PNS Daily Newscast - November 16, 2018 

Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

Daily Newscasts

NM Leads the Way on Protecting Wilderness

October 14, 2009

SANTA FE, N. M. - Protecting more of the West's wild and roadless lands is an issue again on Capitol Hill lately, and New Mexico is poised as a leader on the topic. The Sabinoso Wilderness and Valle Vidal have received federal wilderness protection in recent years, and New Mexico senators have introduced another bill to protect areas of Southern New Mexico.

Now, Congress is considering a measure that would make the protections of the popular 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule permanent. Jane Danowitz, public lands director for Pew Environment Group, says there is plenty of support for preserving pristine places in the Land of Enchantment.

"People in New Mexico understand that their roadless areas are very essential to the state - to its ecological nature, to its cultural heritage, as well as bringing in tourism."

Danowitz says roadless portions of the southern Rocky Mountains and the Southwest contain some of the country's premier wild lands.

"These are areas that are rugged; they're havens for outdoor recreation, they are home to valuable fish and wildlife habitat."

The Bush Administration attempted to replace the Clinton-era Roadless Rule, which protects roughly 60 million acres of America's remaining undeveloped national forestland. After several court challenges to the Roadless Rule, the Obama Administration called for a "time out" on activity in roadless areas until the issue can be resolved. Danowitz hopes the White House will soon move to uphold the 2001 rule, although critics say it "locks up" profitable natural resources from development.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM