For ten years, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance has led the charge for conservation in Doña Ana County. Over the past year, we helped mobilize incredible community support for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks proposed national monument in Doña Ana County. In a recent survey, 83 percent of local citizens expressed their support for the creation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument will protect this rare American landscape and its abundant history. National monument designation also will help secure significant long-term economic benefits for Doña Ana County and Southern New Mexico (for example, visitors to the nearby White Sands National Monument spent $15.7 million in the local economy in 2008).
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance acknowledges President Barack Obama, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, and U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall for their work to make the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument a reality. Heinrich and Udall introduced the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act on December 12, 2013, and on January 25, 2014, hosted Sec. Jewell in Las Cruces for a tour of the proposed national monument and a townhall meeting with the local community. With the designation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument by President Obama on May 21, 2014, nearly 500,000 acres of culturally and ecologically rich Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in Doña Ana County will be permanently protected. The national monument includes the Organ Mountains, Sierra de las Uvas Mountains Complex, and Greater Potrillo Mountains. Among the wildlife that call this their home are golden eagles, many hawk species, owls, desert mule deer, three quail species, mountain lion, pronghorn, javelina, bobcat, coyote, bats, rock squirrels and other rodents, and numerous other birds. In addition to getting the local community on board with the proposed monument, NM Wild also garnered support from local officials, hundreds of local businesses and the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, we earned media endorsements from the El Paso Times, Las Cruces Sun-News, The Albuquerque Journal, Deming Headlight and the Santa Fe New Mexican. Between April and October 2012, the Town of Mesilla, the cities of Sunland Park, Las Cruces and El Paso, and the Doña Ana County Commission all passed resolutions supporting a national monument.
As we move forward, we will help shape the management plan for the new national monument and push for wilderness areas within the monument. Your continued support is critical in our success. Thank you for your dedication to the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument!
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance leads a variety of hikes and service projects, many within the new national monument. Browse our online calendar here.