Monday, January 13, 2014
Sheriffs oppose Organ Mountain monument
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) - A group of New Mexico sheriffs are frowning upon a proposal to protect the Organ Mountains in southern New Mexico. They say it's a bad idea and could be dangerous. This comes after New Mexico's two U.S. senators introduced legislation that calls for designating about 780 square miles near Las Cruces as the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. A coalition of border sheriffs opposing the plan recently sent the senators a letter saying the plan would leave the land vulnerable to illegal activity and make it harder for deputies to access the area, leading to a rise in cross-border crime. However, Sen. Martin Heinrich says the proposal would improve law enforcement's ability to secure the border region and allows ranchers to keep grazing livestock. The effort has been more than a decade in the making. The area would include eight new wilderness areas and would be overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.