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Earth Day: Prime Opportunity to Explore More of New Mexico

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 By Eric MackContact
April 22, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE - Today is Earth Day, and with spring in full swing, this weekend could be a great time to get out and enjoy some of the wilder public lands on New Mexico's little patch of the planet.

Nada Culver, director of The Wilderness Society's BLM Action Center, suggests checking out Otero Mesa in southern New Mexico, or the Petaca Pinta area outside Albuquerque.

"These are both areas that have sweeping, typical New Mexico landscapes. Otero Mesa is much more of a desert landscape, but the Bureau of Land Management is currently considering how to manage both of these lands. So, it's a great time to go visit these places."

Culver says there are plenty of ways to enjoy New Mexico's public lands.

"These lands provide great opportunities to hike, to see cultural resources like amazing rock art, to go hunting, and just to kind of ramble around and enjoy the view and the quiet."

The BLM is considering which lands to set aside from uses like mining or off-road vehicle use in the Petaca Pinta area, and which areas might be open for development. In Otero Mesa, decisions are being made about future oil and gas leasing, and protection of the region's Chihuahuan grasslands and freshwater aquifer.

More information on Otero Mesa and Petaca Pinta by visiting www.BLM.gov.

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