Friday, September 17, 2010

Governor Richardson Announces Plan to Expand Cerrillos Hills State Park and Establish a Wild Horse Sanctuary

September 16, 2010
Jodi McGinnis Porter 505.476.3226

State of New Mexico Purchasing the Ortiz Mountain Ranch

"SANTA FE, NM – Governor Richardson today announced that he is using $2.8 million in federal stimulus money to purchase 12,142 acres of land known as the Ortiz Mountain Ranch to expand Cerrillos Hills State Park and create a wild horse sanctuary.

“The Galisteo Basin is one of New Mexico’s crown jewels,” said Governor Bill Richardson. “I am pleased that the Recovery Act has provided the means for a long-term investment in the land that will provide the public with opportunities for recreation, and support our local economy by supporting jobs, and promoting tourism.”

The state has entered into a purchase agreement with the Nature Conservancy and a private owner.

Ensuring the availability of ample, accessible open space and recreation opportunities is a major factor in quality of life considerations, and in promoting healthy lifestyles that can reduce long-term health care costs to society.

The pristine land located three miles south of Madrid on both the east and west side of New Mexico HWY-14 located in the Galisteo Basin is being purchased for less than $224 per acre. It will provide extraordinary outdoor recreational activities and stimulate New Mexico’s active outdoor recreation economy. It is an easy 40 minute drive from either Santa Fe or Albuquerque.

According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, the active outdoor recreation economy in New Mexico:
o Contributes $3.8 billion annually to New Mexico’s economy
o Supports 47,000 jobs across New Mexico
o Generates $184 million in annual state tax revenue
o Produces $2.75 billion annually in retail sales and services across New Mexico – accounting for 4.6% of the gross state product.

The discretionary award from the Government Services Fund will allow Cerrillos Hills State Park to broaden its visitation appeal by offering diverse recreation opportunities, including hiking, biking, equestrian, birding, specialized tours, activities related to wild horses, and overnight stays through camping and lodging.

“This is a great long-term investment in New Mexico,” stated Jim Noel, Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. “The expansion of this state park will support the local economy, promote tourism and will provide year round hiking opportunities.”

State Parks generate approximately $400 million annually in economic activity in New Mexico and are key elements of the state’s recreation and tourism economy, especially in rural areas. Acquisition of this property for the expansion of Cerrillos Hills State Park represents an investment in the economic infrastructure of the region and state that will have long-term benefits for generations to come." Link>>>>


  1. Bravo to the Governor and staff for long term thinking. Tourism is New Mexico's and this nation's, largest private sector employer.

    This will save our natural heritage for our children while providing clean green sustainable jobs for their parents.

  2. Stimulus money? Are you serious? What will this create? Three jobs? Has anyone checked this mans mental stability? Unbelievable...