Zinke supports opening access to New Mexico wilderness site

Aug 9, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says federal land managers will be working to finalize a process for considering whether to accept a donation of land that will allow public access to the Sabinoso Wilderness in northern New Mexico. Zinke's announcement came Wednesday, nearly two weeks after he toured the area with members of New Mexico's congressional delegation and local officials. Established in 2009, the 16,000-acre (6,475-hectare) Sabinoso Wilderness is surrounded by private property. If approved, the donation of ranch land will allow for the landlocked wilderness parcel to be accessed without trespassing. Zinke says expanding access to hunting, fishing and recreation on federal lands is a top priority. Initially concerned about adding more wilderness-designated lands, he said he realized accepting the donation and maintaining existing roadways would improve public access.