On March 25th 2013, by Presidential Proclamation, the the Upper Rio Grande river basin was designated as a National Monument! This has been a work in progress by those of us who live and work in this amazing place and are absolutely thrilled that the President and others throughout the nation agree that this area deserves national protection. The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument includes approximately 242,500 acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The landscape is comprised of rugged, wide open plains at an average elevation of 7,000 feet, dotted by volcanic cones, and cut by steep canyons with rivers tucked away in their depths. The Río Grande carves an 800 foot deep gorge through layers of volcanic basalt flows and ash. This section of the Rio Grande within the monument comprises a variety of river sections that New Mexico River Adventures‘ guests can enjoy throughout the rafting season, including the Razorblades, La Junta, Taos Box and Rio Grande Gorge sections of the Rio Grande within the new National Monument. This is an important area for wintering animals, and provides a corridor by which wildlife move between the two mountain ranges. The varied landscape creates habitat for a wide variety of species. Most of these can be seen on most of our river trips including the majestic Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep found in the upper reaches of the Rio Grande in the Taos Box and further upstream as well as the elusive river otter seen thriving throughout all of the rafting sections of the Rio Grande. The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument includes the Río Grande Wild and Scenic River and Red River Wild and Scenic River, designated by Congress in 1968 to provide present and future visitors the opportunity to experience the beauty of rivers in a natural free-flowing state. Contact New Mexico River Adventures at 1-800-983-7756 for more information about this exciting new designation or to find out new ways to enjoy one of the nation’s newest National Monuments!