On May 21st 2014, President Obama designated the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, becoming the largest National Monument of his presidency.
Within the monument, eight wilderness areas will be guaranteed permanent protection, with protections for 496,000 acres of natural, cultural, and historical resources in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, including the Organ Mountains, the Sierra de las Uvas Mountains, the Potrillo volcanic field, rare examples of Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and sky islands, landmarks along the El Camino Real National Historic Trail, the Apollo mission training site at Kilbourne Hole, 22 miles of the Butterfield Stagecoach Trail, Billy the Kid’s Outlaw Rock, hundreds of Native American archaeological sites, the Gadsden Purchase international boundary, and historic ranch houses. The monument will continue to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and grazing, wildlife and game, and existing roads used for ranching will all continue to be managed as they were historically.
This victory reflects ten years of work and comments of ranchers, nearby communities, stakeholders, recreation groups and area businesses, and other stakeholders, as well as state agencies, White Sands Missile Range, Fort Bliss and the U.S. Border Patrol, and overflights with these diverse stakeholders by EcoFlight.
These biologically and culturally rich landscapes define the natural beauty, open space, and high quality recreational opportunities that exist in Southern New Mexico. Protecting this wild and open space will benefit current and future generations of New Mexico residents and visitors and ensure that the backdrop to the city of Las Cruces remains undeveloped but accessible for people of all generations to use and enjoy.
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