President Obama designated the 496,330-acre Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southern New Mexico on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. The addition of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument to the National Conservation Lands protects the crossroads of New Mexican and American history, and is an important step towards honoring our country’s diverse heritage while protecting open space important for hunting and outdoor recreation.
The designation came in response to overwhelming input and support from the local community frustrated by years of inaction by Congress to protect the cultural and natural heritage of Dona Ana County. Support came from many voices: Native American leaders including the All Pueblo Governors Council, the New Mexico and National League of United Latin American Citizens, the New Mexico and Las Cruces Green Chambers of Commerce, local ranchers, sportsmen, faith leaders, archaeologists, historians, numerous local elected leaders and Friends Grassroots Network member Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks.
As the second national monument established since President Obama’s commitment in his January 2014 State of the Union speech to “use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations,” the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks designation is a major step forward in President Obama’s emerging land conservation legacy.
President Obama’s tenth new national monument is his largest to date, and the fifth addition to the National Conservation Lands. It also continues the President’s track record of protecting lands that help to tell the story of all Americans, through a diverse and inclusive set of new national monuments. We are inspired by, and look forward to the Administration’s continued partnership with local communities to protect the most important of America’s public lands for future generations.