Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Governor Martinez submits comments, has issues with the size, manageability, and economic impact of OMDPNM

Governor Susana Martinez has written to Interior Secretary Zinke as part of the monument review process. In her comments (embedded below) she supports a "thorough review" of the NM's two national monuments. In particular, with respect to the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, some of the issues raised or discussed are:

--Asks if the proclamation truly complies with "smallest area compatible" mandate of the Antiquities Act

--The size of the monument is 573,000 acres when you include the state and private land within it's boundaries, which "is almost 25 percent of Dona Ana County.", and the "sheer size and scope" of the monument creates "management complexity" for all parties and "may be greater than needed."

--The "consistency" language could result in many uses, such as "grazing operations, watershed restoration projects, and recreation" not continuing.

--The accuracy and appropriateness of some of the objects are questioned

--The prohibition of off-road vehicular use "limits entrance by the public and restricts the ability of ranchers, farmers and other natural resource managers to maintain critical infrastructure such as earthen flood control structures, fences and livestock water wells...".

-- Notes the backlog on maintenance at DOI is $13 billion and with looming budget cuts questions if BLM has adequate resources "to manage the OMDPNM properly."

The Governor's letter is embedded below:

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