BLM continues efforts to protect Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River Rim and viewshed

Taos, N.M. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Taos Field Office announces that it is working in concert with the Taos County Commission, County Sheriff and two homeowner associations to protect the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River conservation area and viewshed. 

As far back as 1984, the BLM received a “scenic easement” on the rim of the Rio Grande for the legal purpose of conservation and protection of the viewshed. A scenic easement differs from a road or right-of-way easement in that its purpose is for conservation, not public use. The scenic easement is on private property and does not allow for public access.  

In coordination with the Taos County and private landowners, the BLM will restrict public access on the scenic easement consistent with its intent. Legal public access to the Manby Hot Springs is by boat on the Rio Grande or through the trails accessed from the John Dunn Bridge, but not from the scenic easement on the rim.  

“As recently as the last three years, and continuing daily, damage is occurring to the natural resources on the scenic easement due incorrect public usage,” says BLM Taos Field Manager Pamela Mathis. “It is our goal to begin restoration projects with community groups over the next year to restore the intent of the scenic easement.”  

“Taos County confirms that it does not have a county or public road to the scenic easement and understands the goal of Rio Grande conservation,” confirms County Commissioner AnJanette Brush.  

Through consultation with its Northern New Mexico Resource Advisory Council and two homeowner associations, the BLM seeks to find solutions to protect the conservation of the river rim, prevent erosion, and stabilize and reclaim the area within the Río Grande del Norte National Monument.  

For additional information about the preservation of the scenic easement, call the BLM Taos Field Office at 575-751-8851. 

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

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Bureau of Land Management


Taos Field Office


Jillian Aragon