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Herrell Leads Letter to Protect the Future of Elephant Butte

June 10, 2021

Las Cruces, N.M. — Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) lead a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation today regarding the future of the Elephant Butte Reservoir.

"Elephant Butte is both the hub for outdoor recreation for the state of New Mexico and the lifeblood of the prolific agricultural industry of Southern New Mexico and has been so for decades," Herrell and 13 stakeholders wrote. "Elephant Butte faces an existential crisis this year, with water levels the lowest in recent memory."

Herrell and the stakeholders acknowledge the crisis "is not an issue of recreation versus water users," but a shared challenge as tourism and agricultural "industries both require a healthy and sustainable Elephant Butte."

In addition to regulatory reforms, the letter identified several solutions to safeguard the reservoir's future.

"Over the long term, innovative solutions like the creation of minimum pools and investments in water storage, desalination, removal of invasive species, and preventative river maintenance can all help to ensure that Elephant Butte is healthy and thriving."

The letter was co-signed by: 

New Mexico State Senator Joshua Sanchez (30th District) 
New Mexico State Senator Crystal Diamond (35th District) 
New Mexico State Representative Rebecca Dow (38th District) 
New Mexico State Representative Gail Armstrong (49th District) 
Sierra County Commissioner Jim Paxon (1st District)
Sierra County Commissioner Travis Day (2nd District) 
Sierra County Commissioner Hank Hopkins (3rd District) 
Catron County Commissioner Anita Hand (1st District) 
Truth or Consequences Mayor Sandy Whitehead 
Elephant Butte Mayor Edna Trager 
Earl Conway, President of Sun Country Outdoors and Conservation Director of New Mexico Bass Nation 
Neal Brown, President of Lago Rico  

The full text of the letter can be found HERE.