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A better gateway to the Rio Grande

January 20, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe County’s only public access to the Rio Grande would undergo environmental restoration and get improved facilities if a proposed project gets the green light from federal officials this spring.

A pair of nonprofits called the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and Rio Grande Return already have spent about $200,000 of private and public money on plans for what it calls the Rio Grande Corridor at Buckman.

The aim, said project manager Alan Hamilton, is to help the local community re-establish its connection to the river on land that is already in the hands of the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

“Let’s ensure that the place is cleaned up and make it a place where people can go and learn about the geology and the hydrology and the history and the culture and the environment,” Hamilton said. “This river is the lifeblood of this state.”

Another main goal of the project, he said, is to cut down on litter from visitors who use the area as a party spot. Early meetings about the proposal revealed that some people don’t visit the area because of its reputation for beer drinking and gun shooting. A volunteer cleanup this fall of a small area yielded 2.5 tons of garbage, most of it broken bottles and discarded tires.

“We want to give it some love and make it look Login to read more

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