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 announced in June 2021 that it was increasing the protection of the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River conservation area and viewshed. The first step in these efforts was to reclaim a designated scenic easement and prohibit unauthorized access, which the agency and partners have successfully completed. The next steps include restoring the easement’s soils and vegetation. 

“The scenic easement off Tune Road is not open to the public. We remind residents and visitors that access to the Rio Grande Manby Hot Springs is by only a river float or hike from the John Dunn Bridge trail,” confirms BLM Taos Field Manager Pamela Mathis. 

The agency manages the “scenic easement” on the rim of the Rio Grande for the legal purpose of conservation and protection of the rim and its 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 public access.  

Restoration Actions Preliminary Schedule 

Action Timing
Sight Maintenance Routine Basis
Monitoring of 19 springs   March -April
Riparian Education   April-May
Weed Control June
Patrols June
Seeding Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 
Soil Reclamation Fall 2022, To be determined 

The next step in the restoration process is monitoring and restoring healthy soil and native vegetation species throughout 2022. During this time, the agency plans to prepare the compacted soil for seed distribution and spread slash and rocks randomly throughout the disturbed area. The area will remain closed for public access to ensure that purposes of the conservation easement are fulfilled.  

For additional information about the preservation of the scenic easement, call the BLM Taos Field Office at 575- 758-8851. 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Taos Field Office


Jillian Aragon