Clergy show support for proposed national monument in Dona Ana County

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 – 4:45pm

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Clergy from various religions showed their support for the proposed Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument in Dona Ana County Tuesday afternoon.

30 clergy from 12 denominations will sign a letter to President Obama supporting action to designate about 600,000 acres of historic land as the national monument.

“We should preserve this so that they can see the importance and feel not only the natural beauty but the spiritual alignment you get from these places,” said Grecia Nunez, project coordinator for Groundwork Dona Ana.

The clergy said there’s a lot of religious history in the land ranging from Native Americans, the Spanish occupancy and other religions.

Studies have shown protected land could generate more than $7 million of annual income and boost tourism.

The group hopes the land will receive the designation by the president by year’s end.