Statement from Veterans following hike with DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke

The following statement is from over a dozen veterans following a hike with Secretary Zinke through the Valles Canyon in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument:

“On behalf of the veterans who spent their morning hiking through the Desert Peaks we want to thank Secretary Zinke for giving us the opportunity to show why the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is so important to veterans and our friends and families.

“We told Sec. Zinke that the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is an integral part of Doña Ana County’s identity, and we urged him to leave the national monument intact. Our community worked for over a decade to protect the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks area, and it should not be undone in a mere 120-days.

“We were discouraged to learn about his interest in shrinking the national monument, especially before meeting with diverse stakeholders today, and after not attending the community town hall last night.

“As a fellow veteran, we hope he understands the values of our public lands. We all fought to protect our country overseas and we are now defending our public lands at home.”



Organ Mountains N.M.