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.
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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Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.