TAOS, N.M. (AP) — Federal officials are taking initial steps to develop a management plan for one of New Mexico's newest national monuments.
The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument was designated by presidential proclamation last March. It covers nearly 380 square miles in northern New Mexico.
The Bureau of Land Management says it will be accepting public comments through Feb. 18. The agency is looking for suggestions on what issues and concerns it should consider as it develops the plan.
The idea is to ensure the protection of the monument's cultural, ecological and geologic assets. The plan will also consider opportunities for continued uses such as wood gathering, grazing and creation as well as potential ways to accommodate utility transmission.
The BLM is also planning public scoping meetings for surrounding communities.