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The RGDN was designated as a national monument in 2013 by President Obama with almost unanimous community and delegation support.  The RGDN is a shining example of how the Antiquities Act can be used (along with a robust grassroots campaign) to protect federal land.


The Friends of RGDN was formed to ensure that the Monument will continue to be protected for the community that worked so hard for its creation.

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Nick Streit

Executive Director

A lifelong Taoseno, Nick was raised fishing, hunting and working in the Rio Grande del Norte.  Taking over the family fly fishing business, Nick has spent countless hours exploring the monument guiding fly fishers.  Early on in his career, Nick began volunteering for conservation groups like Trout Unlimited and New Mexico Wildlife Federation. Nick was instrumental in the Red River Habitat Improvement project, and was the President of the local chapter of Trout Unlimited for 4 years.  Nick's passion for the monument and conservation were the inspiration for the creation of the friends group, and his lifelong ties to the community are invaluable to this position.


Ben Mortensen

Youth Outreach Coordinator

As a teacher and an avid outdoors person, Ben is passionate about connecting the youth of New Mexico to their public lands. After finishing his undergrad in Environmental Planning and Sustainability at UNM, he moved North to get closer to the mountains and rivers he enjoys the most. While living in Taos for the last 7 years, Ben has worked with the USFS building the Continental Divide Trail, the BLM conducting botanical surveys, and with NM Wild as a Wilderness Ranger before becoming a teacher in the Taos Public Schools. Now, as a teacher, he has the opportunity to teach the importance and joy of the natural world to his students both in the classroom and in the wild. Strongly believing that we are not able to defend something that we do not love, Ben works hard to provide opportunities for our students to practice loving stewardship of the lands that surround them.


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