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Tough times end plan for state-run wild horse sanctuary

December 18, 2010

Tough economic times have put paid to plans for the US state of New Mexico to develop a state-run wild horse sanctuary.


Ortiz Mountain. © TNC


New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

Governor Bill Richardson had announced plans in September to use $US2.8 million in federal stimulus money to buy 12,142 acres of land known as the Ortiz Mountain Ranch to expand Cerrillos Hills State Park to create the sanctuary.

However, this week he announced he was diverting a total of $US3,136,407 in stimulus funds into the general state budget to help offset cuts to services and prevent any possible enforced leave or layoffs.

Richardson said the state is no longer moving forward with a plan to buy the Ortiz Mountain Ranch.

Final details of the project appeared unlikely to be completed beofre the end of the year, and the money set aside for that project made up the majority of the funds now going into the state's general fund.

"While the purchase of the ranch was a great opportunity for the state, and would have been a big boost to tourism and the local economy of the Galisteo Basin, moving forward at this time is unfeasible," Richardson said.

"In order to balance this year's budget, we had to make necessary cuts to state services and programmes.

"I am putting this additional money into the general fund to offset some of those cuts to our most critical services and hopefully prevent any furloughs or layoffs the new administration might propose when they take office January 1."

 

 

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