Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

Hikers at an overlookThe Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region is at the crossroads of history which deserves to be nationally recognized.

On Friday, January 24th, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited Las Cruces, New Mexico where she joined Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich for a conversation with the community about how to best protect some of Doña Ana County’s most iconic landscapes, while boosting the region’s tourism and outdoor economy and improving recreational opportunities.

A national monument would forever protect local treasures like the Organ Mountains and Sierra de las Uvas, historic sites including the Butterfield Stage Coach Trail and World War II bombing targets, and thousands of Native American archaeological sites.

Hiking to peaksThe proposed monument also includes important wildlife habitat and provides outstanding hunting for bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, desert mule deer, javelina and quail. This area is loved for its natural wonders, such as the scenic Organ Mountains and the southwestern Chihuahuan Desert. Protecting this area as part of the National Conservation Lands would ensure that these public lands remain open to hunting, hiking and other outdoor recreation activities.

Protecting the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks as a National Monument will attract visitors, tourists, new residents and businesses to our area far into the future. A recent independent economic study showed that a national monument designation would have a positive impact on our economy – contributing more than $7.4 million in economic activity each year and doubling the number of jobs supported by outdoor recreation and tourism industry in the region.

picnic on rockAfter more than a decade of public discussion, the local community understands that without protecting these important areas we start to lose our window into history.  Polls show that overwhelming majority of Doña Ana County residents support an Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument to protect important historic sites, wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation.  Now that Secretary Jewell has met with the community we hope that she and the President will take steps to make this our country’s newest national monument.

For more information visit the Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks.

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument logo