Victory: Pristine New Mexico landscape soon to be protected as National Monument

Media Contacts
Mary Rafferty

Environment America

LAS CRUCES, NM – Today, the White House announced President Obama will permanently protect nearly a half million acres of pristine public land in New Mexico, known as the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, by designating the area a national monument.
This is a major victory for both New Mexicans and the American public who called on the administration to formally protect the region.
Margie Alt, Environment America’s executive director and Sanders Moore, Environment New Mexico’s director, issued the following statement:
“Today’s announcement that the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks will be protected is a major victory for the New Mexicans who have worked so hard and for all Americans who believe that iconic public lands should be protected for future generations. Thanks to President Obama, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks is now safe from development. It will be a protected home for mountain lions, pronghorn antelope and peregrine falcons, and a destination for families and adventurers to enjoy long into the future. Having been to the Organ Mountains, we know first-hand that all Americans will benefit from this important decision.
“President Obama, Interior Secretary Jewell, and Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich deserve credit for protecting this special place. And the tens of thousands of New Mexicans who signed petitions, came to town hall meetings, and made phone calls to ensure the protection of this incredible landscape have a lot to be proud of as well.
“Environment America, our state affiliates and hundreds of thousands of members and supporters look forward to continuing our work with the administration and Congress to keep pristine public lands off limits to development, mining, drilling, and pollution. Future generations of Americans and the wildlife that depend on these ecosystems deserve nothing less.”


Located just outside of Las Cruces, the Organ Mountains are the steepest mountain range in New Mexico and can be seen from more than 100 miles away on a clear day. The region is home to mountain lions, pronghorn antelope, and peregrine falcons, as well as more than 10,000 years of history, including ancient petroglyphs.
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks will be designated as a national monument under the Antiquities Act. Signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the Act has been used by nearly every president since to permanently protect federally-owned land from development.
Environment America is a federation of 29 state based environment groups. They are also calling on President Obama to permanently protect the Boulder White Clouds in Idaho, the Grand Canyon Watershed in Arizona, and Berryessa Snow Mountain in Northern California as national monuments.


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