Milestone 2015: Two-Year Anniversary of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

By Janet Webb — March 25, 2015

Two years ago, on March 25, 2013, President Obama signed the proclamation making approximately 300,000 acres of Taos County a protected National Monument.

Balloons Over the Rio Grande
Balloons Over the Rio Grande, photo by Jim O’Donnell

In a year of many milestones, this is one of the youngest — the only fresher milestone being the newborn Kachina Lift in Taos Ski Valley. And, this one has great significance to the future of Taos County, saving the area from development of all varieties, preserving it for wildlife and for limited, monitored recreational use.

MARKETAOS, a public-private marketing initiative, is publishing a guide for visitors to learn how to get around the vast new national monument. Writer, photographer and environmentalist Jim O’Donnell has written the self-guided tour and Webb Design has had the great honor of designing the guide. The project is supported by grant funds from New Mexico Tourism Department, Taos County, Chevron, with additional sponsorships from numerous environmental agencies and private outfitters. The Partnership for Responsible Business and BLM are also partners in the initiative.

Ute Mountain by Geraint Smith
Ute Mountain by Geraint Smith

The guide will be available in April 2015 at welcome centers throughout Taos County.

A related milestone: Rio Grande Gorge Bridge turns 50 this year! It was dedicated on September 10, 1965. The community plans a public ceremony on the bridge on that date this year.

To learn more about the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, visit, another publication of MARKETAOS.

To find all the Taos 2015 Milestones, visit

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge by Jim O'Donnell
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge by Jim O’Donnell
Rio Grande Bridge with rafters by Del Dubois
Rio Grande Bridge with rafters by Del Dubois



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