Saturday, July 08, 2017

Downsizing Organ Mountains National Monument would still save land but boost economy

By U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce
Whenever I’m traveling through Doña Ana County, I can look up at the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks and feel proud to come from a state that is home to some of our nation’s most beautiful treasures. I share this feeling with my fellow New Mexicans, and there’s a desire within us all to make sure the Organs stay preserved for generations to come. Back in 2013, before President Obama created the current footprint, I introduced a bill to establish the Organs as a national monument. My bill would have made the Organs, and surrounding natural treasures, a national monument forever protected in the National Landscape Conservation System. The roughly 60,000-acre footprint I suggested was a balance between conserving the Organs without compromising New Mexico’s economy and the culture of ranching, recreation and multiple uses...A responsible review of the designation will loosen the bureaucratic grip that Washington has over thousands of acres and help put our lands back where they belong – in the hands of New Mexicans. A significant cross-section of the community has historically opposed any monument designation...As New Mexicans, we are protective over our resources and embrace the landscape that we call home. For my entire adult life, I’ve loved the Organs. By keeping the designation but reducing the size, the beauty of the Organs will be preserved forever, the county can continue to benefit from the economic gains associated with the monument, and everyone from ranchers to hikers can continue to access and utilize the area without impediment...more

No comments: