This bill has strong support from local residents, including the support of Las Placitas Association, a 300 member citizen group that represents residents near the Crest of Montezuma. Local sportsmen, including the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, support the bill because of the importance of these lands as wildlife habitat.