Coalition to protect land in Doña Ana County grows
Heath Haussamen

nmpolitics.netA movement to protect the Organ Mountains and other areas in Doña Ana County by designating the land as a national monument is growing.

From the Las Cruces Sun-News:

“In recent weeks, support for an initiative to designate those open, pristine lands as the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument has grown. A coalition now in excess of 175 entities representing a noticeable cross section of residents has steadily picked up steam; more support and more activities to show they are sincere about pushing President Obama and other federal leaders to make the designation official.”

And this:

“New Mexico’s congressional delegation, including Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, both Democrats, and Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., have put their support, too, behind the efforts — although a bill introduced in the House last week by Pearce is different from the original proposal.”

The Sun-News probably played down the difference: Pearce wants to protect 58,500 acres in the Organ Mountains, while Bingaman and others are proposing protecting hundreds of thousands of acres throughout the county.

The growing movement has rallied behind Bingaman’s bill. When Pearce introduced his bill last week, Bingaman called it a starting point for negotiations between the Republican House and Democratic Senate.