Over the past few weeks there has been a groundswell of support for establishing a national monument in Doña Ana County. And for good reason: the Organ Mountins-Desert Peaks National Monument would protect our region’s iconic mountains views, preserve our community’s heritage and showcase the national significance of these special places….
Nathan Small and Jeff Steinborn, supporters of efforts to have the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks designated as a national monument, preached to the choir Monday. In the end, the “choir” sang back, as the Mesilla board of trustees unanimously adopted a resolution that now includes the town as supporters of the initiative.
If you could be president of the United States for one day, what would you do? I’d probably want to sneak in some batting practice at Yankee Stadium, quickly, because even for the most powerful person in the world, a single day isn’t a lot of time to—as the late Steve Jobs put it—”make a dent in the universe.”
Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., last week introduced a bill to designate most of the Organ Mountains on Las Cruces’ eastern horizon as a national monument.
While it’s a smaller and less protective set-aside than advocates for federal wilderness seek, it still is a significant step in seeking to protect one of the state’s natural centerpieces. The bill would protect about 58,500 acres of the Organ Mountains from development.
For more than a century, the Antiquities Act has given American presidents the authority to protect some of our nation’s most important and threatened places. Across New Mexico, we see the benefit of the Antiquities Act —Bandelier National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White Sands National Monument, and El Morro National Monument to name just a few.
Veterans said declaring the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks region a national monument could help vets coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the Unites States Department of Veterans Affairs, between seven and eight percent of people are estimated to have experienced PTSD in their lives, and the chances are among the greatest in veterans.
Video: Veterans said declaring the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks region a national monument could help vets coping with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Doña Ana County has tremendous opportunities in the near term to both secure our environment and historic resources, as well as create good jobs and economic development. These two mutually beneficial goals are represented in 2012 with the unique opportunities to establish both an Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and a premier technology test and evaluation center in Doña Ana County.
A movement to protect the Organ Mountains and other areas in Doña Ana County by designating the land as a national monument is growing.