March 13, 2020 – On a recent episode of Our Land, we talked about public lands in New Mexico. They hold different meanings for different people, including each of the state’s American Indian tribes. On this month’s episode, correspondent Laura Paskus talks with a former governor of the Pueblo of Cochiti, tribal councilman Eugene Herrera, who speaks about the pueblo’s relationship with the landscape and its opposition to a popular bill in Congress, sponsored by Sen. Martin Heinrich, that would transition Bandelier National Monument into Bandelier National Park.
In response to a request for comment, Sen. Martin Heinrich said in a statement, “While I understand Cochiti Pueblo’s position that they should run Bandelier, I must also respect and protect access for the other pueblos that consider this land sacred. This legislation has broad support from New Mexico’s Pueblo communities because it provides the highest level of protection to Bandelier’s cultural and spiritual resources, ensures religious freedom for tribes, and will be the first National Park in America that integrates Native voices into park management.”
Eugene Herrera, tribal councilman and former governor, Pueblo of Cochiti
For More Information:
To read SB 2924: Bandelier National Park and Preserve Establishment Act
Sen. Martin Heinrich’s Nov. 2019 statement on the bill: Heinrich Introduces Bill to Establish Bandelier National Park and Preserve
To view a map showing the proposed changes: Proposed Map
More Opposition to Bandelier National Park Bill