BLM proposes new protections in New Mexico


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Rio Puerco Field Office

Media Contact:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to protect 4,213 acres within the Placitas area in Sandoval County, New Mexico, from new mining claims and mineral activity. BLM invites public comment on the environmental assessment of the proposal, which intends to conserve sacred Tribal land, boost important local recreation opportunities, and support wildlife habitat connectivity.

The Pueblos of San Felipe and Santa Ana have long sought protections for the Placitas area, which they consider ancestral and sacred lands. This site, located near the Albuquerque metro area, contains significant cultural ties to neighboring Pueblos and provides outdoor recreation opportunities. The proposal will help protect, preserve, and promote the scenic integrity, cultural significance, recreational values, and ecosystem in the area.

BLM first announced these proposed protections in September 2023 and held a 90-day public comment period to accept input from interested parties and affected stakeholders. Comments received during that period have been considered, and, when appropriate, incorporated into the BLM’s draft environmental assessment for the withdrawal. This new public comment period on the environmental assessment will continue to ensure BLM considers all important resources and issues involved.

“These public lands hold cultural and natural importance to Tribal Nations and the local community who value this area for the benefit of future generations,” said BLM New Mexico’s Albuquerque District Manager Sabrina Flores. “We look forward to receiving the public’s feedback regarding the analysis of the proposed withdrawal.”

The proposed protections would prevent location and entry under United States mining laws; leasing under the mineral leasing laws, and disposal under mineral materials disposal laws, subject to valid existing rights, for up to 50 years. You can submit comments by selecting the “Participate Now” option at the BLM National NEPA Register until March 15, 2024.

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.