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Boundary Modification and Transfer of Administrative Jurisdiction, Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HEINRICH. I want to thank my friend from Massachusetts for the time today and for her leadership on these issues.

Mr. Speaker, the Cibola National Forest provides a stunning backdrop to the city of Albuquerque and much of central New Mexico. Stretching north to south through the Sandia and Manzano Mountains, this national forest demonstrates the value of preserving wild places near urban areas.

H.R. 491 would expand the boundaries of the forest to streamline management and improve recreational access for local residents. It would transfer a 917-acre parcel, known as the Crest of Montezuma, from the Bureau of Land Management to the Forest Service.

The Crest of Montezuma is an isolated BLM parcel adjacent to Cibola National Forest. The bill would also extend the forest boundary around three small parcels of private land adjacent to the Crest of Montezuma to allow the future purchase of these parcels subject to available funds.

The owners of these parcels are willing sellers and eager to see their land permanently protected for the public good.

H.R. 491 has strong local support from local

residents, including from the Las Placitas Association, a 300-member citizen group that represents residents near the Crest of Montezuma. Local sportsmen also support the bill because of the importance of these lands as wildlife habitat.

Over the last 3 years, I've received many letters from constituents asking me to make sure that the Crest of Montezuma is managed in a way that preserves its role as a wildlife corridor and opens it up for recreation for local residents.

I am pleased to sponsor this bill to add these critical lands to the Cibola National Forest, and I ask my colleagues for their support.


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