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"Our people do not understand even yet the rich heritage that is theirs. Our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children, and children's children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred".
--- President Teddy Roosevelt
Roosevelt was a major friend of preserving public lands for everyone's enjoyment and protection, via the presidential power of the "Antiquities Act" permitting proclamation of "National Monuments". Many of which went on to become National Parks.

President Obama proclaimed Rio Grande del Norte a National Monument on March 25, 2013. Lying between the San Juan Mountains to the west and Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east, the Monument straddles the northern end of the Rio Grande River rift - a 600 mile long tear in the Earth, covering 242,500 acres of public land. The area is important for wintering animals, and provides a corridor for wildlife moving between the two mountain ranges. Cottonwoods and willows grow along the lower rivers, and pinon and juniper woodlands at middle elevations, and mountaintops are forested by ponderosa, Douglas fir, aspen, and spruce. Wildlife includes raptors, songbirds, waterfowl, beaver, river otter, ringtail, prairie dog, cougar, black bear, bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk, and many more species calling the Monument home.

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Additional Photos by Ray Anderson (photoray) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 982 W: 1 N: 2463] (10097)
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