ARROYO SECO, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman will be in northern New Mexico on Tuesday to introduce new wilderness legislation.
The New Mexico Democrat says the legislation will call for designating 45,000 acres of wilderness in Taos County's Columbine-Hondo Mountains. He says the measure would help protect one of the region's major watersheds.
Much of the area is already managed as a federal wilderness study area, but groups such as the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Coalition have been pushing for a full designation.
The Taos Cycling Coalition has been urging Bingaman to craft the legislation so that 19 percent of the existing wilderness study area would remain open to bicycles. In designated wilderness, bicycling is prohibited.
The cycling group contends designating a portion of the area as a National Recreation Area would allow cycling while still providing protections.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.