Las Cruces Small Business Leaders Thank Senator Tom Udall for Support of National Monument Designation, Tout Economic Benefits

Businesses urge President Donald J. Trump to leave protections for Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in place

LAS CRUCES, NM – Local business leaders plan to welcome U.S. Senator Tom Udall to Las Cruces tomorrow, thanking him for defending the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and the law used to create it, the Antiquities Act. The Senator’s visit comes as Doña Ana County anxiously awaits potential executive action from President Donald J. Trump on national monuments, including Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Río Grande del Norte.

The economic benefits of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument are unmistakable. The monument was designated in May 2014, and by September 2016 annual visitation had increased by 152 percent. The Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce recently highlighted several local businesses that are benefitting thanks to the monument’s designation and increased visitation.

New businesses based on tourism and the iconic monument’s proximity, like Organ Mountain Outfitters, have sprung up in surrounding communities. And Southern New Mexico was included in Lonely Planet’s Best in the U.S. 2016 Top Ten Travel Destinations, due in large part to the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. More recently, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks was included in Petersen’s Hunting Magazine as one of the “10 Best Public Land Hunts.”

“I’m looking forward to checking in with the small-business owners and entrepreneurs who have seen their businesses take off in the last few years because the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is a star on recreation and tourism maps, attracting visitors from around the state, the nation and the world,” Senator Udall said of his visit. “I’m sincerely grateful for all the work that Southern New Mexico did to get the monument designated. Its positive impact on the recreation and tourism economy is undeniable. I’m standing with Southern New Mexico and fighting hard in Washington to make sure we keep the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument fully intact.”

“My business is here because of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument,” said Chris Lang of Organ Mountain Outfitters who is hosting an event with Senator Udall on Saturday (10/28). “We were able to create, grow, and give back to our community because of our business, thanks to the national monument. We believe in the positive economic and social impact of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks.”

Ariana Parsons, owner of Becks Coffee, another business Senator Udall will visit with, added, “Our business advocated for the national monument designation because we knew what it could bring to our community. Now, just a few years after designation, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument has become a major contributor to our community’s economy.”

Local business leaders are not the only stakeholders who support the national monument designation. Local governments have passed 14 resolutions in support of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, many of them citing the economic benefits of the designation. Additionally, over 100,000 comments from New Mexico residents were submitted in response to Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s national monument review, with 94 percent in support of the national monument.

“The Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce would like to thank Senator Tom Udall for meeting with local business owners to see first-hand the economic impact from Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument,” said Carrie Hamblen, President/CEO of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce. “Time and time again, he has stood with the people of Doña Ana County in defending our national monument and the Antiquities Act.”