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EarthSky // Today's Image Release Date: Mar 26, 2013

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico

U.S. President Barack Obama designated the Rio Grande del Norte in northern New Mexico as a national monument yesterday (March 25, 2013).

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.  Photo by EarthSky Facebook friend Geraint Smith.  Thank you, Geraint.

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Photo by EarthSky Facebook friend Geraint Smith. Thank you, Geraint. Visit Geraint Smith Photography Gallery on Facebook.

Here is the new Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico, designated by President Obama on March 25, as captured by photographer Geraint Smith.

Rio Grande del Norte consists of more than 200,000 acres, originally inhabited by Native Americans and Spanish settlers. It includes a massive gorge below the headwaters of the Rio Grande River. There is abundant wildlife, and the area also has archaeologic sites. Plus the new national monument is expected to generate more than 200 jobs and boost the regionary economy by $15 million, via tourism, according to a study by the firm BBC Research & Consulting.

Read more … Rio Grande del Norte: A gift for the veterans and military families of New Mexico

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President Obama has designated five new national monuments, using executive authority to protect historic or ecologically significant sites. In addition to Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico, they are the First State National Monument in Delaware, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland, Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio, and San Juan Islands National Monument in Washington state.

Bottom line: Photo of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, designated by President Obama on March 25, 2013.

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