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PNS Daily Newscast - August 21, 2019 


The Trump administration weakens banking regulations; and events this weekend mark the 400th anniversary of slavery in the United States. (Broadcaster Note: Our 6-min. newscast now has an optional outcue at 3 minutes: “This is PNS.”)

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Poll: Taos County Supports Wilderness Protections for the Pecos Area

A new poll shows a majority of people in Taos County support additional protections for roadless areas near the Pecos Wilderness.(Joelle Marier)
A new poll shows a majority of people in Taos County support additional protections for roadless areas near the Pecos Wilderness.(Joelle Marier)
September 22, 2016

TAOS, N.M. - A solid majority of people in Taos County is behind the idea of adding new protections to the lands surrounding the Pecos Wilderness, according to a new poll commissioned by The Wilderness Society. The survey showed that 95 percent said public lands are important to their quality of life and should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Michael Casaus, New Mexico Regional Director for The Wilderness Society, said the issue of protecting public lands bridges the partisan divide.

"At a time when the country is so divided politically, I think what this poll shows is that public lands and wilderness are what brings nearly all voters in Taos County together," he said.

The survey also found that almost 80 percent of residents have used public lands for camping, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking or hunting in the past three years.

Mark Allison, executive director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, said it also showed that most people want to keep federal land in federal hands.

"They're really concerned about efforts to seize those public lands, to transfer them to the states or to privatize," he said. "It also shows broad support for efforts to protect roadless areas adjacent to the existing Pecos Wilderness."

Conservation groups have been working since 2009 to build a coalition with businesses, academics and sportsmen's groups in the five counties that surround the Pecos Wilderness to support additional protections.

Meanwhile, New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce has cosponsored legislation to transfer public lands to the states and has proposed selling off public land to pay down the national deficit, ideas that Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall have opposed.

Suzanne Potter/Shaine Smith, Public News Service - NM