Rob Nikolewski, reporting for New Mexico Watchdog, states that $1.75 million in federal stimulus funding for a Robert Redford related project to renovate a state-owned ranch, headquarters for a film institute, is already approved, while Governor Richardson’s proposal to spend $2.8 million dollars to create a wild horse sanctuary cannot even get a vote.
The Governor’s planned wild horse sanctuary will not only help preserve these iconic mustangs, but also provide much needed jobs and increase tourism, yet is considered controversial.
Originally, the board was expected to vote on the sanctuary [today] at its October meeting but the item was withdrawn.
I asked David Simon, the director of State Parks (who spoke at the Sept. 20 wild horse news conference lauding the governor’s proposal) why.
Here’s the exchange:
Nikolewski: Do you know why the wildhorse sanctuary wasn’t on today’s agenda?
Nikolewski: Do you know where it stands?
Simon: No (and walks away).
Nikolewski: Should I call the governor’s office to find out?
Simon (over his shoulder): If you want to.
Your public servants at work.
In the comments section, Reggie points out:
The only thing truly controversial about the $2.8 million to purchase 12,000 acres of land to expand Cerrillos State Park and to create a wild horse sanctuary is the hidden agenda of the conservative press, which repeatedly attack the project without facts, only their misguided feigned outrage.
— $2.8 million for 12,000 acres is only $233 per acre.
— The wild horse sanctuary will create jobs in New Mexico. Tourism is the number one private sector employer in NM and a well advertised wild horse sanctuary will draw tourist both nationally and internationally.
–$2.8 million is a mere 0.07% of the $3.9 billion of Stimulus funds allocated for NM. The FY2010 NM Budget was over $15 billion.
All these politicians and their proxies in the press are just trying to polish their images by bashing a lame duck governor in an election year. Whatever other motives they have are unclear, as their stated reasoning is non-sensical and overly emotional.
Whether you like or hate Governor Richardson, this project is a good one and will bring benefits to New Mexico in real dollars.