Recently Santa Fe County Commissioner Camilla Bustamante wrote a poignant and heartfelt op-ed to the Albuquerque Journal thanking all New Mexicans who are taking a stand for permanent protection of the Caja del Rio.

“As a Santa Fe County Commissioner, I want to express my gratitude to all New Mexicans who are taking part in the campaign to protect the Caja del Rio Plateau, one of the most ecologically rich and culturally significant landscapes in our state,” said Commissioner Bustamante. You can read the full op-ed in the Albuquerque Journal here.

Over the past summer, the Caja coalition has hosted a number of events including community listening sessions, film festivals in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and guided hikes led by coalition members and Tribal youth leaders. Attendance for these events have demonstrated that the voices for permanent protection of the Caja continue to grow.

“I’m proud to be a longtime and steadfast supporter of protecting the Caja,” said Commissioner Bustamante. “I’ve watched this campaign grow steadily, and I believe we’re at a tipping point. More people are showing up to events, from film screenings in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, where I spoke to standing-room only crowds, to community listening sessions, on social media, and through word of mouth.”

The Commissioner also reminded us “don’t let up” when it comes to the permanent protection of the Caja. The Caja plays an important role not just to the many Indigenous and Hispanic communities, the wildlife, and ecosystems, but to the physical and mental health benefits the Caja serves to all New Mexicans.

“We love and cherish the Caja, for its wide open spaces, its opportunity to see wildlife, and the spiritual, physical and emotional benefits that come with access to public lands like it. For me personally, the positive impacts the Caja has on our youth and our mental health are especially important, and why I care so much about protecting it.”

“So my message to all New Mexicans is: don’t let up. Continue to show up and speak out for the Caja. It needs your voice now more than ever. Tell our leaders to make permanent protection for the Caja del Rio a priority. Tell your friends and neighbors about this spectacular landscape and ask them to join the next cleanup or community hike.”

To learn how you can get involved, follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, and join us for our fall clean-up happening on Saturday, Nov. 4th.

See you there!

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