Friday, October 26, 2012

Senators ask president for 2 national monuments in NM

U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall asked President Obama to consider designating two special areas in New Mexico — already managed by the Bureau of Land Management — for National Monument status. The senators are the sponsors of legislation that would elevate these two places — the Rio Grande Gorge and adjacent Taos Plateau, and the Organ Mountains and other important public lands in Doña Ana County — to National Conservation Areas/Wilderness Areas. In a letter to the president Thursday, the senators acknowledged that it has been difficult to pass legislation in this Congress and it is unclear whether the logjam will be broken in the lame-duck session.Given this uncertainty, they asked the president to consider exercising his authority to establish National Monuments — authority granted to presidents by Congress in the Antiquities Act. The senators are also the sponsors of legislation — called theOrgan Mountains Ð Doña Ana County Conservation and Protection Act— which seeks tocreate wilderness and conservation areas in Doña Ana County that provide for continued public use while protecting the granite peaks of the Organ Mountains and the volcanic cinder cones of the Potrillo Mountains, among other public lands in the county...more

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